Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Wednesday September 21.
CEO Interview: John Riccitiello, Electronic Arts (ERTS)
Electronic Arts (ERTS) is fast becoming a company with vision as well as growth, which is increasing at a rate of 35% since last year. The company has traditional video games as well as social media and mobile games. ERTS made smart acquisitions, including Playfish, and has 11 million players on Facebook. ERTS is the second largest player in the games space after Zynga, which is expected to come public and has been valued at $20 billion. It is hard to believe that a $7.2 billion valuation for Zynga's nearest competitor, ERTS, is a fair one.
CEO John Riccitiello said that while tradtional games with consoles and PCs remain a growth business, growing at the high single digits to low double digits, social and mobile games are seeing explosive growth in the double and triple digits. Sims Social is driving this growth, and ERTS is quickly closing the gap with Zynga, which was a first mover in the space and had a competitive edge of 10 to 1 over ERTS, and now the gap is only 3 to 1.
"Electronic Arts is the fastest growing stock that I follow right now," said Cramer.
Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT), Alpha Natural (ANR), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Joy Global (JOYG), Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP), CSX (NYSE:CSX), Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC), Molycorp (MCP), Sysco (NYSE:SYY), The Bank of Ireland (NYSE:IRE), Peabody (BTU)
What a difference the word "significant" can make. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke of a "significant downside risk," and the addition of the adjective "significant" shook the market. The averages closed down dramatically as stocks were hammered. When the mood of the market goes sour, entire sectors can be brought down on the remarks of one or two companies. Walter Energy (WLT) and Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) both indicated that they would not meet their production targets. The entire coal sector got punished, even though the issues might have been more characteristic of the performance of these specific companies than coal in general; Cramer still thinks Peabody (BTU) is a better coal stock than Walter or Alpha Natural.
The bearishness struck the rails which transport coal with declines in CSX (CSX), Union Pacific (UNP) and Norfolk Southern (NSC), which dropped 8.3%. Industrials were taken down, including Caterpillar (CAT) and Joy Global (JOYG). Wednesday's action was a lesson on how much of an impact remarks from the Fed Chairman can make. In a normal market, bearish reports from two coal companies might have caused a decline in coal stocks, but they would not have had such a broad effect if it hadn't been for the negative macro data.
Cramer took some calls:
One caller wanted to know why esteemed investor, Wilbur Ross, bought shares in the Bank of Ireland (IRE) when European banks seem untouchable. Cramer concluded that either Ross got a special deal or perhaps this time he is wrong.
Molycorp (MCP) has been a shooting star, but dropped 10 points on Wednesday. When shooting stars get shot out of the sky, it is time to be careful about other stocks in the same sector.
Sysco's (SYS) quarter was not good, but it has a great yield. However, Cramer wants to see growth as well as a strong dividend.
CEO Interview: Mike Sutherlin, Joy Global
With the coal sector taking a slide after news about slowing orders from Walter Energy and Alpha Natural, Joy Global, producer of mining equipment, saw a $5 decline. CEO Mike Sutherlin insists this is not 2008 all over again, but sees international and emerging market growth in demand. While there has been a demand shift in the U.S. in the past year, globally demand is strong, especially in India and China. Both countries are building out their grids, and demand for electricity in China increased 14% since last year, and in India, by 8%.
In 2008, Joy Global was hit hard because of order cancellations, but is seeing no increase in cancellations in the current environment. The company has changed the way it books orders by asking for significant deposits along with contracts. Bookings in the third quarter were very strong, and the company is reducing its working time so it can handle more orders. Sutherlin says the company is entering its 2012 fiscal year with strong momentum.
Cramer thinks Joy Global has been taken down because the market is in an "emotional moment." He would buy Joy Global on a continued decline; "Let the stock come to you."
What a difference a CEO makes. Poorly performing managers are usually quick to blame macro factors for failures in the company, whereas good managers can usually report success in the face of challenges. Oracle (ORCL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) face many of the same obstacles, yet Oracle saw an upside to its business, even in Europe. General Mills (GIS) and ConAgra (CAG) both have inflation to deal with, but GIS can pass the costs onto customers, while CAG reported declining sales. Add to that, CAG failed to acquire Ralcorp (RAH), which would have helped diversify the business. Hewlett Packard's stock was up in spite of its bearish performance. The reason: rumors that HPQ's CEO, Leo Apotheker, may be leaving.
Jim Cramer was up 31% in 2009. Click here now to sign up for Jim's Action Alerts PLUS and trade alongside him. Special discount for Seeking Alpha users.
Get Cramer's Picks by email - it's free and takes only a few seconds to sign up.