Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday September 22.
What can you buy into the teeth of a brutal sell-off? Cramer has said often that tech is bottoming, as it usually does in the middle of September. The current bottom is U shaped, and is more gradual, than a V-shaped bottom. Now is the time of year when companies and governments are exhausting their IT budgets, and consumers are making holiday purchases of tech items. Apple (AAPL) is a buy as a core holding. Avnet (AVT) is dirt cheap according to its historical multiple. Juniper (JNPR) has been cut in half, in spite of the fact that it offers cutting edge technology. Nvidia (NVDA) has been whacked around, even though it is a best of breed graphics play.
EMC (EMC) is a low-risk way to play big data and cloud computing. EMC is a great way to get exposure to high-flying VMWare (VMW), of which the parent-company owns an 80% stake and which accounts for 25% of EMC's earnings. Owning EMC provides the benefits for VMW's business, but without the risk associated with VMW, the leader in virtualization software. EMC's last quarter saw a one cent earnings beat on a 20.4% rise in revenues. EMC is the cheapest Cramer says he has ever seen it and is selling at a multiple of 12 times earnings with a 16.7% growth rate. The stock has been hammered, and dropped 4% on Thursday. In spite of the macro situation, EMC is on track to produce $19.8 billion in revenues. While it has exposure to financials and government agencies, 30% of the company's revenues come from overseas, including fast-growing emerging markets. EMC is a great example of a company whose stock is broken, but not its business. While this might not be the absolute bottom for EMC, it is worth buying on the way down.
No Need to Be a Hero: Fortune Brands (FO), Diageo (DEO)
On a day when the Dow gave up 381 points, are investors rejecting Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's assurances that Europe will not see a Lehman-type crisis? While Geithner denied a Lehman sequel, he never promised there wouldn't be pain, nor did he say that the European banks are doing the right thing. Although financials in the U.S. are suffering, at least they are raising capital. At least for now, there is no European equivalent of TARP or stress tests, and European banks are not raising capital in large amounts. What is the game plan for investors? It is a good idea to raise cash and buy high dividend stocks. "There is no need to be a hero until there are heroes in Europe...until they get with the program," said Cramer.
Cramer took some calls:
Fortune Brands (FO) is spinning off its booze business, but Cramer prefers Diageo (DEO), a pastiche of a company that has been performing better than Fortune brands.
Clorox (CLX), maker of Clorox, Pine Sol, Fresh Step cat litter, Hidden Valley salad dressings, Glad trash bags, Burt's Bees, Brita water filters and other popular products is a great company with a 3.7% dividend that will pay investors as they wait for the stock price to rise. The company makes things that people don't stop using even in an economic slowdown. Clorox has a history of revamping its brands (95% are in first or second market share position) and raising the dividend. Carl Icahn, who owns 9% of the company, has made bids to buy it outright, but Clorox management has said such offers "undervalue the company and are not credible." Icahn's attempts to take over the company are not a reason to buy the stock, but a reason to believe it is cheap at its current levels.
Issues about commodity costs and competition from private label brands are disadvantages, but these are already priced into the stock, according to Cramer. Clorox is gearing its brands toward mega trends like health and wellness and sustainability with eco-friendly cleaning products. A full 50% of Clorox's sales come from Latin America. The company sells at 16 times earnings with a 10% growth rate, and Cramer thinks it is worth paying a bit more for a stock that has consistent earnings. He would start building a position in Clorox now.
Cramer took a call:
It is a good idea to sell Kraft (KFT) and buy Unilever (UL), since the latter company is making acquisitions, is more efficiently managed and is "cheap and good."
At awful moments in the market, it is important to keep an eye on long-term themes like the adoption of natural gas as a bridge fuel. The private sector is taking matters into its own hands with a deal between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and Westport (WPRT) to develop natural gas engines, Chesapeake Energy's (CHK) investment in developing natural gas and Clean Energy Fuel's (CLNE) plan for a natural gas superhighway. While the industry is not waiting until the government passes a Natural Gas Act that will give tax incentives for those who switch their engines from those that run on regular diesel to natural gas, the adoption of the bill will facilitate the process of the large scale adoption of natural gas.
Andrew Littlefair, CEO of Clean Energy Fuels, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday and gave Cramer a few takeaways from the meeting. He feels that his remarks were accepted, and most felt that a tax incentive for natural gas engines was reasonable. The only one who openly disagreed was a Congressman who asked what higher natural gas prices would mean for chemical companies, but Littlefair responded that the fact the country is importing 63% of its fuel was a larger problem than higher costs for chemical companies; "I came away today feeling really good," Littlefair said.
Creating natural gas engines and filling stations will create thousands of jobs and will be a generous return on the investment. If things don't change, the U.S. might be in the situation of exporting its valuable natural gas to other countries while importing foreign oil. Littlefair, however, isn't waiting for government legislation, even though he thinks it is likely to pass. The company is revving up for a natural gas future.
"These natural gas stocks have been fabulous, and we are not backing away from them," Cramer said.
Joy Global (JOYG), General Mills (GIS)
Both Joy Global (JOYG) and General Mills (GIS) have great stories, but Joy Global was down 9.4% and General Mills closed up 2.8%. While JOYG's management said business was good, its dividend is just above 1%, and the stock is owned by hair trigger traders gaming China, which may be seeing slowdown of its economy. General Mills yields over 3%, may increase its dividend and is about to see a windfall on the decline in commodities. Cramer thinks Joy Global is heading lower and General Mills is heading higher.
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