Jim Cramer is the host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and the chairman of TheStreet.com. In 1987, Cramer started his own hedge fund and returned an average of 24% per year between 1987 and 2001. Cramer also authored six money management books.
Cramer has been advising investors to avoid technology stocks until mid-September, the time when technology stocks tend to bottom and experience positive seasonality. Here are some of Cramer’s favorite tech stocks:
Apple (AAPL): Cramer praised Apple as being an innovation machine and the best-run company in America. As the leader of the mobile-internet revolution, Cramer said listening to conference calls (to find out that Apple is short in the memory space, for instance) is a way to find other companies in the sector poised to benefit from Apple. Cramer’s charitable trust owns Apple. Apple is also the most popular stock among hedge fund managers at the end of June (see the 10 most popular stocks). The stock outperformed the market by more than 25 percentage points since.
Oracle (ORCL): This tech stock dominates the enterprise market and has just received mixed reviews from a number of financial firms. While RBC Capital downgraded it, Credit Agricole and FBR both upgraded it. RBC was worried about the company’s combined hardware and software strategy, as well as competitors taking away market share. Cramer thought they overlooked the biggest concern, which is the chance of slashed corporate IT budgets if the global economy continues to slow down.
For a tech company to be a good buy in this market, Cramer said it needs to have exposure to strong end markets, high returns and a strong balance sheet. Oracle has all three. In addition, the company has new products that will help the firm take market share and gain double digit growth. Even in this market, it still managed to deliver 17% earnings growth. The stock is relatively cheap trading at 11 times forward earnings.
Salesforce.com (CRM): Salesforce.com is a cloud computing service that is still successful because it saves companies money. The stock has gone up 300% since November 2008. Cramer thinks the stock won’t remain this low for long. CEO Mark Benioff reported a solid quarter with earnings coming in at $0.34 cents per share (a $0.04 cent beat) and stronger than expected revenue at 38% year-over-year. The company added 6,300 new customers throughout the year.
SAP AG (SAP): Cramer thinks this German software company’s stock is a buy, as it’s trading too cheap. Similar companies are trading at 30 and 40 times earnings, but SAP is only selling at 10 times earnings. The company is well-positioned to take advantage of the tech industry‘s future, offering real-time computing, mobility and cloud innovation. The stock grew 35% year-over year and increased its guidance for the upcoming quarter. This software giant has a $62.85 billion market cap and yields 1.14%. Ken Fisher of Fisher Asset Management owns over a million SAP shares.
Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), Cirrus Logic (CRUS) and ADC Telecom (ADCT) were “mobile internet tsunami” plays, according to Cramer. They’re companies that make smart-phone components. They turned out to be real winners after Cramer recommended them in late 2009 to early 2010.
Baidu (BIDU): China’s version of Google (GOOG) is the only Chinese stock Cramer will recommend because the government essentially blessed the company by forcing Google out of the picture (by forcing it to comply with local laws or leave). The stock has a $50 billion market cap and trades at 45 times earnings.
Google (GOOG): Cramer’s not concerned about the company’s recent anti-trust issues. The company has positions in mobile, social and cloud services. The company is currently a part of the broader market sell-off. Cramer thinks the fundamentals are solid. Google has a $170 billion market cap and trades at 19 times earnings.
NVDIA (NVDA): This dominant graphic chip maker is everywhere, literally. Its chips are seen in cars, movie production, Times Square, Android cell phones, non-Apple tablets, PlayStation 3 and so much more. Cramer thinks this is the time to buy NVIDIA, which is experiencing robust business and sees China as a great growth market for the company.
NVIDIA has a $8.4 billion market cap and trades at 15.3 times earnings. George Soros of Soros Fund Management owns over 250,000 shares.
Juniper Networks (JNPR): This networking equipment maker is down 55% from its 52-week high and the company missed on every single metric during its Q2 earnings report. The estimates have been cut so low, it’s practically impossible for the company to disappoint on earnings estimates. It didn’t help that the company lowered full-year guidance.
However, Cramer recommends owning Juniper Networks, which is profitable with a healthy balance sheet. Cramer’s charitable trust owns JNPR. Juniper Networks has superior technology with relatively small market share, which gives the company room to take share from competitors. Juniper Networks has $3.2 billion in cash and a $10.6 billion market cap.
Avnet (AVT): This distributor of IT hardware is “too cheap” for Cramer, and he thinks it’s a buy at 6.4 times earnings with a 12% growth rate. Avnet spreads across many platforms, making it a great way to gauge the industry overall. Avnet has a $4.14 billion market cap.