Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Monday October 10.
Breaking Up Is Good to Do: Fortune Brands (FO), Beam (BEAM). Other stocks mentioned: Diageo (DEO), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Carnival (CCL), Royal Caribbean (RCL), Philip Morris (PM)
The company that was once a pastiche of businesses has broken up, and it was not hard to do. Fortune Brands (FO) spun off its golf segment for $1.1 billion and is becoming a stand-alone pure play on liquor under the name of Beam (BEAM). Cramer would buy this producer of Jim Beam, Teacher's, the number one scotch in India, and many other top brands. BEAM is one of the few liquor companies that is a pure play and is not family owned; it would be a great acquisition for Diageo (DEO), which needs to improve its bourbon offerings. Since genuine bourbon can only be made in Kentucky and must be aged for 2 years, there are significant barriers to entry, and BEAM has major market share. The company's brands trade a discount to those of its competitors; some brands are growing as much as 20%. A full 25% of BEAM's growth comes from new products, and for this reason, Cramer called BEAM "The Google of liquor." The liquor business held up well in the recession, and people will drink alcohol regardless of the economic climate.
BEAM is "too darn good to ignore."
Cramer took some calls:
Cramer is no longer as worried about Las Vegas Sands' (LVS) China exposure as he was before. The slowdown in the country seems to be ending and Wynn (WYNN) has bounced back. However, he would be careful about buying the stock, which has had a monster run in the last five days.
Phllip Morris (PM) is the best tobacco play for its robust growth.
After a spectacular day, with the Dow up 330 points, investors are running out of reasons to hate stocks. Although short-selling is at its highest level in 3 years and momentum stocks like Netflix (NFLX) are being savaged, a lot of things are going well domestically. The jobs number was good, rails are reporting the highest volume in 3 years, the back-to-school season was strong for many companies and a successful holiday season is the expectation. One thing that might have powered the rally is the decision of European leaders to nationalize certain banks to reduce systemic risk. The fact that there are actually financial reforms on the table in Europe can remove a Lehman-style threat. Financials in the U.S., however, are still being punished, and the government is keen to keep banks from making profits. Therefore, Cramer would sell any holdings in financial stocks on the strong quarter expected from JPMorgan (JPM).
Cramer took some calls:
There is a revolt going on in Netflix, and both consumers and shareholders are not satisfied. Because of an erroneous decision by management to raise prices for DVD orders, the stock has gotten slammed, and Cramer doubts it will reach its former highs. He would stay away.
The Baltic Dry Index is breaking out, and while Cramer is still bearish on shipping stocks, the rally in the index indicates that a severe recession may be off the table.
While it is not a good idea to buy a stock just because it is cheap, an unfairly punished stock like Deere (DE) with multiple catalysts is worth a look. Deere is the largest maker and distributor of agricultural equipment, and in spite of Monday's gain of 5.6%, the stock is down 16% year to date, trading at a 30% discount to its historical multiple. The company's last quarter was strong with raised guidance. The only negative spot was the issue of margins from higher input costs, but with the fall of commodity prices, this problem will end. Deere has been hammered along with most other industrial stocks.
There are at least two reasons to buy Deere; the short-term catalyst is the USDA report on agriculture supply and demand, and Cramer expects strong results. The long-term catalyst is the population boom in emerging markets and the rising middle class, which will demand more meat. Since it takes a substantial amount of grain to feed cattle, this is good news for Deere. The company had a stellar analyst day, but no one seemed to pay attention, since the stock didn't move up. It has one of the strongest balance sheets in the business, $4.5 billion worth of shares in its buyback, and while Cramer is skeptical of many buybacks, this proposal is sound, given the fact that the stock is so cheap. Cramer would start a position in Deere now and would back up the truck when it reaches the mid-60s. "The stock has been down so long, it is starting to look up."
Cramer took a call:
Monsanto (MON) has had a substantial run, and Cramer would take some stock off the table.
MarkWest Energy Partners (MWE)
Even though stocks were up on Monday, it pays to look for protection given the wild gyrations in the market. MarkWest Energy Partners (MWE) is an MLP that produces small pipelines that collect and purify natural gas. The company charges clients a fee or a percentage of the natural gas. While it has some exposure to commodity prices, it is less risky than regular natural gas companies, which can get hammered when the price of the fuel goes lower. MWE yields a robust 6.2%, and has a history of raising its dividend, which has gone up 180% since the company went public in 2002. The stock got punished after MWE issued a secondary offering last week, and now the stock price is below that of the secondary. MWE has substantial growth projects in the most productive shales in the U.S. This is a market where caution pays and dividend works, and Cramer thinks MWE is a buy at these levels.
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