Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday December 8.
Teavana (TEA) had a hot IPO this summer, rising 70% from its initial valuation of $17. Since then, the stock has dropped to below $17, and some recommend buying it on the thesis that it may be the next Starbucks (SBUX). Cramer doesn't agree, because Teavana is unlikely to evolve from a retailer to a major brand. First, the U.S. is more of a coffee culture than a tea culture, and SBUX created an experience, not just fancy drinks. Customers like to spend time in Starbucks; Teavana sells European style teas and tea pots with very few chairs in the stores. TEA currently has 196 locations, and at 500, it will reach saturation point. With store growth at 31%, TEA might reach this goal too fast and hit a wall. Its 6% rise in same store sales were probably due to its sale of tea equipment, since traffic was down 2.5%. Starbucks learned the hard lesson of growing too fast, so it is investing in international expansion while improving profitability domestically. Starbucks' same store sales were at 9%, and overseas, it has a long way to go before reaching store saturation.
While things were looking brighter for Europe the last few days, the Dow sank 199 points and CurrencyShares Euro Trust ETF (FXE) dropped. While Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke helped brighten the view on the European situation, the European leaders are doing very little to stop the collapse. Cramer thinks they need to adopt a strategy of backstopping bonds of every country that adopts austerity measures while cutting interest rates to stimulate growth while the economy recovers. Instead, the European Central Bank is still worried about inflation when it needs to take steps to prevent a recession. In such a situation, investors need to get out of high-flying growth stocks and put their money into high-dividend stocks, and avoid the financial sector, which is likely to get hurt badly on European woes. Cramer correctly predicted Costco (COST) would see a drop in its share price after earnings, and The Street was worried about food inflation and the increase in membership fees. Cramer is not so concerned, and would buy the stock on a downgrade. Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) is worth buying, as well as McDonald's (MCD), which dropped in spite of its impressive same store sales, even in Europe.
While it is never a good idea to gamble on stocks, it is a good idea to invest in gambling stocks. Wynn Resorts (WYNN) is best-of-breed because of the superior management of CEO Steve Wynn, but for the short-term, Cramer prefers Las Vegas Sands (LVS), and not just because it has seen a 5% pullback. Macau is on fire with the most bullish October on record, and since the Chinese are cutting interest rates, more people are hitting the casinos. Macau is the only place in China where it is legal to gamble, and Las Vegas has a bigger footprint in Macau than Wynn does. It is opening up a new casino in the Macau version of the Las Vegas strip early in 2012. Gambling is up in Macau 42% year over year, while it is tepid in Las Vegas, where Wynn has 28% exposure compared to LVS's 10%. Cramer is a fan of Wynn, but for now, LVS's stock is the better buy.
Cramer took some calls:
Tanger Factory Outlet (SKT) is the only publicly traded pure play on retail outlet centers, and is a secure stock to own with uncertainty in Europe. The company has 38 shopping centers, yields 2.9% and has the best balance sheet of any REIT. The stock has seen a 38% gain since Cramer got behind it in March. On news that Liz Claiborne (LIZ) is pulling out of SKT, many were worried, but CEO Steve Tanger says Under Armour (UA), Guess (GES) and other stores are filling Liz's shoes and creating 98% occupancy with the highest rents in the business. Tanger is expanding into Canada, and sales have been strong ahead of the holiday season; Steve Tanger is "optimistic."
"You have made a ton of money for our viewers," Cramer said.
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