Cramer's Mad Money - Why Worst-Of-Breed Is Sometimes A Buy (3/19/12)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Monday March 19.

SunTrust Bank (NYSE:STI)

Sometimes it pays to look for worst of breed rather than best of breed, particularly if the apparent loser stock has a great potential for upside. SunTrust (STI) was a bank that failed the stress test, since it still has exposure to sub par mortgages. However, the bank may see an upturn, and has already risen 39% so far this year. STI used to be one of the premiere regional banks and was known for being conservative. Prior to the financial crisis in 2008, the company overextended itself, and the bloated bank saw the worst of it during the recession. However, STI is cutting $300 million in costs and is located in the Southeast, an area that is seeing higher real estate prices and rising industrial production and employment. STI sells at a discount to book value, and Cramer thinks the stock is a bargain.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Dominos Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF), United Health (NYSE:UNH), Arch Coal (ACI)

The U.S stock market may be the most investible place on Earth. Cramer outlined other investment alternatives and concluded that stocks are still superior to real estate and bonds. Stocks that offer rich dividends provide the most advantages; Cramer pointed out the gain in Apple (AAPL) on news of its dividend, Dominos' (DPZ), dividend boost, Cliffs Natural Resources' (CLF) 123% dividend increase and JPMorgan's (NYSE:JPM) 20% hike in its yield.

Cramer took some calls

United Health (UNH) is an inexpensive stock

Arch Coal (ACI): Coal is still a troubled sector. Cramer advised an ACI shareholder to sell half right away and wait for a bounce to sell the rest of the position.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL), Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI), Omnicom (NYSE:OMC)

If "tech" means innovation, then Colgate Palmolive is a tech company. This maker of household products has been taking market share in the soft goods space and has managed to deal with rising input costs. CL has 44.3% market share in toothpaste and is developing a toothbrush powered by a battery and with a wrap around cleaner that will clean the cheek and tongue. The company has 9 consumer innovation centers where it researches inventive ideas. CL has developed a dishwashing liquid that can also be used on the sponge to get rid of all odor-creating residue. The company put through a 7% dividend boost and trades at a multiple of 16, 2 points lower than its historical level. Cramer thinks CL is a buy.

Pitney Bowes (PBI): Cramer questions the dividend and is worried about growth.

Omnicom (OMC) is a well-run company where things are getting better. "I want you to own it," said Cramer.

Who Is Right About Statoil (NYSE:STO)

Analysts have some disagreement about Statoil (STO); Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock from "neutral" to "buy," but Goldman Sachs downgraded STO to a "sell." Deutsche Bank had downgraded the stock in December because it seemed overvalued, and the upgrade was an acknowledgment that the previous downgrade was "premature." The company has considerable assets and expects to ramp up production in 2012 by 6-7%. Statoil is mainly an exploration and production company, and has little exposure to the highly competitive downstream business. Goldman Sachs, it turns out, downgraded STO as part of a process of ranking all of the European oils, and it happened to like STO least, because GS feels STO has run up too much. Since Goldman Sachs' downgrade was made purely based on STO's valuation, and not on earnings and catalysts, Cramer agrees with Deutsche Bank that STO is a "buy."


Jim Cramer was up 31% in 2009. Click here now to trade alongside him.

Get Cramer's Picks by email - it's free and takes only a few seconds to sign up.