Jim Cramer's Mad Money In-Depth Stock Picks 08/03

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed in the in-depth session of Jim Cramer’s Mad Money TV program, Thursday August 3. Click on a stock ticker for more analysis:

BuyBacks 101: Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), Coke (NYSE:KO), United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)

Cramer likes a good buyback, but not all buybacks are created equal. He praises PEP, KO and UTX for purchasing their own shares, and notes that WFC and BAC buyback strategies tell the investor that the stock is underpriced and that the company feels confident. Cramer outlines the differences between good and bad buybacks.

Bad Buybacks: Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), Energizer (NYSE:ENR), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Performance Food Group (NYSE:PFGC) and Yahoo! (YHOO)

Companies should consider buying back stock only if they have a strong balance sheet and a generous cash flow, says Cramer who criticizes TWX for undertaking "borrowed" buybacks; "Taking debt to buy back stock is insane and holds no purpose." The "Botox Buyback" is designed to make the company's earnings and growth look better, and Cramer notes that ENR and IBM use this strategy. PFCG is a perpetrator of the "schizophrenic" buyback, since they are purchasing stocks which should be going down. Finally, Cramer says that Yahoo! 's buyback scheme is "impotent," since it will have no significant results.

Good Buybacks: O.M.I.'s (OMM), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR), Medicis (MRX) and Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN)

Cramer likes "value" buybacks, which are good for companies, such as OMM, when their worth is lower than net value. J.C.Penney undertook a "nobody believes in us" buyback, because they reported stellar same-store sales numbers but were trading at a low multiple; "Analysts think J.C. Penney is the place you want to go when you want to buy good Venetian blinds; they don't shop there," Cramer said, "But the rest of America does." IR's and MRX's strategy is an example of the "afraid of being taken over" buyback, and Cramer notes that IR has been taken down with the rest of the cyclicals, but has reported a great quarter. Cramer cites Devon's buyback as "aggressive," since it purchased 10% of its shares because it thought oil and gas was too low and has reported great earnings this week.

Do Your Homework: United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR)

Cramer says that investors need to look beyond the numbers and really do their homework by listening to conference calls and reading company reports. "If you don't, you're practically begging to lose money, and if you're looking to do that, just go to Vegas, don't buy stocks." Cramer says that anyone who investigated UTHR would have avoided them, although their numbers looked good; the stock closed down 11.7% on Wednesday. Second to doing homework is paying attention to a good analyst, such as American Tech's Rob Sanderson, but since they are hard to find, doing research is the best policy.

Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) Chairman and CEO, Michael Critelli

Cramer asked Michael Critelli about the rumor that the company missed estimates by a penny, and he responded that they actually exceed them by a penny. Critelli expects 4% to 6% in organic growth, and an 8%-10% EPS improvement in the range of businesses in which the company is and will be involved. Cramer comments on the vast amount of mail being sent worldwide, especially through internet companies such as eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and touts PBI as a conservative, long-term investment.

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