Cramer's Mad Money - Visa Versus Mastercard (12/5/11)

Includes: AB, BRK.B, CY, FLR, MA, SPWR, V
by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Monday December 5.

Visa (NYSE:V) versus Mastercard (NYSE:MA). Other stocks mentioned: Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B), AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB)

Cramer was asked on Twitter about whether he prefers Visa (V) or Mastercard (MA). At first glance, it seems like a toss-up, since both are flirting with their 52 week high, have no credit risk, since they don't lend money and are plays on the long-term theme of the transition from paper money to plastic. The companies make money on their dollar volume and transactions and have strong balance sheets to show for the growth of this trend. Cramer prefers Mastercard (MA), because it has more room to expand and has more international exposure. Mastercard can continue to gain market share, and on the margin front, it has risen 150 basis points from last year. He would buy MA on weakness.

Cramer took some calls:

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) is still a buy, and is well off its high; "Warren Buffett is the greatest investor of our time. He is the real deal."

AllianceBernstein (AB) is an asset management stock, and Cramer tends not to like these stocks because it is hard to know what they own. He is concerned the 7% yield might be a red flag, but said he would look into the company before making bullish or bearish conclusions on it.

CEO T.J. Rodgers, Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY). Other stock mentioned: Sunpower (NASDAQ:SPWR)

Cypress Semiconductor (CY) makes programmable systems on chips that power touch screens on mobile devices. The company reported a good quarter in October, but management was cautious. However, some positive developments, including a system that will revolutionize the way chips are connected in a device, may create upside for the stock. While chips are becoming more sophisticated, the way they are connected is still outdated. Cypress creates micro printed circuit boards at a lower price than the competition, and the business is growing 15% per year. CEO T.J. Rodgers discussed developing a new company that creates these circuit boards and spinning it off, the way it did with Sunpower (SPWR). "He's done it before," said Cramer. "The analysts were not so excited (about this new business) but they are wrong."

Fluor (NYSE:FLR)

Oil is the one commodity that has held up while others have fallen. Crude refuses to dip and Cramer commented, "We have to prepare ourselves for the era of permanently high oil." One way to play this trend is with leading industrial Fluor (FLR) which has more exposure to oil and gas than the competition. While the stock is down 17% for the year, the company's backlog has risen a record 26% over last year, 3.7% since the last quarter. Backlog is the main measure of success for an industrial stock, and Fluor's competitors have announced declining backlog. The stock price is not reflecting the company's success, and it is trading at a multiple of 14, while its historical multiple is about 19. Fluor is a depressed stock with plenty of room to run.


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.