Cramer's Mad Money - 6 Value Traps To Avoid (5/24/12)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday, May 24.

Sell Block: Best Buy (NASDAQ:BBBY), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Mako Surgical (NASDAQ:MAKO), Deckers (NASDAQ:DECK), Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP)

Cramer discussed 6 value traps to avoid:

Best Buy (BBBY) sells at only 5 times next year's earnings and has come down 13%. The company has been upgraded, but its latest quarter told a sorry tale; same store sales declined by 5.3% and margins were low. Cramer, who had recommended the stock prior to the quarter, says this new data is reason enough to stay away.

First Solar (FSLR) is in a tough industry which is suffering from cuts in government subsidies, particularly in Europe. Some investors are attracted to the stock because it is cheap, but it is cheap for good reason. The company reported a "hideous" earnings miss, and the stock should not be bought.

Mako Surgical (MAKO) reported a surprising earnings miss, and the stock was cut in half. Cramer thinks the company will continue to stumble.

Deckers (DECK) is a former Mad Money favorite that has reported weakness in Uggs sales. Cramer needs to see at least two good quarters from the company before recommending it again.

J.C. Penney (JCP) is in the penalty box until CEO Ron Johnson shows he can execute.

Fossil (FOSL) was hammered on weakness in Europe. It is not worth going bottom fishing for Fossil.

What J.C. Penney Can Learn From Chico's (NYSE:CHS)

Chico's (CHS) might provide a ray of hope for J.C. Penney. The latter has a new CEO, Ron Johnson, who made the mistake of taking sudden and radical steps to reinvent the company. Johnson did away with promotions that JCP shoppers were used to and instituted a policy of "Every day low prices." Customers left the stores, and JCP consequently reported a poor quarter. Chico's has revamped its stores, but not through alienating its 30 something demographic to go for "cooler" styles. CHS cut costs, closed underperforming stores and only gradually upgraded its merchandise. CHS' stock price has increased from $3 to $15 in just 3 years by taking the slow and steady approach. JCP should learn from CHS that a comeback in a retailer should be done in stages, and not by driving away the core consumers.

B&G Foods (NYSE:BGS)

With problems in Europe, investors are looking for defensive stocks that are not levered to Europe. B&G Foods (BGS) is a good choice, with solid brands and a 4.8% yield. The company's stock was up 83% in 2011, and performs well in tough economic environments. BGS takes unloved, neglected brands, buys them at bargain prices, and revamps them. The company has grown sales by 6% and earnings per share at 21%. The fall in commodity costs should provide a boost to gross margins. While BGS' competitors had to raise prices significantly, BGS' prices increased only 1.5%, a modest amount that its customers barely seemed to notice.


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