Cramer said for investors who are bullish on the American consumer, Lithia is the perfect speculative stock. Lithia is domestic and it's in a fragmented market with tons of room to grow.
In its most recent quarter, Lithia increased its same-store sales by a stellar 22%, with new car sales growing by 25%. Compare that to the next closest competitor, Sonic Automotive (SAH), which only grew by 12.1%. In addition to sales, Lithia has great margins and is taking market share from its rivals.
Cramer said Lithia clearly knows what works and offers not only sales, but service, financing and insurance, three services with high margins and steady income streams. Service alone accounts for 32% of Lithia's profits.
Despite beating Wall Street expectations by 18 cents a share, Lithia remains the cheapest of all the auto dealership stocks, said Cramer.But as great as Lithia may be, Cramer said he still cannot recommend the stock given the weak unemployment data received today. Consumers stopped buying cars before, he said, and they may stop again. For investors who are bullish on American growth however, Lithia "may be the stock for you."
Circling the WagonsIn a terrible market, it pays to circle the wagons around recession-resistant company you can count on, Cramer said. Investors can't just invest for today, they must invest in the bargains that are being created, the stocks with high yields that will snap back quickly. That's why Cramer recommended Johnson & Johnson, a once-hated company that now sports a new CEO and a 4% dividend yield. Cramer said that J&J is now a potential breakup story as the company is actually three businesses in one. According to a recent research report, J&J could split itself into a pharmaceutical company, a consumer products company and a medical devices company, thus unlocking $76 a share worth of value, a 23% premium from today prices. Breakups in health care work, Cramer reminded viewers, as evidenced by Abbott Labs (ABT), another Action Alerts PLUS holding, as well as Pfizer (PFE) and Covidian (COV). But even without a breakup, Cramer said he's a believer in new CEO Alex Gorsky. He said a fresh set of eyes can do wonders at a company and Gorsky, a long-time J&J employee, will know his way around. Unlike other drug makers, Johnson & Johnson is largely past its wave of patent expirations, said Cramer, and the company has a slew of new drugs set to power future growth.
Check Out Our Best Services for Investors
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Model portfolio
- Stocks trading below $10
- Intraday trade alerts