Many of these stocks are still trading far cheaper than they did just a few years ago. He noted that First Horizon used to trade for $39 a share but now sells for under $11, while Huntington used to trade at $29 and now is under $7. That's very cheap by historical standards, and why today's selloff had little effect.
But more important than their cheap valuations is how banks make money. Cramer said banks will pay you 0.81% on a five-year CD but will, in turn, invest that money in a five-year Treasury yielding 1.38%. That might not seem like a big spread, he said, but it's more than banks have seen in a very long time and Treasuries will certainly see rates rise faster than the banks will raise their CD rates going forward.
Institutional investors in bank stocks only care about one thing: net interest margin. Now that rates are on the rise, these investors will be returning to the regionals, which is why individual investors should be as well, Cramer said.
It's the end of another quarter on Wall Street, Cramer reminded viewers, and that means it's time for hedge funds and money managers to pile into this quarter's big winners to make themselves look a little better on paper. It's called "marking up," Cramer explained, and it works like clockwork. That's why he reviewed this quarter's biggest winners to see whether they're still worth buying.Leading the pack was First Solar (FSLR), which rose 56% this quarter, thanks to its best-of-breed technology and a slowdown in Chinese dumping. Cramer said he missed the move in this stock and he's not a buyer. Next on the list was Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), up 52% for the quarter. Cramer said this company should have a strong second half thanks to the Playstation 4 and new Xbox. He gave it his blessing to buy. Similarly, GameStop (GME) is up 46% for the quarter, for many of the same reasons. Cramer said he'd be a buyer of this stock only on weakness.