Editor's Note: This originally ran on RealMoney on Jan. 12. Cramer holds Comcast in his Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.
We tend to view businesses as doing everything to please Wall Street. But some companies do things to please
is one of those companies. That's the reason I like its stock so much here.
I know you're probably thinking, "What kind of false dichotomy is that? Bad enough that Cramer tries to split the difference between the company itself and the stock. Now it's the shareholder base vs. Wall Street?"
But think about Comcast. Everyone wanted it to rush headlong into voice over Internet protocol. Wall Street was outraged that Comcast didn't seem to want to get down and dirty. There are all of these phone companies saying they are going to move into fiber to the premises aggressively to compete with Comcast. They are calling anyone who will listen and saying that they are going to be the winner in telecom and entertainment.
Comcast, however, bided its time. It waited. It refused to get involved.
Until it was sure that it helped shareholders. Until it was
to do so. Now it is. Prudential's Katherine Styponias wrote on
Comcast's launch of cable modem-based calling, "The economics behind voice are compelling. We estimate that the capital requirements for adding a voice subscriber to the cable platform are approximately $275 all-in. This includes the cable modem, battery back-up, switch costs and installation. This is roughly half the cost of adding a voice subscriber to a traditional circuit-switched architecture."
Half the cost. In other words, the technology has now come down enough in price that it is a good business to get into.
So many companies say stuff that they know will juice their stocks and get analysts excited. My experience with Comcast is that it tries to figure out what works. When something works, Comcast will do it. And until it does that something, Comcast doesn't talk about it. That's remarkable restraint, very different from the average company, which is so desperate to please the analysts.
That's the reason I think the long-term view of Comcast is so rosy, even as the analysts have become somewhat contemptuous of the Comcast management for its failure to boost and please.
As a shareholder, I like Comcast's approach. It makes a decision based on economics, not on what Wall Street wants to hear. If only more companies would go that route, the route of long-term greed, 'cause the route of short-term greed is just abominable.
P.S. One of the keys to successful investing is a smart portfolio strategy. So you might want to consider a
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Comcast.
James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made.
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