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NEW YORK (
) -- The markets are at a fulcrum moment, Jim Cramer cautioned his
TV show viewers Thursday, one where the market could swing 1,000 points up or down. The only problem, we just don't know which direction.
On one side of the lever are the U.S. markets, a market in recovery, one where earnings are rising, as
proved earlier today, and one where the frenzy over Facebook is reaching a fever pitch.
But on the other end of the lever remains Europe, a situation Cramer called "dangerous." He said that people in Greece, Italy and Spain are starting a run on the banks there, taking their money out of the system ahead of what they fear will be a switch from the euro to a currency of far less value. This is a totally rational decision, said Cramer, as Europe has a weak central bank and no U.S.-style TARP program to backstop its banks.
So with a market in flux, a market where investors can't know which way the lever will fall, Cramer said investors must stay diversified. They must also raise cash and they should seek the safety of domestic stocks with little to no exposure to Europe, preferably with dividend protection.
And when it comes to the Facebook IPO tomorrow, Cramer said the only strategy that makes sense is to buy into the IPO and immediately flip those shares as soon as they begin trading.
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again spoke with Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of
, the cloud computing giant that's up 32% for the year.
Benioff touted Salesforce's most recent quarterly results, noting that the company delivered 38% year-over-year revenue growth as well as a healthy increase in the company's cash flow. He said all of their markets were strong, including the ailing European and Japanese markets. "You don't get these kinds of results without all your markets participating," said Benioff.
When asked about how Salesforce stacks up against the competition, Benioff once again noted that business is looking for mobile, social and cloud, three areas on which Salesforce is focused. While other competitors, such as
, are growing slowly in back-office application software, Salesforce is taking the lead in the front office, helping businesses find customers and close deals.
Finally, when asked about the upcoming Facebook IPO, Benioff said that the world has never seen an application like Facebook, one with almost one billion users. He said the world has never seen the kind of growth that Facebook has had either.
Cramer said that investors looking to add growth to their portfolios need to take a close look at Salesforce.com.
Who is winning the donut war,
? Cramer performed his own stock market taste test to find out. On the surface, both of these purveyors of donuts and coffee may look the same, but under the frosting, there are significant differences.
Cramer said when looking at these companies, the two matrices that matter most are growth and execution. In the growth arena, it would look like Hortons, with its 4,000 locations, would have more room to grow than Dunkin with its 10,000 locations, but that's not the case, said Cramer. While Hortons has almost saturated its home country of Canada, Dunkin is only in 35 states, achieving full saturation in only New England. That's why Dunkin management projects it can triple its store count by 2020.
Turning to execution, Cramer said it's also a win for Dunkin, which most recently delivered a 2-cent-a-share earnings beat on higher-than-expected revenue. Hortons, on the other hand, missed estimates by 3 cents a share, citing higher costs. Given that Hortons is a mature company and Dunkin has delivered a 65% return since its IPO last year, Cramer said the win again goes to Dunkin.
Finally, Cramer considered price. Here again, Hortons looks better, trading at just 17 times earnings compared to Dunkin's 22 times earnings. But factoring in Dunkin's 16% growth rate with that of Horton's 12%, it's clear that when it comes to donut stocks, America really does "run on Dunkin."
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money "Lightning Round" Thursday evening:
: "Governments are cutting back. I don't want to own the stock."
Canadian Pacific Railway
: "I don't like the rails. They ship a lot of oil and coal, both of which are going lower."
: "It's a great franchise. I don't like to buy this stock after tax season, though."
: "Grainger is terrific. The fundamentals are good."
: "I think it's going lower. No one wants coal. I can't recommend a stock where the fundamentals are in decline."
Investors looking for a safe, consistent and recession-resistant investment need look no further than
, Cramer told viewers, as he highlighted the all-but-forgotten drug giant.
For years, drug makers like Lilly have been in decline as wave after wave of blockbuster drugs come off patent and go generic. But Cramer said this news is now well known by investors and in the last 30-days, Lilly has been able to eek out a 1.2% gain while the
fell by 6%.
What Lilly offers is safety, said Cramer. The stock has a 4.8% dividend yield, a healthy balance sheet and a host of new drugs in the pipeline to offer future growth. Lilly has been cutting costs to offset declining revenue and was even able to raise its full-year guidance, thanks to its superior management.
So why invest now? Cramer said that June will bring major conferences for both oncology and diabetes, two areas where Lilly is expected to update investors on its plethora of new drugs and treatments. Investors should consider going for Lilly before these conferences shed new light on this resurgent drug giant.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said that retail is a tough business. That's why it's harder than ever to make sense of the mystifying news coming out of the retail sector as of late.
Cramer said that after taking share from Wal-Mart for years,
seems to have stumbled while Wal-Mart posted its strongest upside surprise in recent memory.
Meanwhile, all hopes for a turn at
were dashed by horrible results, while
seems to be pulling out of its multi-year tailspin.
"Boy, have we ever seen a turn," Cramer concluded.
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no positions in stocks mentioned.
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