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"This is what the bottom looks like," Jim Cramer said Wednesday on his "Mad Money" TV show.
Cramer saw indicators of a market bottom Wednesday that have failed him only one time in his career: the market crash of Oct. 19, 1987. Cramer says we're not headed for a repeat, which means "the bottom is in ... this was a ... reversal day."
Cramer said the day started out as ugly an October day in the market as he's seen. The headlines about
earnings were negative even though the semiconductor maker's results were not that bad. The European markets were down big. Seasoned players were emailing Cramer with predictions of doom and gloom. The housing sector was being hit with downgrades. And, today was the 18th anniversary of Black Monday. But the market never does what everyone thinks it will do, said Cramer, and today was a day one had to buy stocks.
A caller asked if Wednesday marked a real bottom or just a bear market rally. Cramer said he believes Wednesday was the start of something bigger than just a bear market rally. But, he said, we'll only really know in hindsight. So, even if one is bearish, he believes higher prices are coming from which one could sell.
In response to a question about what caused the rally Wednesday, Cramer said it wasn't any particular data point. It was a function of real buyers coming into the market, he said, because prices had gotten too low. Pessimism had gotten too great.
Cramer has changed his tune on
contributor and TheStreet.com Internet Review author James Altucher brought the stock to his attention. Cramer had always dismissed VeriSign simply because the stock had been a poor performer at times in the past. But Cramer said that upon taking a closer look, VeriSign is "massively undervalued" and has a number of ways it can win.
First, VeriSign's core domain name business grew by 30% in the last year to 44 million names, up from 34 million names. Second, the company has been selling less-profitable divisions and making small, cheap acquisitions in niche markets where it has little competition. Third, the company has been buying back a lot of stock, which makes sense, said Cramer, because the stock is so cheap. Fourth, the company has massive amounts of free cash flow and has a billion dollars in cash on its balance sheet.
The one knock on the stock -- its acquisition of ring tone business Jamba --has already been discounted in the stock price. The business is effectively valued at $0, he said.
Wednesday after the close, VeriSign reported a "fine" quarter, but it was nothing special. Nevertheless, Cramer believes people will look through this latest reported quarter and believes VeriSign can ultimately go to $28 or $29. What's more, if Google reports good earnings Thursday night, that along with
good earnings report Tuesday, "there will be a frenzy, a stampede, to own anything 'Net, which is why I'm trying to get you in it before the stampede."
In response to a question about
( RSAS), stay away, Cramer said. The company is worst of breed, he said.
American Standard Bears Up
( ASD) CEO Fred Poses joined Cramer to talk about his company's third-quarter results reported Tuesday. Cramer asked Poses what happened in the kitchen and bath segment that contributed to the company's overall disappointing results.
"We had a tough quarter," said Poses. That said, "we had 9% organic growth, 15% EPS growth, 25% growth in free cash flow. But, at the end of the day, we didn't meet expectations."
Cramer said he isn't convinced the third quarter would necessarily be the last bad quarter for American Standard.
Poses said the kitchen and bath segment "probably cost us 9 to 10 cents a share."
"That's unbelievable," said Cramer, given that kitchen and bath had been so strong for such a long time, he said.
Poses said that while sales in the U.S. were good in terms of units, people were buying more lower-priced, less profitable products. Secondly, energy costs, materials costs, distribution costs and currency hurt the company, and he hasn't been able to pass on those costs to the consumer enough to offset the increases. Poses added that he didn't see those problems going away in the fourth quarter.
The consumer is in a "more difficult position than they've been in a while in the United States," said Poses.
Cramer summed up the interview saying that although Poses is a "bankable guy," Cramer needs to see another quarter before he can recommend the stock.
Long Live Tech
Reports of the death of tech are completely overblown, said Cramer, who has been combing through transcripts of tech earnings calls. He he sees strong demand for enterprise systems, Internet, cell phones, video games, big-screen TVs and iPods.
In enterprise technology, both
are doing well. It's not a story of one company taking market share from the other, he said.
The Internet is very strong as evidenced by Yahoo!'s strong results. Computer chips through the perspective of Intel may not look that great, but when you look at that market through the Intel and
Advanced Micro Devices
together, it doesn't look that bad.
Cell-phone demand as measured by
( MOT) earnings is strong. The "cell-phone market is hotter than I've ever seen," said Cramer. He would buy both Motorola and
, he said.
The video-game business is booming, said Cramer. He believes there will be Harry Potter-like hoopla for
Big big-screen TVs are doing OK, even though they probably shouldn't be, he said. He believes one can still make money in
And, speaking of
, "just try finding anything iPod," he said.
Cramer was bullish on
Florida Rock Industries
Martin Marietta Materials
Public Service Enterprise Group
Cal Dive International
Cramer was bearish on
Internet Initiative Japan
Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Halliburton, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Occidental Petroleum, Qualcomm and Yahoo!.
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. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
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