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With American consumers strapped for cash, investors need to look at companies that are tapping into international markets, Jim Cramer told viewers on his "Mad Money" TV show Monday. Companies that think they need the American consumer should worry, Cramer said.
in the dust. Whereas Circuit City blamed recent poor performance on the weak American consumer, Best Buy is focused on an international customer base.
Companies should recognize that the U.S. is no longer a growth nation, Cramer said. Amidst complaints about the weak dollar, Best Buy recognizes that selling to Canadian consumers now translates to more profits back home.
With a huge international growth rate -- foreign sales were up 50% last year -- Best Buy is showing vision in the face of a U.S. economy that has trouble growing. By expanding into China and Mexico, Best Buy is providing for more success as these countries begin to spend more money.
Meanwhile, Circuit City's international business is shrinking. The company eliminated its most expensive sales associates, who Cramer pointed out are also the helpful ones. By eliminating helpful staff instead of searching for new revenues, "Circuit City is shrinking itself out of business."
Like Best Buy,
Carnival Cruise Lines
is outperforming competitors by seeking customers where the economy is exciting.
Cruise companies will win or lose based on their ability to transfer their services to a richer Europe. With 30% of its sales coming from outside America and with the largest cruise fleet in Europe, Carnival Cruise recognizes the need for an international presence.
Moreover, Europe's cruise passenger count increases 10% annually, whereas America's rate of passenger increase is closer to 5% per year, Cramer said. Carnival Cruise has taken notice, projecting that 40% of its fleet should be European by 2010. Its closest competitor,
, only devotes 10% of its fleet to Europe.
"Carnival is making Royal Carribean looking like the S. S. Minnow," Cramer said.
Horsemen Will Ride Again Postpullback
Investors should change their strategy to prepare for a market downturn, Cramer said.
"I wish I could come out here and be completely bullish," he said. But, he said, after two good weeks of good performance, the market is due for a sizeable decline, of 1% to 2%.
Because of the pullback, Cramer advised viewers against buying stock right now. Investors are "going to get better prices" in upcoming weeks, and good things will come to those who wait, he said.
Many other sectors of the market are hurting right now, so Cramer turned viewers' attention to his four horsemen of tech:
Research In Motion
( RIMM) and
. Cramer's four horsemen are up 31% since he grouped them together in June 2007.
One of the principle advantages of the horsemen is that they have pricing power, meaning they can raise prices at will. Although these stocks have performed well, whatever their price now, investors are going to get a better price after the pullback, Cramer said.
Cramer cited huge iPhone sales and the exciting iPod redesign as well as a decline in Apple's raw costs as reasons that Apple should hit $175 after the pullback. He characterized Apple as "undervalued."
Up 17% since Cramer assembled the four horsemen, Research In Motion is another candidate for a buy after the pullback. Cramer advised viewers to take some profits off the table but to look forward to the market's resurgence, because Research In Motion is "mopping the floor with
( PALM) Treo." Research in Motion is on its way to the $120 mark, Cramer said.
The same factors that are hurting the rest of the market actually help Amazon. Faced with high gas prices, consumers will turn to Amazon's free shipping. The stock is up 27% since June, and Cramer expects it to reach $120.
Google is up nearly 9.5% since June. With overhiring expenses now under control, Google is due to rise. Cramer expects Google to reach $650.
The four horsemen have performed so well as the rest of the market has suffered that they're overvalued now. Wait for the pullback, Cramer told viewers, and then the four horsemen will be worth buying.
AirGas Chairman and CEO
Chairman and CEO Peter McCausland to the show. Cramer asked about Airgas' strategy for making acquisitions. McCausland replied that acquisitions are a core competency at Airgas and that the company works very hard at integration preparation.
When Cramer asked about Airgas' projected growth figures, McCausland pointed out the company's assumption that it will acquire $100 million to $150 million in sales per year and will see an increase in nontech industrial production of 2% to 2.5%.
In closing, Cramer mentioned that
was hurt in the market downturn. Cramer reminded viewers that consumer companies are hurt first and that other sectors should follow.
Cramer was bullish on
Cramer was bearish on
XM Satellite Radio
China Finance Online
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Caterpillar.
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