This stock market is enough to give you whiplash, Jim Cramer admitted to his Mad Money viewers Friday, after another wild day on Wall Street that saw the bears winning out by the close.
News out of Washington, D.C. continues to dominate the market, but Cramer said his game plan for next week still focuses on earnings.
The week starts on Monday with earnings from Paychex (PAYX) - Get Report and RedHat (RHT) - Get Report . Cramer said Paychex should have a good story to tell after this week's interest rate hike, but the expectations at RedHat have gotten too high, leading Cramer to advise trimming ahead of earnings.
Next, on Tuesday, it's earnings from spicemaker McCormick (MKC) - Get Report , Lululemon Athletica (LULU) - Get Report , RH (RH) - Get Report , formerly Restoration Hardware, along with an investor day for NVIDIA (NVDA) - Get Report . Cramer was bullish on all of these names.
Cramer was not a fan of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - Get Report , which reports on Wednesday, saying the company has been in its own personal bear market for months. He was more upbeat on apparel maker PVH (PVH) - Get Report , however, which will also be reporting.
Fear Can Create Opportunities
After a rough week on Wall Street, investors need to always remember that fear creates opportunities. One of those opportunities is in PVH, Cramer said, the apparel maker that saw its shares slide in February and get slammed again this week.
Cramer said he expects a strong quarter from PVH, news that will unleash this coiled spring of a stock. How can you know for sure that earnings will be strong? Cramer laid out the clues.
First is the company's track record. PVH has beaten earnings eight of the past eight quarters, with accelerating sales and estimate bumps to boot. Second, analysts have cited that sales are strong for PVH in China, one of its biggest markets.
This is commentary from the company itself. Management all but forecast a strong quarter when it last reported. That evidence is backed up by number four, other companies, including Kohl's (KSS) - Get Report , Macy's (M) - Get Report and Nike (NKE) - Get Report .
Fifth is the weakening U.S. dollar, which translates to higher earnings for a largely international company like PVH. And finally, is Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , a company PVH has been collaborating with since the holidays.
For all of these reasons, Cramer said PVH is a buy into any weakness.
Thanks to their cash-building efforts from earlier in the week, Cramer and the AAP team have put themselves in a position to look for buying opportunities. They're adding to their position in PayPal (PYPL) - Get Report and JP Morgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report . Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Know Your IPO
Cramer said he's a big fan of the Dropbox story. The company started in 2007 as an online storage play, but quickly transformed into a digital collaboration platform that's a must-have for businesses. Dropbox has grown from 200 million users in 2013 to over 500 million today and the product practically sells itself, with free accounts becoming paid accounts as users need more storage.
But while the company is red hot, what about the stock? Dropbox is not yet profitable and after today's run, shares trade at 8.5 times sales and 124 times earnings. That may sound high, but it's actually in line with our "cloud kings," Cramer noted and Dropbox has a similar growth rate to that of Adobe Systems (ADBE) - Get Report and RedHat.
Cramer said of course he'd love a pullback, but investors might not get one in this terrific stock.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says Micron (MU) - Get Report had a decline when it could have had an advance. Get more of Cramer's insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Not All IPOs Are Equal
Not all private equity-backed IPOs are created equal, Cramer cautioned viewers, and knowing the difference is key. Case in point: home security giant ADT (ADT) - Get Report , which came public again two months ago, compared with Burlington Stores (BURL) - Get Report , which returned as a public company nearly five years ago.
When ADT was taken private in 2016, it was not a loved company, Cramer explained, and when it emerged in January, less than two years later, it was even worse.
Shares of ADT have plummeted 31% since coming public, and for good reason. ADT is not profitable, it's debt doubled to $10.2 billion and the competitive landscape has only gotten tougher. The only thing private equity did for the company was merge it with others before sending it back out the door.
Burlington was the complete opposite. The company went private in 2006 and private equity took their time, bringing the company back in 2013, stronger than ever. Sales grew from $2.4 billion to over $4 billion, costs were down, debt was down and the chain was enjoying healthy store growth.
Turnarounds take time, Cramer concluded, so any time you see a deal with a quick return to the public market, run the other direction.
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer pondered whether President Trump has truly become a headwind to the markets, after being a huge tailwind for the past 13 months.
There's no denying that last year, the president did everything in his power to boost the markets, from deregulation to tax reforms. But now, the focus is on humbling China in what appears to be the most incoherent way possible.
After announcing tariffs, which were largely rolled back a week later, Trump then announced new tariffs, without a list of products they would actually apply to or a plan to actually enforce them. All this while firing top advisers and cabinet members.
Cramer said the uncertainty surrounding Trump is exactly what the market fears most, which is why all eyes will continue to be locked on Washington again next week.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in PYPL, JPM, NVDA, STZ, AMZN.