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(Story updated to add Cramer's Lightning Round picks, his take on a number of stocks in his homework segment and his concluding remarks.)
NEW YORK (
) -- If investors remember one thing about the stock market, it should be that 2012 is not like 2011.
That's what Jim Cramer told his
TV show viewers Friday, as he once again reminded them that we're in a stock picker's market. That's why his game plan for next week's trading is all about individual companies.
On Monday, Cramer said he's watching
Lions Gate Entertainment
to see how opening weekend goes for "The Hunger Games." He said anything less than $120 million in ticket sales and investors need to sell.
Then on Tuesday, it's
that will be reporting.
Cramer said Lennar needs to post a strong number, or all of the gains in the home-related stocks will be at risk. He was bullish on both spice-maker McCormick and apparel-maker PVH, but said he's a seller of Walgreens and would pick up some
. Cramer said expectations are high for Family Dollar and he would use any weakness in the group to buy
. He remained bullish on Paychex, a stock with a 4% yield, and cloud software purveyor Red Hat, which is up 25% for the year.
For Thursday, Cramer said it's all about
Research in Motion
( RIMM). Cramer is not a buyer of Best Buy and said using the April 25 call options would be a better play for investors looking to gamble on earnings. He had nothing good to say about Blackberry maker Research in Motion.
Finally on Friday,
reports. Cramer said with so much great news coming from the footwear segment, he'd be a buyer of Finish Line on any weakness.
For this segment, Cramer highlighted
, a stock he said has been on his radar for many, menu weeks.
Cramer explained that Cornerstone represents one of the most important lessons about speculative investing, waiting for the right time. He said while Cornerstone, an enterprise software provider for cloud-based human resource systems, has had terrific numbers for awhile, its stock was in a parabolic move higher and he couldn't recommend it. But with shares now 10% off their highs, now is the right time to consider the company.
Cramer likes Cornerstone for two reasons, first as a takeover target, and second as a stand-alone company. On the takeover side, he said that similar companies have been bought at levels that would value Cornerstone 15% higher than where it trades today.
The company is also the last independent player in its space, which also makes the company an attractive target for larger enterprise software players.
But Cramer said he never speculates on a takeover stock unless the fundamentals are also good, and in this case, they are. Cramer said that when looking into enterprise software companies, the metric to watch is deferred revenues, the deals the companies have signed up but haven't yet delivered on.
In this case, Cornerstone's deferred revenues look terrific, as do the company's current prospects, which included 119 new clients this past quarter.
Cramer said that with rival
also moving into the HR space, some investors have been getting nervous, but at this point that potential bad news has already been baked into the stock price. He said with Cornerstone doubling the size of its sales team, this is one company that's prepared to put up a fight.
In his "What The Heck" segment, Cramer explained why magazine publisher
has seen its shares rally 60% since last October, despite calls that print magazines are all but dead and buried.
Cramer said there are a few reasons for Meredith's perplexing rally. First, he said that Meredith is not a pure-play on magazines. The company derives about two-thirds of its revenues from magazines, with the remainder stemming from local TV stations and 13% from a fledgling digital, social and mobile component.
While magazines overall may be a floundering business, Cramer noted that Meredith has a great demographic targeted toward women and has actually been taking market share and increasing ad revenues. The local TV business is also a terrific place to be, he added, especially during an election year when ad revenues will likely skyrocket.
But Cramer said the real driver of Meredith's share price is not its business but the decision to reward its shareholders with a 50% dividend boost and meaningful stock buyback program. After announcing the boost, shares of Meredith paid nearly a 6% yield, making it a very attractive stock for many investors. The buyback will also boost shareholder returns making Meredith even more attractive.
So while at first glance, a magazine company heading higher might seem suspect, Cramer said in the case of Meredith, a solid company with a huge dividend made the move perfectly understandable.
Doing the Homework
In his "Homework" segment, Cramer opined on
( MAPP), a biotech company working with
in the treatment of migraines. Cramer said that Map is likely to be volatile and he still prefers Allergan.
Cramer was bullish on
, a retail lifestyle brand that trades at 17 times earnings with a 15% growth rate. He was bearish on
, a stock that's already run up 80% so far this year.
When asked about
, Cramer said he prefers
Cliffs Natural Resources
. Cramer was not a buyer of
Rounding up the emails, Cramer said he's a buyer of
, he likes
and investors looking for semiconductor names should consider
for safety or
, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, for growth.
Cramer was bullish on
Magnum Hunter Resources
International Business Machines
Cramer was bearish on
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer followed up on
Carrizo Oil & Gas
after Thursday's interview with the company's CEO.
Cramer reiterated that he thinks the stock is a buy at $30, especially given that the company's Eagle Ford assets alone are worth more than that figure. However Cramer said there are some caveats to owning Carrizo.
He said the net asset value research only applies if there is a takeover, and it could take investors a while to recognize the value without it. Cramer said there are also doubts that Carrizo has the cash it needs to transition from gas to oil as quickly as it wants.
That said, Cramer told viewers that the name of the game with Carrizo will be patience. Cramer was adamant that oil prices will remain high and that Carrizo can get to the goals it has set, but in the interim, the markets may disagree from time to time.
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Broadcom.
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