The stock market's having a real hard time evaluating anything at all and putting a dollar amount on it, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday. Stocks are valued correctly and then incorrectly, then valued correctly and then valued incorrectly again -- all within the span of about two hours.
The important thing to remember is: Don't be so quick to question high-quality stocks, Cramer warned. Because the market's been having a hard time putting a dollar amount on news these days, most headlines are getting misinterpreted.
Take for example Micron Technology (MU) , a company's that's pledged to buy back 15% of its shares, which trade at a paltry five times earnings. Investors had all but given up on Micron, but now shares are soaring, up 2.5% today alone.
Shares of Nordstrom (JWN) were equally misinterpreted when the company reported a not-so-hot quarter. Shares plunged from $51 to $45 on the news, but Cramer said the company could be taken private at these low levels, making the plunge a buying opportunity. Cramer was similarly bullish on Kohl's Stores (KSS) , as that stock sank from $69 to $64 a share despite decent earnings.
Then there's Netflix (NFLX) , a company that's been drawing all sorts of comparisons to another media giant, Walt Disney (DIS) . Cramer said the comparison doesn't make any sense, as Disney is valued like an old-line media giant, while Netflix is valued as a tech stock.
So the next time you read a headline, think twice, Cramer concluded, because the market's initial reaction is most likely wrong.
Executive Decision: Intuit
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Brad Smith, president and CEO of Intuit (INTU) , makers of QuickBooks and TurboTax software. Intuit just reported a top and bottom line beat and raised its full-year guidance.
Smith said Intuit saw growth in every category, including 15% revenue growth in the consumer segment, 16% in small business and a whopping 15% in the consumer tax business, compared to their guidance of between 7% and 9%. With so many tax changes coming late in the year, Smith said consumers turned to TurboTax more than ever.
When asked about next year, when more people may be filing using a simpler, standard deduction, Smith replied that any simplification of the tax code gives more consumers the confidence to file themselves, which is a good thing for TurboTax. Nearly 90 million taxpayers still see a tax professional every year, Smith added, and that means there's plenty of market share to be had.
Cramer said simply that the stock of Intuit goes higher.
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Off the Tape: Indigo Agriculture
In his "Off The Tape" segment, Cramer sat down with David Perry, president and CEO of the privately-held Indigo Agriculture, a company looking to revolutionize the way food gets grown.
Perry explained that modern agriculture is actually built on decades-old technology that uses synthetic fertilizers and genetically altered seeds. Indigo is using a different approach, using naturally occurring microbes to enhance yields by 10% to 15%.
Perry added that plants and microbes have always had a symbiotic relationship, with each incentivized to help the other. Using Indigo's approach, they're just giving plants more of what they naturally need.
Indigo hopes to increase yields even further in the future and is also working to connect farmers with food companies so crops grown with Indigo technology can be kept separate from the masses and appropriately labeled for consumers.
What's Up With Lithium Stocks?
What the heck's been going on with the lithium stocks? Cramer took a closer look at FMC Corp (FMC) , one of the world's leading lithium providers, to find out.
FMC is actually two companies in one, Cramer reminded viewers. The company derives 85% of its revenue from agricultural chemicals, but 15% from lithium. Why does lithium matter? It's because lithium is a primary component in batteries, the kind used in laptop computers and, yes, electric vehicles. In fact, an EV requires 1,600 times as much lithium as a typical laptop battery.
After recommending FMC last year, shares were on a roll, as the company purchased assets from DuPont prior to its merger with Dow Chemical. But then earlier this year, Sociedad Quimica (SQM) announced it was ramping up production of lithium, right as analysts were forecasting lackluster growth for electric vehicles. Add trade tensions and tariffs, and shares of FMC began to slide.
But when the company last reported, FMC delivered a 24-cents-a-share earnings beat and raised their full-year guidance. Agriculture, it seems, is a lot stronger than many people realized.
Shares of FMC trade at just 13 times earnings and Cramer said with a 15% growth rate, FMC is a steal.
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that what goes up can, and often does, come down. That could be the case with inflation, which the Federal Reserve recently categorized as only temporary.
Cramer said there are a number of deflationary forces in the market. There's currently a glut of autos in our country, something President Trump aims to fix with new tariffs. But in the meantime, the glut is deflationary. Then there's oil, where OPEC is considering removing production caps to help ease prices. Also deflationary.
The recent spike in lumber prices could soon reverse course, Cramer added, after a pro-Canada ruling over lumber tariffs. Keep an eye on Weyerhaeuser (WY) for a read on that market. Then there's freight costs, which will likely come down as railroads add capacity, and even steel, where Nucor (NUE) is picking up the slack from imports that now cost a lot more.
Add all of these factors together and Cramer said the Fed was right to view this recent spat of inflation as only temporary. That explains why interest rates have been ticking lower, even though no one seems to be talking about it.
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