The stock market might be out of the doghouse, but the FAANG stocks are still hated by investors, Jim Cramer warned his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. Does that make them a buy? Cramer dove in to find out.
Cramer said he's still a fan of Apple (AAPL - Get Report) , now that the latest iPhones, iPad and Apple Watches have been announced. Shares of Apple trade at just 17.5 times earnings. He was also still a fan of Facebook (FB - Get Report) , which may be under fire from regulators and politicians, but it's still loved by users.
Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) is finding itself under scrutiny for antitrust violations, but at 22 times earnings, Cramer said these fears are likely overblown. When it comes to Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) however, things get murkier. It's hard to value Netflix in a world where everyone has their own streaming service.
Finally, there's Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) , which may be despised by the White House, but has been a huge deflationary force in our economy. Cramer remained bullish on Amazon as well. Cramer said you don't become a company as big as FAANG without doing something right, which is why they're all still buys, except for Netflix.
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Stocks That Should Be on Your Team
What do fantasy football and stocks have in common? Sometimes you can get a great player who's in a slump for a real bargain. That was Cramer's take on Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) , after listening to the company's recent comments. He said Starbucks' operating growth rate remains intact and the stock is a steal at current levels.
Cramer was also bullish on VMware (VMW - Get Report) after speaking to the company earlier this week. Shares of VMware are up 6% in just the past week. Also on Cramer's hot list, cloud analytics provider Splunk (SPLK - Get Report) , commerce platform Shopify (SHOP - Get Report) and Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG - Get Report) , all of which trade for far less than they're worth.
Interest in Pinterest
The market rotation has created a lot of great buying opportunities, Cramer told viewers, opportunities like Pinterest (PINS) , which reported terrific earnings, but has since seen its shares erase all of their post-earnings gains.
Pinterest bills itself as a visual discovery engine, and is spending money to grow its place in the social media world as a friendly, personal space to share and discover. But at the same time, revenue per use is increasing, with the company last posting 88 cents per user, well ahead of analyst estimates of just 80 cents per user.
Cramer said Pinterest has a lot to like. The company has no hype surrounding it, as Snap (SNAP - Get Report) did when it came public. Pinterest is very non-promotional. It's also growing its user base at a time that many other platforms have plateaued. Pinterest also offers advertisers a lot of value, as Pinterest users are already looking for new ideas and products. Finally, Cramer said, Pinterest is just a nice place to be, without the nastiness and controversies of all other social platforms.
For all of these reasons, Cramer said Pinterest is a buy, and he'd be a buyer on any weakness and would buy even more when the insider lockup period expires next month.
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Retail Remains Risky
A lot of down-and-out retailers have been able to stage a comeback lately, but Cramer urged viewers not to be misled. When it comes to retail, it's still a very dangerous place to be.
Just this year, we've seen a host of retail bankruptcies, including Gymboree, Diesel, Payless Shoes, and Barney's New York. Still others, like J. Crew and Neiman Marcus, hang in the balance. What's the common thread? Cramer said they all have recent private equity backed IPOs that have saddled them to too much debt. It's hard to revitalize your online operations and stay competitive when you're saddled with debt.
Cramer cautioned against two other floundering retailers, Michaels (MIK - Get Report) , the arts and crafts retailer, and Party City (PRTY - Get Report) . In particular, he advised using the recent strength in Micheals to sell, as the bounce is likely just a short squeeze.
A Broken Stock, or a Broken Company?
It's important to know the difference between a broken stock and a broken company, Cramer told viewers. A broken stock can be fixed, but a broken company can be hazardous to your portfolio. Back on Aug. 1, shares of payment processor Square (SQ - Get Report) traded for $83. Just days later, they crashed to $59 a share. Is the plunge a buying opportunity or a warning sign?
Cramer said Square is in a great business. Payment processing is only gaining in popularity as every merchant goes digital, and Square has the added benefit of Square Capital, where it uses what it knows about merchants to make loans that no other lender can make.
So what's driving the stock's recent fall from grace with investors? Cramer said Wall Street appears to be fed up with the company's weak commentary and guidance after every earnings report, no matter how good that report may be. It's also taking issue with CEO Jack Dorsey's seemingly part-time status as he runs both Square and Twitter (TWTR - Get Report) .
But after a pair of recent upgrades from smart analysts, Cramer said he's siding with the bulls when it comes to Square. The company has a 46% long-term growth rate, which justifies its share price of 8.3 times sales. The company has a lot of growth ahead and when it comes to payments, size and execution matters and Square continues to deliver.
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