Editor's note: This column is an update of a portion of the "Mad Money" episode that aired June 12. Click here to read the full Mad Money Recap for that episode.
In a market like this, everybody's looking for one thing: a big, fat bottom. ... I can spot a hot bottom from a mile away.
This market has been like Clubber Lang -- that's Mr. T in the third
movie -- it predicts pain. But if you find a nice, soft, yet still solid bottom, you can rest easy at night. If you can know you're in position to make money, you can avoid the pain that the rest of the market is taking.
I'm gonna show you what a bottom looks like, and then I'll give you the hottest bottom out there, a stock that's just will not go down any further -- a stock that reported the worst quarter I've seen all year, and barely took a hit.
The idea of a bottom is pretty self-explanatory -- it's the lowest a stock will go. It's the inflection point where something stops going down and starts rising back up. You know a stock has hit bottom when bad news no longer knocks it down.
a bad earnings report can really hurt a stock, it hasn't bottomed -- that's where the proof is. So where's our bottom?
There are a lot of people out there, people who're misinformed; they think that we're about to see a bottom in tech. I said misinformed because I'm a statesman. People are looking for a bottom in
, but Intel trades at 18 times earnings -- way too expensive for a bottom. They want a bottom in
but that's at 17 times earnings -- too high. There are people buying
thinking they've got a bottom at 18 times earnings -- Wrong! And don't even get me started on
trading at 100 times earnings.
I'm talking about price-to-earnings multiples here -- and just to get everybody on the bandwagon, let me explain for the newcomers. Your multiple is the real way you value a stock. It's the share price divided by the earnings; it's how many times greater than the earnings the stock is valued. We want to look for stocks with very, very low multiples when we're spotting bottoms. These are stocks in which investors just really are not valuing the earnings at all, they're stocks that are running out of room to go down.
Last week we got a bottom in THX -- that's
, an oil company. It was trading at 48 bucks, on $5 per share of earnings. That gave it a multiple a little bigger than 9 times earnings. THX grows at about 9% per year; that made this stock cheap. The industry multiple, what the rest of the independent oil companies trade at, is 18 times earnings.
That stock was not going any lower. You know why? Because there were no sellers left. Everybody in the stock knew it was too cheap. And then, here's the great part, along come the private equity guys with an offer to buy the company and take it private.
But that bottom's in the past -- I wish I'd called it, but I didn't. Instead, I've got another J Lo-style bottom that could make you a lot of money too --
. This company is a high-end homebuilder for retiring baby boomers, basically. You know in three or four years it'll be dynamite. You know as soon as we get through the
teeth and rates stop going up, it'll be a fantastic stock to own.
The stock right now trades at 4 times earnings. The only people left in it are either comatose for seven years like Steven Segal in
Hard To Kill
, or value players who know the stock is too cheap. Now, the value funds don't need to make money every quarter. They don't need to show their clients that they're in momentum names. They know WCI is way too cheap here, and they're just not gonna sell until it goes higher.
So how do I know this baby got back? WCI just reported what I honestly believe was the worst quarter I've seen all year long. Just the worst. It should've been down like 5 points with those awful numbers it released. But honestly, it was down next to nothing, given how bad that quarter was. That's the definition of a bottom. Sooner or later, either this stock comes back up -- because you know the market for expensive boomer housing will be great in a few years, and you know the homebuilders will recover when the rate hikes stop -- or, even better, some private equity firm will buy WCI at a big, big premium and make you a lot of money because the firm knows that this thing is just too cheap.
Plus, the company keeps buying stock, to add a little cushion to its already callipygian bottom. It bought 2 million shares back on the way down. The guys running WCI just won't let it go much lower. This is what a bottom looks like, and if you want a stock that might take a while to get moving, but will really make you money over the long haul, then the bottom line is that WCI Communities, WCI, is the place to be.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Microsoft.
Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
Action Alerts PLUS. Listen to Cramer's RealMoney Radio show on your computer; just click
here. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" at 6 p.m. ET weeknights on CNBC. Click
here to order Cramer's latest book, "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click
here to get his second book, "You Got Screwed!" and click
here to order Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by
TheStreet.com has a revenue-sharing relationship with Traders' Library under which it receives a portion of the revenue from Traders' Library purchases by customers directed there from TheStreet.com.