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Right now, as I see it, there are three gigantic battlegrounds out there, three stocks where the bulls and bears are so adamant that they take matters into their own hands every day:
. These stocks, all with incredibly high short positions, are expected either to skyrocket or to be crushed, and you almost have to have an opinion on them.
But I don't know if I can wager on them either way because the enfilading fire is just too thick and the bitterness too deep.
already reported, and to me, the bulls won that one. Of course, the growth here -- at 33% -- is perhaps too rapid to be sustainable, but an online diet and food-replacement business has a certain cache and growth and love. Come on, the
Dan Marino campaign has been brilliant at getting men to buy a product that was always perceived to be a woman's gig, so I would rather be long than short.
In classic battleground fashion, this stock shot up big before the bears could contain it by laying all over it and hitting it down, which is exactly what happened. This time it stayed down, but this is a powerful earnings machine.
Hansen has a similar multiple and a similar growth path. The energy-drink market is hot, like the market for Clearly Canadian was, like the market for wine coolers was and like the market for
was. Those were all stocks or companies in the business that I shorted because the barriers to entry seemed too low. I have a catalogue on my desk that has 120 types of energy drinks, and that market seems saturated, but Monster is still putting up huge numbers.
When it reports this next week, I expect a great number, but will it be great enough? Not clear. Last time it wasn't. But this time, it picked up a buy recommendation from Goldman Sachs, so you can bet there will be strong institutional support. The
analysts always want to get behind a new name, so Hansen's a gift for them.
Here's the problem: This is a company that got to almost a $3 billion market cap out of nowhere. It is extremely vulnerable to competition, and I wonder whether its tie-up with
is that good, given that Anheuser-Busch can't be on college campuses, the principal market for the stuff.
My take? This one's done. It can have another spurt to $34, where Goldman put it on the list -- or at least where you could buy it when they did -- and I think when it does the number, there will not be enough surprise to keep the ball in the air.
Crocs has the slowest growth of the three with the same multiple, so that's problematic. But when it reports, I think it will blow away the numbers, and the shorts, who are voluminous in the name, will have to endure even more pain as this has been a great-performing stock.
I think what the bears don't recognize is that Crocs has taken a real hold in colleges, and it has a line of shoes that may be less seasonal than the bears think. Is it a fad? Maybe, but in the interim, I see this one taking out old highs and advancing on a great number. But I also see the bears laying all over it when it reports.
You can bet that with all three of these, there will be so much noise that you can't think straight. You can bet that the bears simply can't afford to let up and they think they have time on their side.
Me? I believe that if you hate them or like them, use put and call options. Common is too dangerous; you only want to sell common against calls or buy common against puts and trade around the emotions. But betting the farm on these -- which is what people are doing -- makes no sense. Too much fire, too much artillery -- World War I battlegrounds, to say the least.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Goldman Sachs.
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