People are always asking me what I listen for in a conference call. I look for four things: confidence, confidence, confidence and number guidance upward. Confidence is also important.
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Message Boards. And, in case you missed the point of the last paragraph, I am trying to spot management confidence in the future.
That's why during the
conference call, I was having trouble containing myself. These were guys who got smoked by
, who sold them some overvalued stuff in the form of
. The chainsaw man, of course, turned out to have nerves of Stihl -- and brains of a hacksaw. Not to mention what I guess you have to -- in a world full of lawyers -- call an honesty problem.
They had been shaky and getting their butt kicked by
. They had lost their pride and their momentum.
This call sounds like the old Kimberly, the one that ruled in the '80s, the one that made it my biggest go-to name as a broker at
Share gains, margin expansion, turn in Europe, desire to buy back shares -- these are confidence-makers. They hit 'em all. They slammed this one into the Monuments of the tissue/diaper park.
Oh, and as far as I can tell,
will work just as well on Jan. 1, 2000, as on Dec. 31, 1999.
(Note: I am long the stock. I think it goes to the mid-60s. At those prices, I will scale out of some, because that is what I do. In the interim, I hope the
jokers sell the market down so I can buy more.)
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Kimberly-Clark and Goldman Sachs. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at