This is the third part of Jim Cramer's series of predictions for the Dow components in 2009. Be sure to read the first and second parts.
: I believe GM will disappear from the Dow in 2009, a historic change. GM could, like
, become a zombie stock, if the common stock isn't crushed in 2009 by bankruptcy. The GMAC deal is a windfall for the company, though, and a "soldier on" situation could be in the works.
The best hope here is a
investment where the common stock is bolstered, but the union situation makes it highly unlikely that the company's fortunes can turn. This one's problematic for my whole Dow Jones projections because I believe its near or total obliteration will allow the Dow keepers to replace it with something that can rally in 2009. Cost-cutting just won't make it; there is way too much overcapacity in this industry.
Fortunately, given its reduced size, GM's disappearance won't hurt the averages much. If you really like this one, please play the GM Senior Convertible Debentures C (GPM), which is a convertible preferred with a high yield.
: This one's a keeper, as it will be able to grow with its acquisition of
, which will provide a way to expand into services, something very important for every hardware company. I also see CEO Mark Hurd cutting costs and beating analysts' bottom-line estimates.
I believe the stock can trade to $44 on cost cuts and expansion through consulting and services. Sure, it needs a strong economy to really power forward, but it can take share from everyone from
, and I believe it will. This is an inexpensive tech growth stock and will be among the best ones to own in 2009. It just needs to weather the potential loss of GM business if GM goes into oblivion, something that crimps the EDS-related earnings power.
: The housing turn truly helps this business, but once again, the turn in the stock's fortunes at year-end borrowed from what I see happening as housing bottoms in 2009. The dividend is safe and the company is better managed, but the more exciting and stable play -- hard to find both under one roof -- will be
One of the wild cards here is the precarious nature of
, which although it has a good balance sheet will most likely have to retrench in 2009. I believe Home Depot can finish at $26, eking out a decent gain for the year. But with the incredible slashing in mortgage rates in the last 48 hours, this prediction could be way too conservative -- this one could exceed my target by as much as 4 or 5 points. If this company hadn't done that ridiculous self-tender, I could see it at $35 when the housing environment gets better. It's a decent play on housing's recovery, but I prefer buying
Black & Decker
as more direct beneficiaries that are much cheaper and better-managed.
: A fat dividend -- and a safe one -- puts a floor on the highest-quality semiconductor stock in the universe. But a difficult PC market limits the upside, and I expect inventories to be heavy after poor sales at the beginning of the year.
Rangebound because of the PC market's weakness, the company's stock will have a hard time being propelled past $15 a share, a disappointing equity that doesn't go lower because of the dividend. Intel's just one of many problematic tech stocks because it "seems cheap," has no growth and is paying you to wait until it finds some. I would skip it in favor of HPQ.
: This one's going to run into the brick wall of Hewlett-Packard. With no real dividend protection and slowing computer sales worldwide, this company's stock could be rangebound, with the upper end -- $92 -- the final resting stop. It came out strong from the gate in 2009, yet the first quarter and the second will be disappointing. It will keep buying back stock, though.
I would buy it buy it at any dip below $82 to $83 and sell it as it rallies to par. Again, given the small percentage gain to $92 from here, HPQ remains a better investment.
Johnson & Johnson
: This is Johnson & Johnson's year. The drug stocks have been knocked down by worries about President-elect Obama, worries that will prove as unfounded as they were when President Clinton took over in 1992. This one, with its recession-proof business, could rally nicely this year, and it would not be surprising to see it back to near its old highs. Added bonus: I believe the dollar will get hurt in 2009 by a huge selloff of U.S. bonds by the Chinese and the cutting of interest rates around the globe to our low percentages.
You want to be in on this one for 2009: $71 might be in store for an equity that remains loved by Warren Buffett. I like that Johnson & Johnson made a couple of acquisitions in 2008 to take advantage of reduced prices of many companies that are short on cash or will run out soon. I suspect it will do more of that to bolster earnings in 2009.
Of all the companies I follow,
J&J took advantage of the market's collapse to solidify earnings growth with some nifty acquisitions. What a smart and beloved company that has spent its time in purgatory. It will not see the mid-$50s again, in my view, and should be bought aggressively right here.
: You have to see it to believe it --
Doug's No. 1 surprise for 2009 is a fact already.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Black & Decker, Wells Fargo, Hewlett-Packard and Johnson & Johnson.
Be sure to check back all week for the rest of Jim Cramer's 2009 predictions for the Dow components.
Jim Cramer is co-founder and chairman 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
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