Americans gotta have their bling, and if you can't afford a diamond, you'll buy something from Charles & Colvard ( CTHR), Jim Cramer said Thursday on "Mad Money." Charles & Colvard's synthetic moissanite jewels cost one-tenth the price of a diamond but are "more brilliant and more lustrous than diamonds," he said. Moissanite jewelry is carried at more than 700 J.C. Penney ( JCP) stores, said Cramer, and it is being tested at Zale ( ZLC) stores and Helzberg, owned by Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A). Cramer doesn't believe moissanite will penetrate the high-end diamond market, which is in an "unbelievable bull market." He would recommend Anglo American ( AAUK), which owns 40% of De Beers, as the best play on real diamonds. But Cramer said high-end and low-end jewelry market can work at the same time as we become a class society, and because "at least in the medium term, America is not going to have a strong economy." Charles & Colvard has posted triple-digit growth since the third quarter of 2004. For 2005, earnings are expected to be up 274%, Cramer said. "This is the right kind of company with the right kind of product and the right kind of stock," he said. In response to a question about the high short position in Charles & Colvard, Cramer said the stock "feels a little Hansen ( HANS)-like" in that shorts "don't believe it can get better." In response to a question about Tiffany ( TIF), Cramer said he believes Tiffany might be ready to bounce back, and he is "upgrading Tiffany right here, right now."
Water, Water, Isn't EverywhereA natural resource even more scarce and precious than diamonds is water, said Cramer. That may seem counterintuitive, since 70% of the earth's surface is covered by water. But it costs money to make fresh water potable, and desalinization has yet to become economical on a large scale.
Pick of the WeekCramer's "Pick of the Week" is Salesforce.com ( CRM). The company makes customer relationship management software that competes with Microsoft ( MSFT), SAP ( SAP) and Oracle ( ORCL). Salesforce.com's advantage is it can deliver its software entirely over the Web, Cramer said. CRM software was a $3.5 billion market in 2004, and Salesforce.com has just 3.2% market share. But the market for Web-based, on-demand CRM software is growing faster than the traditional market, which means Salesforce.com can't help but to pick up market share, Cramer said. The stock isn't cheap, he noted, but it's worth a premium for its growth and for the fact the company has never missed earnings. An added bonus is the fact the stock doesn't get the coverage it deserves on Wall Street, he said. So, "get in now before it becomes the darling of every growth fund in town."
Nucor CEO ChatsDaniel DiMicco, CEO of steelmaker Nucor ( NUE), joined Cramer by telephone. Cramer asked DiMicco if steel imports were threatening Nucor's pricing. "There's always risk out there in any business," said DiMicco. "You just boosted the dividend. That to me says you've got confidence," said Cramer. DiMicco said he is "very, very confident in the future of this company. We've weathered storms before and come through them extremely strong." Cramer asked about Nucor's interest in Canadian steel producer Dofasco. "I don't want you doing that...you're not going to do any of this takeover game, are you?" asked Cramer. "You're not going to do an overpay, right?" "We have a very disciplined acquisition strategy," said DiMicco. "We will not overpay." DiMicco said his company has a great track record of acquisitions, and "that won't change." Cramer summed up the interview saying a recent downgrade of Nucor by J.P. Morgan was arbitrary and wrong, and he believes the stock is headed higher.
Closing ThoughtsCommenting on news after the close, Cramer said Intel's ( INTC) quarterly update was unimpressive. Cramer also isn't enamored with Electronic Arts' ( ERTS) acquisition of Jamdat Mobile ( JMDT). "Why'd you have to go and do that?" he asked. Finally, Cramer is now blessing Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) "because they did their gigantic equity offering that I so feared."
Lightning RoundBullish Cramer was bullish on Toyota Motor ( TM), El Paso ( EP), Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), Ingersoll-Rand ( IR), Caterpillar ( CAT), Deckers Outdoor ( DECK), Texas Instruments ( TXN), OraSure Technologies ( OSUR), Bank of America ( BAC), First Marblehead ( FMD), Schering-Plough ( SGP), Genentech ( DNA), American Science & Engineering ( ASEI), Thermo Electron ( TMO), L-3 Communications ( LLL), Radiant Systems ( RADS), Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), Plum Creek Timber ( PCL), Weyerhaeuser ( WY), Oshkosh Truck ( OSK), Salesforce.com ( CRM), Sify ( SIFY) and China Mobile ( CHL). Bearish Cramer was bearish on General Motors ( GM), Olympic Steel ( ZEUS), Pfizer ( PFE), Bristol Myers Squibb ( BMY), Merck ( MRK), H&R Block ( HRB), Flamel Technologies ( FLML), NCR ( NCR), United Natural Foods ( UNFI), Abraxas Petroleum ( ABP), International Paper ( IP), Rambus ( RMBS), Ford ( F), Oracle ( ORCL), EMC ( EMC), Cisco Systems ( CSCO), RPC ( RES), Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), Dell ( DELL), William Lyon Homes ( WLS) and China Techfaith Wireless ( CNTF). For more of Cramer's commentary during the Lightning Round,