Listen Up"I need you to find stocks that are comfortable for you, that fit your personality," he said. "Maybe you're risk-averse, maybe you love to speculate. You need to do the homework so you will not be surprised and not panic out if the stock goes lower." When a stock goes down, people sell rather than buy more if they haven't done their homework, he added. And that's because they don't really know if there's something really wrong with the company or if it's just a problem with the stock. The first step, he said, is to listen to the conference call. Every quarter, every publicly traded company has a conference call when management says how the quarter went, how the company made money and what the future looks like. The calls are available on the company's Web site, now that the government requires that this material is made available to investors. Cramer said that what you're listening for is growth, particularly accelerated revenue growth. "When you hear that business is accelerating, you may have something worth following," he said. Next, you have to read the press, he said. He recommended plugging the stock symbol into Web sites including TheStreet.com, which he co-founded nine years ago, and those of Yahoo! Finance and The Wall Street Journal. He said it's important to read the articles about the company because you need to understand what you own. Finally, he said, get the research. The company's Web site will have reports generated by analysts from large brokerage firms who cover the company. This is the minimal amount of homework he believes must be done before buying a stock, and it should take about an hour a week per stock, Cramer said. This is why he said to not own more than five stocks. And if you don't have three reasons to buy after all this homework, Cramer said to avoid the stock.
Flight PlanCramer prides himself on the fact that he has kept clients out of every single airline stock since he's been in the business, telling listeners that if they want to buy an airline they may as well be giving their money away. He stuck by this pronouncement, saying that businesses that are focusing on wealthy customers and business travelers is a business model he's seen "a gazillion times" that "has never worked." And just because Northwest Airlines ( NWACQ) is offering fliers a chance at better seats for a $15 fee, "that barely covers the fuel bill," he said. The only stock tied to the airline industry that he will recommend is FedEx ( FDX), because it has no passengers. That means no complaints, he said, and the company can pass on whatever fees it wants. Even though Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, is not behind the proliferation of U.S. business interests in his country, Cramer likes mining company Crystallex International ( KRY) as a way cash in on economic growth in the country. Chavez will have to provide jobs for his people, Cramer said, and he believes that mining is one place where they will find work. "When you listen to the president talk about the Iraq war, do you really believe him?" Cramer asked listeners. Despite recent statements made by Bush that most of Iraq will be turned over by the end of the year to the new trained Iraqi troops, Cramer cited a poll that showed 65% of the American people believe that he has no Iraq plan. The stock market also tells Cramer something different from what the president is saying, and it says that this war is going to go on for a long time. "I listen to the way stocks trade," he said. And the gigantic military industrial companies are going higher. Lockheed Martin ( LMT), Northrop Grumman ( NOC), General Dynamics ( GD), Raytheon ( RTN) and L3 Communications ( LLL) are all hitting the new-high list or have been there for a while, he said. When it looked like the war was going better, they hit 52-week lows, Cramer said. The New York Times is going to feel a bit lighter because the paper of record will stop publishing its daily stock listings, Cramer said, adding that it will only offer this information online. The level of interest in the stock market hasn't been this high in six years, he said, and yet the tables are being excised from the print edition. This is because print media is "moribund," he said, citing comments by Rupert Murdoch that the old ways of media are dead. He quoted Murdoch as saying that information is no longer in the hands of media barons, but that it will become like fast food, with people accessing it via phones and handheld wireless devices. There's money to be made on Murdoch's declaration, Cramer said, and he believes that it's the handheld devices that will deliver information to us. Among his top picks in the field were SanDisk ( SNDK), which makes flash memory; Seagate Technology ( STX), which makes storage for larger files that won't fit on flash; Plantronics ( PLT), which makes headsets for hands free communications; Marvell Tech ( MRVL), which makes wireless technology controllers; and chipmakers Qualcomm ( QCOM) and Broadcom ( BRCM). Cramer owns Qualcomm for his
Cramer's CallersCramer told a caller that he still likes Electronic Arts ( ERTS) even though the stock is down in part on news that the new PlayStation will be delayed until November. The company makes most of the great video games out there, he said. And even though Take-Two ( TTWO) might have something good, its financials are "in shambles." Electronic Arts is best of breed and has been sitting on its duff because Wall Street believes that it will miss earnings estimates, he said, adding that we must care about this because earning are all that matter to the Street. He said that the company is bottoming, but that future quarters could be excellent. He doesn't know when the rally will come, but be believes it's going to happen and he would buy aggressively on the stock's weakness even though this quarter may not be great. Cramer also said that Palm ( PALM) is a great investment because it could "take over the mantle from BlackBerry," which is made by Research In Motion ( RIMM). Plus, he believes that Verizon ( VZ) is getting behind Palm, saying that he would stick with the stock or even buy more before it really takes off. Finally, he told a caller to be patient with Crocs ( CROX) because it's "a coiled spring" that will go higher once we hit gardening and swim season. He believes the stock, which is trading below $24, could run up to $30, which is when he would sell.
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