Originally published on 1/10/2007 at 9:55 a.m. Thank heavens I have teens! Without them on this Web stuff, you don't have a clue. You believe that when the newspapers get together for Web initiatives -- as Gannett ( GCI), McClatchy ( MNI) and Tribune ( TRB) are, according to The Wall Street Journal -- it will save them, even though my kids wouldn't know a newspaper from a black-and-white television. You think that when a major network such as CBS ( CBS) offers some sort of unoriginal programming on the Web that people will watch it, until you get the word from those execs that they'd prefer watching reruns of Matlock to coming up with something that would cause them to throw up. You believe that the initiatives we see from the online divisions of Disney ( DIS) or from NBC's hapless iVillage will have some traction until the teens tell you that you have no idea what you're talking about. (Only Fox has penetrated that group, and that's because the network is represented on iTunes with episodes of 24. Then there's fellow News Corp. ( NWS) business unit MySpace.com, which teens love.) And then there is Apple ( AAPL). I gave my eldest daughter her fourth iPod for the holidays, this time one with expanded battery. I gave my youngest the video iPod 'cause she wants to re-watch episodes of 24 on the small screen. Now I am praying that they don't see any video about the iPhone. Because if they do, I will have to spend the next five months getting this product before other kids get it. When we think Web, we're still approaching it as if it was something that's a dumping ground for content developed for television, or where you can link to old programming in order to further monetize it. "We" is frankly anyone not in their teens or 20s. Painful. We aren't used to businesses that are related to the teen demographic (with the exception, again, of Fox, which always amazes because Murdoch seems to know what this group wants). We look at a Sony ( SNE) gadget that is superior to Apple on the face of it and we think, That's the end of Apple. Or we look at Microsoft's ( MSFT) vast cash hoard and its success with Xbox and we presume, Apple wipe-out. Doesn't Creative ( CREAF) have a "better" MP3 player? Isn't iTunes more expensive than what Universal's doing? Oh, give me a break. Cachet is something that trumps all of that. You can't pin it down. You can't measure it or graph it or put it in a metric. And then you take the kids to a game or you do the carpool or you pick your kids up from a sleepover or you have a slumber party for them -- and all the kids put their cell phones and their iPods down next to them wherever they are. It's always the cell phone and the iPod. Now, suddenly, the iPod is going to be the iPhone. One cool device instead of one OK utility and one cool device. They won't be able to resist it. And I'll pay for it. "OK," you say, "People can't afford it." I say, "You go tell your kid that when everyone else has one." Apple gets it. That's not in the numbers. It can't be. The guys who make the numbers are usually too young to have kids. I am old. I have the edge. General Electric owns CNBC, for which Cramer is a featured commentator, and NBC. At the time of publication, Cramer was long News Corp.
Originally published on 1/3/2007 at 12:25 p.m. Focus on the $5s and $6s. We've done some yeoman's work on the stocks under $10 here (and if you want more ideas in this group, you've got to check out our service of the same name ), but I want to emphasize some of the $5 and $6 stocks that keep getting better and keep going higher. First, Rite Aid ( RAD), which we now know is stealing this Jean Coutu business after that great quarter last night. This deal is going to be a powerhouse, and Rite Aid sneaks upward nearly every day. This company, like the others, simply isn't getting any respect. Too bad; I guess that won't happen until it's at $10. Next, Blockbuster ( BBI). Boy, it put up some aggressive projections Monday: another doubling of online subscribers, an online DVD sales initiative and a cut of inventory and sales size. All of which we like. Management is committed to closing the gap with Netflix ( NFLX); they will do it. And they just sold a division no one even knew they had -- Rhino Video -- to GameStop ( GME). Some great momentum there. Level Three ( LVLT) keeps making moves that let analysts raise numbers. The company is picking up little pieces here and there that make it the preferred Internet broadband provider. And Denny's ( DENN) just did it again, a positive -- albeit 1% -- same-store sales, and it makes me think the turn is still on its way. Nobody cares about this one. Big mistake. So far this year has been crummy, except for this cohort. No wonder: Business is getting better at all of these. That's rocket fuel for these companies. It's just beginning. Random musings: I've found your new favorite tool: TheStreet.com Ratings Screener . Use it to find exactly the stock you're looking for -- c'mon, I know you resolved that this is the year you get more involved in stocks. This is the easiest way yet to make sense of a universe of more than 6,000 names. It's all here, sorted by market cap, rating and more. At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Originally published on 1/10/2007 at 11:50 a.m. This morning on CNBC, I heard a comment about when Sears ( SHLD) will become a "real retailer." To which I say, "I hope not soon, if ever." On Wall Street, a "real retailer" is a company that runs itself for same-store sales, not for profits. This is the reason I don't like retail: You can't game these numbers , and they aren't predictive of anything. On Wall Street you don't run your retailer for cash, you run it for growth. But Sears-Kmart has too many stores. Management has spent the last year trying to figure out what it can make the most money selling. It recognizes that there is a core franchise in apparel that can be revived: Land's End. It also recognizes that Craftsman is an untarnished brand. I have to admit that I'm a tad flummoxed as to why more real estate hasn't been sold. I also don't care for the endless wrangling with Sears Canada, but the shenanigans of those who have tried to block Eddie Lampert from doing the right thing for Sears shareholders are egregious and revolting, so I can handle Lampert's stand. I don't believe people understand how unusual this preannouncement is. Lampert's saying, Look, we have made a lot more money than we thought we could. That this stock could be up only $3 on this is really preposterous, given that the business is run for shareholders, meaning more stock will be bought back. The company's capitalization will shrink rapidly at this pace. I see lots of people buying the January $175 calls for 75 cents. I don't care if that's shorts protecting themselves or speculators figuring how important the preannouncement is. Either way, thank heavens Eddie's not running a "real retailer." If he were, there still would have been a preannouncement -- for lower than expected earnings, because growth, not earnings, would matter and Sears would be putting up stores it simply didn't need in order to please the analysts. At the time of publication, Cramer was long Sears Holdings.
Originally published on 1/11/2007 at 9:06 a.m. The target for Google ( GOOG) is $513. I believe that the Goldman Sachs note, reiterating the buy rating and raising estimates to $2.90 for the quarter, could get this stock there. That's the 52-week-high, and if we take it out you have a good chance to ramp right to $550 and beyond! Anthony Noto, the Google analyst, is the best in show on this tock. He's got a solid, rigorous analysis, including big monetization of MySpace and eBay ( EBAY) relationships, and growth from new formats such as YouTube and again, MySpace. Those, plus Google's own initiatives such as premium Google applications, will all produce the upside. What's most exciting to me, though, besides the near term, is the incredible $17.47 earnings estimate for 2008. Holy cow. What should we pay for that kind of growth? How about if we just give the stock a 40 multiple -- which is not even the top multiple out there, despite this company have the highest-percentage earnings growth of any big-cap? That multiple means you eventually are going to see something north of $680 on GOOG. To me, this is a clarion call to own the GOOG common -- and to buy the January $510 calls right now for a buck and change. What a wake-up call! Random musings: If you love following stocks as much as I do and want to help me help people make money, you're someone I need. I'm looking for an experienced research assistant based in the New York metro area to help me out. (CFAs welcome.) Please send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org , with "research assistant" in the subject line. At the time of publication, Cramer was long Goldman Sachs.
Originally published on 1/11/2007 at 11:50 a.m. Stop listening to all the claptrap about Apple ( AAPL) and Cisco ( CSCO) and what Cisco really wants: monetary damages, stopping the iPhone and the like. Cisco doesn't want royalties on iPhone. Cisco could care less about keeping the name iPhone. These theories are all wrong. Cisco's trying to get cool. It isn't cool now. Here's the deal: I believe that what Cisco really wants is to have Apple open up the Apple TV device -- the just-announced set-top box that streams video from your PC to your TV -- and other products for Cisco to interface with. Cisco knows that both Cisco and Apple are going to really go at it in the digital home; we have read that repeatedly in all of the "battle for the digital home/couch" stories. A joint arrangement for the home between Cisco and Apple would give Cisco a real leg up, because Apple has the kids and Cisco has no consumer pull at all in the teenage market, which is, of course, the future. Teens drive the decisions on this consumer stuff. (Again, advantage Cramer: I have the kids telling me TiVo vs. DVR.) Not the parents. And the teens are the ones who will decide everything when this Apple TV product is good and ready. No one seems to have focused on this side of the story. They should; it is the truth. At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.