Jim Cramer: We're Still in the Tech Woods

NEW YORK (Real Money) -- We are not out of the woods as long as we are hearing about valuations for companies such as Airbnb at $10 billion that aren't being laughed at or scorned upon. When Dropbox is being valued comfortably at $10 billion on the basis of its 200 million users, this market will not be appeased, especially when Box, a rival more centered on enterprise that can easily move into the consumer market, is now being talked about at "only" $3 billion (although I am sure it is higher this red-hot minute).

These are the signs that we have yet to learn from the froth that has engulfed Concur (CNQR) and FireEye (FEYE) to Celgene (CELG) and Gilead (GILD) and everything in between. These are why the Amber Roads and Borderfrees and A10s are always going to be considered like the also-rans of the years 1999 to 2000, until they go bust, get bought or get real profitable. It is why you need to beware of headlines that say "Tech Fall Isn't Seen as Sign of Trouble," because almost everyone knows that the tech fall has been so precipitous and lurking -- seen Google (GOOGL), anyone? -- that we are only one more big miss and one more ugly deal away from taking down a good portion of the S&P 500.

For the longest time, I was willing to overlook the froth, thinking it could be contained. But people run diversified portfolios, and they have portions of their diversified portfolios that have had stunning declines. You can't be hidden 100% in utilities and Snap-On (SNA). You just don't own "the right ones" and have none of the "wrong ones."

Which brings me back to Airbnb. Now this is a nice company with a good model, maybe better, maybe not better, than Home Away (AWAY), which is valued at about one-third of this company. It is part of a cool idea of monetizing yourself, and anyone who doesn't have a lot of "self" -- meaning self-financial -- worth might be willing to do this. I know that it is growing so quickly that it makes outfits like Wyndham WorldWide (WYN) and Hyatt (H) seem fuddy-duddy, and I respect the fact that in some universe it is worth more than the excellent Expedia (EXPE), although I can't think of what universe that is.

And Dropbox is hot. People like Dropbox. It could be Adobe (ADBE) meets Citrix (CTXS). Or could it just meet Box and melt if Box can backward-integrate to individuals? Box is in the office suite, and Dropbox is in the home and moving into the office. Can't Box do the same?

Yes it can.

Let me tell you what I think is really going on here now. First, if Facebook (FB) reports a bad number, you will not see these kinds of valuations, because people are sick of this whole new Internet economy after the losses they have had. Second, the investment bankers and the venture capitalists know that they have to hit this window, even if it is closing, because they know the market is turning and turning against them. Third, they are not charitable institutions. They have no desire to protect "the market" from their own absurd pricing.

They only have a desire to protect their investors. So they will either "sliver" the deal to get it done, offering just a handful of shares and keeping the rest back, or they will do an Ally Financial (ALLY) or a King Digital (KING), and we know how those are part of the havoc we have been dealing with.

As long as these big deals are out there trying to get done, and as long as we are worried about the earnings of the software-as-a-service crowd or concerned about the competition to Gilead and Celgene or fretting about Facebook as being dramatically overvalued, we are going to be in this soup.

Do not believe a story that says, "Tech Fall Isn't Seen as Sign of Trouble." The truth is, "Tech Fall Is Trouble Unless You Own Exelon (EXC)."

And most people don't. 

Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long CELG, FB and GOOGL.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 8:37 a.m. EDT on Real Money on April 21.

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