Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS recently traded Google, SunTrust Bank and Eaton. We asked an independent analyst to evaluate the stocks.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- While the three major stock averages are now positive for the year, not everyone has been invited to the rally. That would include Google, SunTrust Bank and Eaton. Here's my take on these three stocks.
Google shares gained nearly 90% over the three years ended Dec. 31, 2013. In 2014, however, they slid 5.4%, while Apple jumped 38% and Facebook added 43% (according to historical price data at Google Finance). Investors cheered Apple's iPhone resurgence and Facebook's online advertising growth.
But now is not the time give up on Google.
The Internet of Things is expected to explode in 2015, and Google is going to be at the center of that revolution. Google will find ways to reap the rewards from its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, a company that specializes in connected devices. And at some point, the market will learn why it bought clone maker Titan Aerospace. With the stock down around $503, expect Google shares to reach $620 in 2015. Consider that my target is lower than median 12-month price target of Wall Street analysts, at $630. So bet against Google at your own peril.
The economy continues to improve, which will be good for banks, and SunTrust remains one of the best regional banks to own. Shares of the Atlanta, Ga.-based bank have gained 136% in the three years ended Dec. 31, 2014, according to historical price data at Google Finance. SunTrust has consistently delivered where it matters most -- on the bottom line. And the company is on pace to grow its earnings by more than 34% for fiscal 2014.
With shares now down almost 5.3% in 2015, SunTrust has gotten too cheap. Shares are trading at around $39.77, less than the company's last reported book value, which was $40.85. The highest 12-month price target from a Wall Street analyst is $48, suggesting that SunTrust could gain as much as 21%. Add to that the stock's dividend yield of 2%, and SunTrust is one of the best bargains among the regional banks.
After losing almost 10% of its value in 2014, industrial conglomerate Eaton has a lot to prove. And that's because, by its price-to-earnings ratio of 19, Wall Street is expecting a lot. The question is, can Eaton deliver? It didn't deliver in 2014, including missing revenue estimates by $70 million in the October quarter. While it did beat on net income, that was not enough to kill worries about its future in segments like Hydraulic (down 1%), Electric Systems (up 1%) and Aerospace (up 1%).
All told, while Eaton has the potential to be a bounce-back candidate in 2015, the company's recent guidance didn't suggest any level of confidence that it can grow share in its end markets. Instead, the best way to play conglomerates would be with companies like General Electric (GE and 3M (MMM - Get Report) that are making strategic acquisitions and are better positioned to capitalize on the growth in the U.S. economy and economic improvements abroad.
To find out if Jim Cramer bought or sold these stocks, and to see all the stocks in his charitable trust, go to Action Alerts Plus.com.