The European Central Bank’s attempts to stimulate Europe’s economy sent markets on a wild ride Thursday morning, with investors first frantically trying to buy anything they could and then sending stocks sliding as the day wore on. Jim Cramer shared some lessons learned from this event.
“Stop being a herd animal. Don’t chase. You will likely lose money, especially when you are chasing stocks for the wrong reasons,” the “Mad Money” host said.
No. 1 Never chase stocks. It is not worth it. It is better to say you missed it and wait for the next downturn.
No. 2 When the market rallies, try to figure out why. Even if there is a real reason, it’s worth waiting for lower prices before pulling the trigger.
No. 3 Wait for a market-wide pullback before buying. The intra-day decline was a classic buying opportunity for Cramer.
One stock that reported what Cramer referred to as a “monster” quarter on Thursday was Ulta, which reported double-digit comparable-store sales and upbeat guidance.
“Ulta will be up very big, and it is a very deserving company,” he said.
The strong demand coming from consumers begging for value blew Cramer away. All it takes is a company to offer something cheaper than anyone else, and it is gobbled right up.
“There is an insatiable demand for value in America,” the “Mad Money” host said.
The discount stores reiterated the love of value when Dollar General delivered much better than expected same-store sales. But it was the commentary from management that was even better for Cramer, which discussed how they are working hard to find enough locations to meet the demand for more dollar stores.
The company’s CEO, Todd Vasos, reiterated on the conference call that the key to its value offering is the concept of a consumer trial. Its customer cannot afford to make mistakes, so it will allow the customer to try a product first before trading up to the larger sizes of a national brand.
That was a value moment in a nutshell for Cramer. “I think that is the reality of both the consumer and the country. We simply don’t hear about it much if we are well off,” he said.
Given that most people on Wall Street don’t have to try something before purchasing it, it explains a bit why Dollar General’s earnings took analysts and money managers by surprise.
Cramer couldn’t help but notice that several packaged-foods stocks have been absolutely crushing the broader averages, with Campbell Soup, General Mills and Hormel leaving the S&P 500 in the dust this year.
What really caught Cramer’s attention was that for years these pantry-style packaged foods were considered to be challenged as Americans transitioned to healthier eating habits.
“To paint these companies with that broad a brush would be way too glib,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Many of these companies have actually been transforming themselves through acquisitions in the natural and organic space. As a result, Campbell Soup, General Mills and Hormel have managed to brand themselves as natural and organic.
Given that all three companies are within striking distance of all-time highs, Cramer recommended waiting for a pullback before buying. Ideally, he would like to see stock prices go down and yields go up, with a buy on General Mills the moment its dividend hits the 3 percent threshold.
“If you don’t already own them, I say put them on your shopping list and wait for the next big marketwide sell-off to give you a better entry point,” Cramer said.
Box is another stock that has rebounded dramatically in the past month, up 33 percent. On Wednesday, it reported a solid quarter, with a smaller than expected earnings loss per share on stronger than expected sales.
After struggling a bit since coming public in January 2015, it seems to finally be on the right track as it has won new business with customers such as AIG, Bain Capital and Home Depot.
Box Chairman and CEO Aaron Levie commented on the strength of 2015, stating “It was a fantastic year from our perspective and certainly from the guidance that we put out, and that was really driven in large part because of the larger customers and larger deals that we are bringing on.”
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller-favorite stocks:
Cheniere Energy: “We are not buyers of Cheniere. We were Charif Souki [former CEO] fans and we question the plan here now. We are not going to be involved with Cheniere.”
IBM: “IBM is moving up in part because they’re really starting to get it together, becoming much, much more toward what we want. We want social, mobile, cloud, interactive and artificial intelligence. So I am going to tell you that I think IBM is a tepid buy. Not a strong buy, but a tepid buy.”