Cramer: How Lions Gate suddenly lost its mojo

Ever since 2016 arrived, it brought on a massive sell-off that broke some of the hottest growth stocks out there. And even after the rally earlier this week, Jim Cramer said many of these stocks remain troubled.

One of those stocks is Lions Gate Entertainment, the movie and television production company behind "The Hunger Games," "Mad Men," and "Orange is the New Black." For years this stock has been on fire, thanks to the endless wave of hit movies and TV shows.

Lions Gate stock more than tripled in the five years leading up to Nov. '15, and Cramer considered it to be one of the greatest growth stocks of our era. But when 2016 rolled around, the stock went into free-fall and has plummeted nearly 40 percent in less than two months.

"In a way, Lions Gate has become like a pharmaceutical company whose drugs are about to go off patent," Cramer said. (Tweet This)





"Until Lions Gate can figure out a way to grow its revenues again, I think you need to stay away from this busted stock." -Jim Cramer

Going all the way back to 2014, investors were worried about what would ultimately become the earnings cliff of 2017. They were concerned about what would happen to Lions Gate once the "Hunger Games" saga came to an end.

Sure enough, the stock peaked right before the release of the final "Hunger Games" film, "Mockingjay 2." The movie underperformed significantly, and on the TV side the company produced fewer new episodes of "Orange is the New Black" than expected, although management indicated that the TV business would become stronger in the next quarter.

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Cramer pinpointed the straw that broke the camels back to two weeks ago, when Lions Gate reported a disappointing quarter. It reported revenue that came in at $670 million, when Wall Street was looking for closer to $770 million—a miss of nearly $100 million.

In short, anyone who was worried about a post-"Hunger Games" earnings drop-off had to be terrified of these numbers.

So while the stock is so cheap that it trades at only 13 times earnings, Cramer remains worried about the company's steadily declining revenue.

"Until Lions Gate can figure out a way to grow its revenues again, I think you need to stay away from this busted stock because it could have further to fall," Cramer said. (Tweet This)

For those looking to own a media stock, Cramer recommended sticking with Disney, which still has a massive number of franchises and a theme park business.

At this point, Cramer has no idea how Lions Gate will get its groove back again. So until he does, he suggested staying away.

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