At the beginning of the fourth quarter Jim Cramer put together a list of stocks he thought would garner a lot of attention from growth funds.
The thesis was that in the fourth quarter, growth oriented money managers lookat their best performers, and they double down on them going into the end ofthe year.
At the time Cramer recommended Amazon, Google, MasterCard, Visa, Ulta Salon,Tractor Supply, Sherwin-Williams, Diageo, Gilead and Alexion as his top tenanointed names.
In other words, Cramer thought they would outperform the rest of the marketthrough the end of the year.
Now that the new year is only a month away, it's time to review how theseanointed stocks have held up.
So, how have 'the anointed' names done since he first presented the thesis onthe October 8th broadcast of Mad Money?
First, Amazon started at $259, pulled back to just above $220, before rebounding to $251 where it is right now.
Cramer's Comments: These guys are taking share and taking names, plus, the company keeps expanding its hardware ecosystem with new versions of the Kindle. Also, they're trying to own the digital content business the same way they own traditional online shopping, and it's working.
Google has been pounded, it went from over $760 to below $660, but has now rebounded back to $695.
Cramer's Comments: "Google is still the sultan of search. Also Google owns Android, the largest mobile operating system in the world. They just need to figure out how to monetize it better, something the company is starting to do by releasing its own line of smartphones and tablets."
"Of all these growth stocks, though, I have to admit that I like Google lessthan I did before the bad quarter, so if you were trying to figure out which ofthese stocks worries me the most, it's Google."
MasterCard & Visa
MasterCard took a 25 point dive, falling from $475 to $450, but has since rallied up to $487, a dozen points above where Cramer recommended it.
Visa has moved up nicely from $136 to $148.
Cramer's Comments: "These two stocks are both plays on the worldwide switch from paper currency to plastic, as they make their money from transaction volumes. Visa and Mastercard both reported strong quarters in October, and they have very healthy balance sheets."
"I'm a big fan of both stocks."
Sherwin-Williams has had a bump ride, although it's ultimately moved up from$149 to $152.
Cramer's Comments: "This paint maker is a terrific play on the housing rebound, and that theme seems to be almost unstoppable. Plus, three weeks ago Sherwin-Williams agreed to acquire Comex, a Mexico-based paint company, for$2.34 billion, and this deal could be additive to the company's earnings within the first year."
"Also, raw material inflation has moderated, something that will be a real boonfor Sherwin Williams' margins early next year. This one's better than ever, particularly when you consider how muchdamage Sandy's done and how much square footage must be repainted because ofthat horrible storm."
UltaSalon has risen from $96 to $100.
Cramer Comments: "Ulta reported aterrific quarter, with 8.4% same store sales growth. Management also indicatedthat they're seeing a strong start to the holiday shopping season.
"The company's newly appointed Chief Financial Officer, a guy who'd been on the job for just six weeks, announced his sudden resignation. We never like it when a CFO resigns, as that can be a sign something might be wrong with the financials, but given that this particular CFO had been there for less than two months, this was probably just a case of him being the wrong guy for the job."
Tractor Supply has unfortunately been a real dog, falling from $98 to $88.
Cramer Commentary: "I have to admit, I blew it with this one, recommending the stock at $98—ten bucks above where itis right now. What went wrong? The expectations got too high, so high that even when Tractor Supply reported a beat and raise on October 24th, that wasn't good enough to prevent the stock from going lower."
"However, now that the expectations have been adjusted downward, I think Tractor Supply makes a lot more sense. This company is still taking market share in a very fragmented industry, it's still growing its store base, and it should get a boost from the turn in housing."
Gilead shot up from $68 to $74.
Cramer Comments: "Gilead is the number one maker of HIV drugs, and it's also developing a revolutionary treatment for Hepatitis C that has the potential to be a mega blockbuster. Plus,Gilead has a very deep pipeline, including a cancer drug that's now entering phase 3 clinical trials."
"This story is playing out just as we thought, and best of all, Gilead is somewhat immune to a fiscal cliff induced recession, because people don't stop taking life-saving medicines just because the economy slows down."
Alexion was put through the meat-grinder, falling from $111 to $95.
Cramer Comments: "Alexion is an orphan drug maker whose lead drug, Soliris for a number of ultra-rare blood disorders, has been incredibly successful. However, even though Alexion raised guidance when it reported on October 24th, the stock sold off because Soliris sales only met expectations rather than beating them.
"I think this was a case where the market overreacted. My view is that the Street modeled the quarter wrong and punished the stock."
Not only is Alexion looking at Soliris for other uses, "they have some intriguingthings in the pipeline, although they're still in the early stages ofdevelopment."
Diageo has rallied from $113 to $119.
Cramer Comments: "You know Diageo from its brands—think Johnnie Walker,J&B, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray, BaileysIrish Cream and Guinness."
"Diageo's a master of branding, it's got growth all over the world, and a solid 2.88% yield. Everything is going Diageo's way— I say you can stick with Diageo."
What's the bottom line?
Y ou don't have to keep searching for new ideas as long as the old ones work just fine. And Jim Cramer thinks all the stock listed above belong on your radar.
"If we get an agreement on the fiscal cliff or if we go over the cliff andthese stocks pull back sharply," Cramer said any and all of these stocks shouldbe worth your time.
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