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Cramer: Down almost 30% ytd, love this laggard?

Friday, 6 Dec 2013 | 6:16 PM ET
MDR could end up being terrific comeback story: Cramer
Friday, 6 Dec 2013 | 6:15 PM ET
Mad Money host Jim Cramer explains why he thinks McDermott's new CEO David Dickson is the right guy to turn the company around.

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

Cramer's always on the lookout for laggards with potential.

And he's spotted something in McDermott International.

McDermott has declined nearly 30% year to date and the chart has been sloping lower since 2011. However, after long dark night Cramer thinks the dawn may be breaking for McDermott.

That's because McDermott is largely focused on designing and building offshore oil and gas facilities and with the energy renaissance underway in this nation, "This is a fabulous moment for anybody involved in offshore oil production," Cramer said. McDermott gets 95% of its revenues from offshore oil production."

Burak Pekakcan | E+ | Getty Images

Considering the potential, you'd think shares would have rallied this year, not declined.

What gives?

Cramer says weakness has everything to do with management.

"McDermott has been undisciplined in their bidding," Cramer explained. "Management has been going after low-margin contracts where they can't make much money. In addition, they're experiencing cost overruns. As a result the company is now on the verge of posting its first annual loss in more than a decade."

Fortunes, however, may soon change.

"In October, McDermott announced that its old CEO, Stephen Johnson, will be retiring later this month. Johnson will be replaced by David Dickson, who became McDermott's chief operating officer in October, and before that he ran the U.S. arm of Technip, a French energy construction firm that's one of McDermott's major competitors. Dickson has 23 years of offshore oilfield engineering and construction experience, and I think he's the right guy for the job," Cramer said.

With the change in leadership, Cramer sees every reason to believe that costs will come down and profits will go up.

And that, Cramer says, should translate into higher share price.

But don't hit the buy button just yet. There is a slight cause for concern.

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Because many stocks have made significant gains this year, Cramer thinks pros may sell McDermott to leverage tax obligations into year end.

"Don't be surprised if people who own it use this opportunity to lock in their losses in order to offset the gains from their winners so they can have a lower tax bill. However, I think you can use that tax-loss induced weakness to slowly build a position in what could turn out be a tremendous speculative turnaround stock for 2014."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com

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