The Breakdown on Buffett
Almost every investor wishes he had the stock-picking prowess of Warren Buffett. Who wouldn’t want to be a billionaire?
So when the Oracle of Omaha buys a position in a company, plenty of people do the same. Investors could do worse than piggyback Berkshire Hathaway’s buys, Cramer said, but does this Midas of the Market still have his golden touch?
To answer that question, Cramer broke down 20 Buffett stocks to analyze the wisdom behind the picks.
Berkshire owns more than 10% of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the best rail company for moving coal, Cramer said. He’s bullish on both rails and coal, so this stock gets one and a half thumbs up.
On Mad Money, it’s buy and homework, not buy and hold, which is a strategy often associated with Buffet. But Berkshire’s longtime stake in Coca-Cola is paying off. Cramer likes how CEO Neville Isdell turned the company around, making it a great buy.
Cramer wouldn’t recommend owning Procter & Gamble though. The PG-Gillette merger didn’t make the new company the powerhouse he thinks it should be. He’d rather investors buy Colgate-Plamolive.
Buffett’s probably right about Wal-Mart, especially because of that $15 billion buyback and some indication from management that the discount retailer will stop opening so many new stores and remodel the ones it already has to increase sales.
Why own a stock with housing exposure now when you can wait a while and buy it for less sometime down the road? That’s the question that comes to mind when Cramer considers Buffett’s ownership of USG , a building materials company. “I have to say, I’m disappointed here,” Cramer said.
You’ll often hear Cramer talk highly of Mastercard on Mad Money, but American Express might be even better, he admits. Berkshire owns a piece of this company, which is cheaper even though it’s just as good, if not better.
Cramer and Buffett are also in agreement about Well Fargo and Moody’s. WFC is a best-of-breed bank and MCO has exposure to all the leveraged buyout activity.
The big disappointment is Johnson & Johnson. With one of JNJ’s major drugs coming off patent every year from next year until 2012, Cramer just can’t get behind this stock. Buffett thinks of it as a great American franchise without realizing that most of the company is drugs and medical devices, not band aids, and those businesses are ailing, Cramer said.
Number 10 is ConocoPhillips , and oil is too good to miss here. Cramer thinks this is among the best of the integrated oil companies, so it gets two thumbs way up.
Bottom Line: With the first 10 Buffett stocks, Cramer said he got seven out of 10. Not too shabby. Be sure to click through for the rest of the breakdown on Buffett.
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