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Cramer: Sprint Can't Blame Economy

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 | 7:06 PM ET

Don't mistake weakness at one company for weakness in the entire industry.

Weak Company, Good Sector
Weakness at one company should not be mistaken for weakness in an entire industry, says Mad Money host Jim Cramer. He takes an in-depth look at the cellphone industry.

It's a point Cramer made Monday while talking about Motorola and Nokia . MOT blamed the economy for a disappointing quarter, and then Nokia beat expectations just days later. Turns out it was Nokia's taking market share that was hurting Motorola's business.

Well, Cramer's seeing the same trend in Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone -- and AT&T and their rival Sprint Nextel . Back on Jan. 18, Sprint pre-announced worse-than-expected numbers, citing a decline in subscribers. The news didn't just take down Sprint stock, but T and VZ as well. But when the latter two finally reported their respective quarters, each company showed a dramatic increase in subscribers (2.7 million for AT&T and 1.9 million for Verizon).

Cramer blamed the discrepancy on a migration of Sprint customers to AT&T and Verizon Wireless. "This business is all about share take now," he said.

So AT&T and Verizon are buys, especially with those healthy yields, 4.4% and 4.5%, respectively. And at the same time the rollout of FiOS and U-verse is killing the cable companies.

Sprint reports again on Feb. 28, and that could take T and VZ down, providing investors with a buying opportunity, Cramer said. But he didn't recommend waiting until then. They're just too cheap.

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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

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