A Superior Stock for the Season?
Scotts Miracle-Gro could jump 17%, Cramer said Wednesday, when it reports earnings at the end of April. He thinks investors should buy the stock before the quarter.
Cramer sees Scotts as a pin-action play on Tractor Supply , which sells to farmers and ranchers. Last week the company pre-announced spectacular first-quarter earnings of between 22 cents and 24 cents a share, which is a huge increase over the mere penny per share the Street expected. If things are this good in the lawn and garden space, Cramer said, then Scotts should benefit, too.
Tractor Supply cited favorable weather this spring, as well as the “self-reliant nature” of its customers, for its success. Well, SMG is “the king of D.I.Y.,” or do it yourself, Cramer said, and the people out prepping their gardens during these recent mild weekends probably use Scotts products. The company controls 60% of the market.
Also, Scotts knows how to make its customers happy. And by customers, Cramer means Home Depot , Walmart and Lowe’s. These stores want region-specific products to better serve their own customers, and that’s what SMG offers. Instead of operating out of one national headquarters, Scotts works out of regional offices and does the requisite R&D to better understand each individual market. In a sense, Scotts is a one-stop-shop for all things lawn and garden, and it can still make an impact at the neighborhood level.
But that doesn’t mean Scotts lacks a national focus. The company is trying hard to boost its presence beyond the Midwest and Northeast by growing its share in the South and West. Cramer doubts it will be too hard given the strong relationships it has with Walmart and the other big retailers. And the move into these new areas should generate another $300 million to $500 million in revenues for Scotts.
Cramer also commended the CEO for shedding nonperforming divisions. After the last quarter, James Hagedorn promised Mad Money he’d dump laggards like Smith & Hawken, SMG’s luxury outdoor living and gardening retail division, and he did. He sold it to Target , removing the 10 cents to 20 cents a share in losses that Smith & Hawken was causing Scotts.
Now the company is about to report the first quarter without S&H dragging it down, and that should make for some very easy compares. As a result, Cramer thinks that analysts “will go crazy” when Scotts reported at the end of this month. The Street’s enthusiasm could send this $47 stock flying to $55, he said, “and you need to be in ahead of that.”
“This is a proven stock,” Cramer said, “and we’re going right into the time of the year when it’s most compelling to buy.”
Cramer's charitable trust owns Home Depot.
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