A ‘Golden Opportunity’ to Buy Tech?
Technology sector stocks are so cheap it's "ridiculous," Cramer said during Monday's Mad Money. Overconcern for their exposure to Europe “has created the same buying opportunity for tech that we saw in 2003.”
Following the dot-com bubble, Cramer said, everyone gave up on tech plays. But the sector continued to grow regardless, as cell phones improved, Google brought excitement to the Web and companies and individuals alike required more and more storage for their data. The stocks eventually pushed higher, and those who bet against the common wisdom made a lot of money.
“And that’s why, when tech stocks are this hated,” Cramer said, “it makes me get opportunistic and want to buy.”
The tech companies may sell to a damaged Europe, but not so much that the Continent will stop their growth. Keep in mind, there’s still China. Despite the usual focus on commodity demand from that country, Cramer said, tech sells more into China than any other sector. Plus, tech is less susceptible to government-mandated slowdowns there. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party has encouraged the purchase of tech gadgets through economy-stimulating coupons. Investors need to remember that the CCP is trying to strategically pop a real estate bubble, not one in tech.
Then there are the general themes that drew Cramer to the sector: faster Internet speeds, the smartphone revolution, the increased reach of PCs, and the rise of the middle classes in developing countries like China, Brazil and India. He thinks these themes will drive growth in tech for years and years.
With all that in mind, look at these “jaw-droppingly low valuations” — and remember that Cramer’s definition of a cheap stock is one that trades at one times or less its growth rate: Marvell Tech , trading at 10 times earnings with a 16% long-term growth rate. Hewlett-Packard , trading at 10 times earnings with a 14% growth rate. Intel , trading at 11 times earnings with an 11% growth rate. Even Apple , which has an 18% growth rate based on the estimates, although Cramer thinks it will actually be higher than that, sells at only 19 times earnings. Back out Apple’s $53 per share in cash – something you have to do as cash has no multiple – and Apple’s selling at just 15 times earnings.
And the list goes on: EMC , Oracle , IBM , Skyworks Solutions , SanDisk and Cirrus Logic — they too are selling near or below their growth rates. And almost all of the previously mentioned companies are sitting on “bulletproof balance sheets and oodles of cash,” Cramer said. It’s a chance for investors that is too good to pass up. So pick one and put it away.
“I think that when we look back at this period, we will realize the ennui and the negativity just got too heavy, that the pessimism became too thick,” Cramer said, “and that the near-term concerns created the kind of buying opportunities that I haven’t seen in seven years.”
When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Apple, EMC and Intel.
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