Why are analysts cutting their price targets at the same time they’re raising earnings estimates?
Citigroup and Goldman Sachs did exactly that for Williams-Sonoma and J.M. Smucker , respectively, talking up their improving businesses but still not recommending either stock. Cramer during Monday’s Stop Trading! blamed it on an overall “bearishness of the market.”
The trend started in tech, Cramer said, spread to retail and now has entered the food sector. He called it “a very negative development,” especially in light of what was a “beautiful” quarter for Williams-Sonoma.
“It is remarkable to see how little enthusiasm there is,” Cramer said, “even for companies that are doing well.”
In tech, the Mad Money host took issue with Hewlett-Packard’s bid for 3Par, which came in $6 a share higher than Dell’s already-inflated offer. The fact that HP is doing this without an established replacement for the recently departed CEO, Mark Hurd, and the company has announced its virtual absence in a market that Cramer “thought they owned,” is “really just another sign of companies not knowing what they’re doing,” he said.
“If you needed one more reason to sell Hewlett-Packard,” Cramer said, “they just keep giving them to you.”
Cramer did recommend Time Warner , saying a New York Times interview with CEO Jeffrey Bewkes changed his mind about the company.
Finally, natural gas “is in one of the great bear markets of our lifetime,” Cramer said. And given that not even this incredibly hot summer could do much to boost nat-gas prices, and that summer is all but over, he thinks those prices are “going through $4.”
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