If you want to know why a repeat of 2008 is not possible, just look at copper and gold miner Freeport McMoRan, Cramer said Tuesday.
“[With a] healthier balance sheet, much bigger cash flows, and a better production profile,” he said, "the Freeport of 2011 is whole lot better than the Freeport of 2008.”
In 2008, stocks like Freeport were in free-fall. No matter how cheap it got, it kept going lower. While business was terrible, Cramer blames the fact that the company suspended its dividend and therefore offered no yield support.
But this time around, Freeport’s balance sheet is overflowing with cash. It is expecting to generate about almost $4 1/2 billion more in operating cash flow this year than it did in 2008. So even if the business falls apart, which Cramer finds unlikely, it can still keep paying its dividend. In fact, the company reiterated its dividend just last week.
Plus, the price of copper isn’t as low as it was in 2008. But even if there’s a “doomsday situation” for copper, Freeport can handle it, he said.
What’s more, Freeport is now trading at 1.4 times its book value. That’s only slightly higher than its 2008 low of 1.3 times its book value.
However, that doesn’t mean Cramer thinks the stock won’t still go lower. Since traders view Freeport as a proxy for copper prices and global macro economic sentiment, it could still get pounded if copper goes even lower or investors become more bearish about the global economy.
Cramer’s bottom line—“This time around, you can actually buy it on the way down without having to worry that it will never stop falling.”
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When this story was published, Cramer’s charitable trust owned Freeport McMoRan.
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