From Groupon to Zynga, many notable Internet stocks have struggled lately. But Jim Cramer on Wednesday argued there are actually some Internet stocks worth investing in.
The trick, the “Mad Money” host explained, is to “forget about anything that seems the slightest bit sexy.” He would avoid the “red hot dotcoms,” especially the Internet initial public offerings that generate a lot of hype.
“When you've got an Internet IPO that's got tons of hype, yet not much in the way of earnings, the only way to profit is by getting in on the actual deal, and then selling into the initial spike,” Cramer said. “I know I've said this before, but I'll keep repeating it either until I'm blue in the face or people stop making the rookie mistake of paying up for these names after they've begun trading. “
Investors should, however, look for overlooked and undervalued dot-coms that have been around a while, he continued. Take IAC/InterActiveCorp, for example. The New York City-based company owns more than 50 different Internet businesses in 30 countries, including Ask.com, Dictionary.com and Match.com.
The recent Internet IPOs are still trying to figure out their business models, but IAC’s formative years passed long ago. Since founded in 1986 by billionaire Barry Diller, the company has been through numerous incarnations. It was one of the hottest growth stocks of the 1990s. The company made a number of acquisitions and became so large and complex that few people could wrap their heads around it, Cramer said. In 2008, the company broke itself up into five separate public companies: a home shopping network, a travel and leisure business, Ticketmaster and Lending Tree. IAC kept its core and high-growth Internet business, though.
Perhaps became of tis contused legacy, Cramer said IAC has largely been dismissed or ignored by most investors. Even so, the stock is up 248 percent since the generational low in March 2009. It rallied 49 percent in 2011 and has posted a 10 percent gain year-to-date.
Cramer thinks IAC’s stock has more room to run because the company has a proven ability to turn a profit. Match.com, for example, is a subscription-based business model that attracted 1.7 million core subscribers last quarter. In turn, Match.com’s revenues were up 46 percent year-over-year last quarter.
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Meanwhile, the company also has a strong search market, where search revenues increased by 35 percent year-over-year last quarter.
So IAC might not be as exciting as some of the red hot dotcom names out there, but Cramer thinks it will likely produce solid profits for your portfolio — something every investor can get excited about.
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