The number of Black Friday shoppers doesn’t matter as much as what they were buying, Cramer said during Monday’s Mad Money. And it looks like people were drawn to home goods.
The New York Timessaid as much today, and key industry CEOs confirmed the trend during recent earnings calls. Cramer recommended buying TJX Cos. and Williams-Sonoma as plays on the low and high ends of this retail line.
Why TJX? Because CFO Jeffrey Naylor has said the company’s HomeGoods store “is having just a phenomenal year.” And CEO Carol Meyrowitz was quoted as saying that customer traffic quarter to quarter is “increasing tremendously.” Consumers are flooding into the stores, and merchandise is disappearing from the shelves. Hence the 10% increase in October same-store sales and the company’s earnings beat and raised guidance. This is why the stock is “roaring,” Cramer said.
But TJX’s exposure to apparel means that this isn’t a pure play on home goods. For that, Cramer looked to Williams-Sonoma.
Why does he like WSM so much? For its high score on “the congratulations index.” This company also reported a better-than-expected quarter and raised guidance. And many analysts on the conference call, before asking a question, congratulated management on their strong performance. Of the hundreds of calls Cramer heard, Williams-Sonoma earned the most analyst praise, which he referred to as “a fabulous indicator.”
As for the business, WSM generates revenues solely through consumer discretionary spending – you go there to buy high-priced cutlery and cookware even though you could save money if you shopped somewhere else. But people seem to be opening their wallets more because the company just saw its first positive same-store sales number in eight quarters.
Plus, inventories shrunk 21.5% across all brands and all key categories. That will spare WSM any sales or markdowns needed to empty its warehouses. CEO Howard Lester on the conference call spoke positively of his firm’s prospects, saying he is “encouraged” by growing sales and margins.
Analysts say the upside is already priced into WSM, but Cramer disagrees. The stock’s trading at 19.2 times 2011 earnings, but its long-term growth rate that year should be 25%. Almost any stock that trades at less than one times its growth rate is cheap in his book.
Give that the company dominates high-end home goods, Cramer thinks WSM could go still higher.
“Maybe even for many quarters to come,” he said.
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