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Up and down Wall Street Jim Cramer is running into 'for rent' signs. And they've got nothing to do with available office space.
Instead, these 'for rent' signs are sitting squarely in front of high quality companies that investors are renting rather than owning.
The host of "Mad Money" is a fundamental investor. He advocates doing solid research and then buying stocks with strong fundamentals that have significant profit potential, top industry positions and shrewd leadership in the executive suite. That, he says, is the cornerstone of owning stocks.
But, in the current market "too many investors are renting," Cramer said.
That is, "They're showing no pride of ownership. Therefore, when shares decline, they're moving to another neighborhood."
For example, Cramer said consider the price action in Splunk, a provider of Web application software solutions.
"As far as I'm concerned, it's among the best companies out there, and it's sitting in the sweetest of sweet spots: big data analytics, which is growing by leaps and bounds," Cramer said.
"Splunk's also got incredible 52% revenue growth and 47% licensing growth. It's among the fastest growing of any company I follow."
Owners of Splunk would embrace these metrics as fundamental signs that the company is well positioned for future prosperity. Cramer believes the rational conclusion to draw from the metrics outlined above is bullish. According to published reports, the company currently has a consensus rating of "Buy" and an average target price of $87.53.
But on Monday shares declined more than 8%.
"Too many investors are renting this stock," Cramer said. That is, they're not holding shares for long-term fundamental prospects. Instead, they're taking a cue from a near-term catalyst and walking away.
Cramer takes the phenomenon to mean a growing number of shareholders aren't thinking about valuations, right now. Instead they're motivated by fear of losing gains.
That's a phenomenon that could shake the market.
"Right now, there are a large numbers of renters in the market and renters are scared," Cramer said.
As a result, it's possible that stocks of perfectly good companies with solid prospects could selloff.
Although promising companies should be rewarded for their business acumen, "There are periods of time when price action has nothing to do with the underlying business," Cramer said. "This may be one of those periods."
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC
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