Mad Money

Cramer: Niche stock you shouldn’t overlook


There are many ways to play the aerospace theme. But Jim Cramer would bet you probably haven't thought of this stock.

It's Air Lease Corp, a company that buys planes from both Boeing and Airbus and then leases them to airlines all around the world.

With global air traffic expected to grow at a 5 percent annual clip through 2017, "Leasing airplanes is an attractive alternative to buying, because it allows airlines to win some of that new business without shelling out a lot of cash," explained Cramer.

The strategy appears to be particularly viable in the emerging world. "The Asia Pacific region makes up 44 percent of the company's revenue."

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But growing demand for air travel isn't the only catalyst driving business. also benefits from the replacement cycle currently underway in the industry.

"On average planes last 25-30 years," Air Lease CEO Steve Hazy explained on "Mad Money." Planes that are currently in service are aging and need to be replaced. Air Lease facilitates the process. "That's over 80 percent of our business," Hazy said.

"Right now the company owns 196 planes that they lease out, and it has 331 more aircraft waiting in its order book, almost all of which are already signed up for leases," Cramer said.

That's how robust the demand is for planes from Air Lease.

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All told, Cramer thinks the business opportunity is significant. And he thinks the strength is reflected in recent earnings.

"When Air Lease reported back on May 8, the company blew away the numbers, earning 57 cents a share, a 7-cent beat, on higher than expected revenues that rose 28.3 percent year over year, with an industry-leading pretax margin of 38.5 percent, up 1.2 points from the previous quarter and 6.4 points higher than where it was a year ago."

And looking at share price, Cramer doesn't find the stock all that expensive.

"Even though the stock has run up 23 percent for the year, it still sells for less than 14 times next year's earnings estimates," Cramer said.

All told, Cramer sees opportunity. "It's a great niche business that people don't know enough about. I really like this. Air Lease shot the lights out last quarter and I think they could shoot them out again and again."

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