Mad Money

Cramer takes on Alibaba's list of cons

What Cramer says you should pay for Alibaba

You've probably heard every reason in the world why Alibaba is a buy. But have you heard about all the reasons why it's not?

Jim Cramer always says a shrewd investor is an informed investor; therefore even if you're the biggest Alibaba bull on the planet, he still thinks you should thoroughly understand the other side of the story.

And in the case of Alibaba, there are plenty of concerns. Following you'll find some of the top objections as well as where Cramer stands on each issue.


1. Core valuation

Given the multiple at which other hot stocks trade, Cramer thinks is perfectly reasonable. At $80, if it can earn $2.50 a share, Alibaba will carry a 32 price-to-earnings multiple. For the sake of comparison, "Amazon sells at 182 times earnings while Twitter trades at 148 times next year's earnings."

"Relative to these favorites, Alibaba will be dirt cheap. And remember, unlike other high multiple stocks, it's immensely profitable."

2. Hidden ownership

Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma owns about 8 percent of the company and Yahoo has about 22 percent. Other than that, the ownership isn't all that clear. Cramer, however, doesn't think that matters. "They all obviously have skin in the game so I don't think that's as big an issue."

3. Board made up of Communists

Of the more than 30 people on Alibaba's board, many of them are . "And the communist party has the right to pretty much do what it wants as it controls the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government. But I say we've tolerated something similar with the Baidu and deals. Why can't we tolerate it here? Just because it is bigger? That seems wrong to me."

4. Jack Ma

According to reports, the reason is that Hong Kong regulators would not accept its partnership structure. Alibaba's approach gives more voting rights to its partners, no matter how many shares they hold, company documents show.

In turn, that would suggest founder Jack Ma, who's viewed as a somewhat eccentric personality, may not be terribly accountable to shareholders.

"I say it's no different than investing in any company with two classes of stock," Cramer said. "Who controls most of the major media stocks? Who controls Google? You want to sell it on that, how in heck can you own Fox, or or any of the 42 other media related companies with duel classes of stock."

5. Too darned big

If the stock opens at $80 with a market cap of $180 billion, skeptics argue the company size will just get in its way. "This is a recurring theme that I just don't get," Cramer said. "What does it matter? What matters is earnings and Alibaba is profitable and growing quickly."

6. Funky relationships with Alipay

"Alipay is to Alibaba as Paypal is to eBay," said Cramer, adding that he agrees this issue presents some risk. "Investors don't want someone owning the method of Alibaba payment that could hurt Alibaba."

7. Insider selling

Many more insiders will be able to sell stock on the deal than usual and it won't be locked up until later. "According to published reports, $8 billion worth of stock might be free to trade."

Although that would seem bearish, Cramer doesn't think it will be. "The bankers didn't add more share or upside the deal. It's tight as a drum. In fact we want more supply, so it doesn't soar to the stratosphere which would be bad for the overall market."

8. IPO market similar to 2000

Skeptics say that the Alibaba IPO is just the kind of monumental event that marks a top. "They say this is like the year 2000, the beginning of the biggest tech crash in history. But I say wait a second. There were 300 companies that came public in that 2000 timeframe that weren't profitable and disappeared. This one is extremely profitable and arguably getting more so." In other words, Cramer says the parallel is flawed.

9. E-commerce may slow

The concern here, is that as an Internet based company, slowing e-commerce could be the proverbial house of cards for Alibaba. However, Cramer thinks something else matters more. "Only half of China's population is on the Internet." He believes the growth in new traffic will far outweigh any negatives posed by a slowing economy.

10. Slowing economy in China

Although China's economy may not be as strong as it once was, Cramer says Alibaba generates business from so many sources, he isn't concerned by this issue. "Go on the site and you'll see that Alibaba is an international company with both wholesale and retail operations."

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All told, Cramer doesn't think the skepticism surrounding the IPO is any match for the bullish fundamentals that Cramer thinks will drive shares higher over the long-run.

Given the growth, the profitability and the vast potential, Cramer is a buyer.

"I am blessing paying as high as $80 a share for this deal," Cramer said. "At that price, it's among the cheapest and the best of e-commerce and the internet."

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