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Cramer unpacks Switch's IPO, the second-largest tech IPO of the year

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer dives into the white-hot initial public offering of Switch, a data center play with an unusual ownership structure.
  • Switch's pros generally outweigh its cons, Cramer said, but he's not the only one noticing.
  • As the stock hovers at potentially inflated levels, Cramer gives investors his outlook on Switch.
Cramer on Switch's IPO

CNBC's Jim Cramer rarely fails to notice new players arriving on the data center scene, which is why Switch's initial public offering, the second-largest tech IPO of 2017, caught his attention.

"After digging into this story, I think the pros do outweigh the cons, although I'm obviously not alone in believing that, as the stock surged from $17, where it came public [Friday], up to $20.84. That's a 22 percent gain right out of the gate," the "Mad Money " host said. "Which begs the question: is Switch worth owning even after today's monster move? "

With a book of high-profile clients including Amazon and eBay already under its belt, Switch claims to offer an advanced kind of data center replete with patented cooling systems and powerful machines equipped to handle businesses' sensitive, complex and regulated data.

Moreover, 95 percent of Switch's revenue, which grew by 17 percent in the first half of 2017, is recurring, meaning the company offers its data centers as a service. That creates a steady revenue stream and contributes to Switch's already-profitable business.

"The fact is this is a pretty lucrative business. I told you I love the data center," Cramer said. "However, while Switch is intriguing, it also has some issues that we've got to address here."

Cramer took some issue with Switch's complicated ownership structure. Switch's founder, Rob Roy, holds 67.7 percent of the voting power in the company, while public shareholders have less than 5 percent.

"It's never a good thing when you have a multi-tiered ownership structure, with the owners of the common stock being treated as second- or third-class citizens," the "Mad Money" host said.

Roy's ability to call all the shots at Switch worried Cramer from an investing perspective, since public shareholders who buy into the stock risk getting overlooked or under-served.

Another source of worry for Cramer was Switch's client base. The company gets 38 percent of its sales from just 10 companies, with eBay alone accounting for almost 10 percent.

"You never want any company to be that dependent on a single customer, but the data center business tends to be pretty sticky. I'm not that concerned," Cramer admitted.

With Switch's stock still hot off its IPO, shares are fairly expensive, Cramer said. But the data center play's 2018 prospects seem promising: it's opening a new data center campus in Atlanta, and Switch's sales routinely soar higher after it opens a new data center.

Cramer added that most of his other favorite data center plays are real estate investment trusts, which are tied to their dividends. Switch offers a different opportunity for investors because it can invest much more in growing its business, he said.

"Bottom line? I do love the data center, and I like Switch the company even with the convoluted ownership structure," Cramer said. "In the end, though, the stock is simply a little too rich for me right now to recommend. That said, call me a believer in the concept. Just not the price."

WATCH: Cramer weighs the pros and cons of Switch

Cramer unpacks Switch's IPO, the second-largest tech IPO of the year

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