Mad Money

Cramer: Etsy is a buy after proving it can stave off Amazon

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer comes around on e-commerce platform Etsy following its latest earnings report.
  • Cramer applauds the handmade goods seller's fundamentals and recommends its stock.
Etsy is a buy

As technology stocks sank on Monday, CNBC's Jim Cramer wanted to examine a name outside the line of fire: the stock of e-commerce platform Etsy.

Cramer was skeptical when Etsy first came public in 2015. But he changed his tune since the IPO, blessing the stock for speculation in May 2016 and recommending it again in August 2017.

Since last August, shares of Etsy have climbed 78 percent, and Cramer argued that the move was totally due to the company's fundamentals — a good sign for prospective investors.

"A lot of people at one point were worried that Etsy would be steamrolled by Amazon after the retail 'Death Star' launched their own marketplace for handcrafted goods. Turns out Etsy is incredibly resilient," the "Mad Money" host said.

"We know that because Etsy's most recent quarter was a gigantic blowout," he continued. "So any chance to buy this thing into weakness is an opportunity."

Amazon's influence has proven to be a legitimate threat for online and brick-and-mortar retailers alike. But its push into the handmade market has not been enough to crush Etsy, which helps a network of nearly two million sellers compete in the digital retail space, Cramer said.

Most companies that compete with Amazon fear the online giant's scale, but in this case, scale is on Etsy's side, the "Mad Money" host continued.

Etsy has tens of millions of handmade goods for sale on its website; Amazon Handmade has less than one million, he noted.

Etsy has also been improving the buyer experience with better search and recommendation functions, which translated into better holiday sales and growth across all of its core markets.

Better yet, the company's 2017 management shakeup — in which it brought in a new chief financial officer, a new chief technology officer and a new CEO — went off without a hitch, Cramer said.

"And boy, oh boy, can this new team deliver," he said. "When Etsy reported its latest quarter last month, they knocked it out of the park."

Beating earnings and revenue estimates, Etsy's fourth quarter showed better-than-expected gross merchandise sellers, growth in its mobile business and a higher conversion rate, or the percentage of consumers who end up buying something after visiting Etsy's website.

Management also gave strong full-year guidance for 2018, kick-starting a more than 30 percent run in Etsy's stock before Monday's weakness hit.

"That is an epic run, which is why I'm so glad Etsy's finally pulling back with the rest of tech, down 1.66 percent today," Cramer said. "Ideally, it goes even lower and you get even better prices. I say 'ideally' because this sell-off has nothing to do with Etsy and I believe it will bounce back with alacrity once investors calm down."

Cramer acknowledged that shares of Etsy look expensive, currently valued at 53 times next year's earnings estimates. But based on the company's 2021 estimates, its valuation is only 29 times earnings, a better deal for a growth stock, he said.

"The bottom line? This was a really ugly day for the stock market, not denying it, but you need to stay calm. Approach sell-offs like this one as buying opportunities, at least when it comes to high-quality stocks of companies with great fundamentals," the "Mad Money" host said.

"Etsy's stock got hit today, but its business is in amazing shape. You have my blessing to pick some up here right now, tomorrow, even more if the pain continues, which may very well be the case given the ferocity of the Nasdaq portion of the sell-off."

WATCH: Cramer talks Etsy after blowout quarter

Cramer: Etsy is a buy after proving it can stave off Amazon

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