Mad Money

Cramer: The 6 clues telling me PVH is a buy ahead of earnings

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer finds six drivers behind the stock of PVH ahead of the retailer's earnings report.
  • Cramer says all the available evidence points to a strong quarter for the Calvin Klein parent.
Why PVH is a buy ahead of earnings

After a week of panic and selling for the stock market, CNBC's Jim Cramer zeroed in on a buying opportunity he thought could bounce back "like a coiled spring:" the stock of retailer PVH Corp.

Shares of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger parent company fell sharply during February's market-wide sell-off as investors cooled on retail stocks.

"But this company reports next Wednesday night, and based on the publicly available clues, ... I bet it will deliver a very good quarter," the "Mad Money" host said on Friday. "In short, I think this is your chance to pick up a high-quality piece of merchandise that's now down almost 12 percent from its January highs."

To back up his call, Cramer went over the six pieces of evidence that made him so bullish on PVH ahead of its earnings report.

1. The trend

When he starts to analyze a company, Cramer likes to look at its recent earnings performance.

"In other words, what have they done for you lately?" he said. "In the case of PVH, the trend [is] your friend."

In its last eight quarters, PVH has beat Wall Street's earnings estimates eight times and topped revenue estimates seven times, with the only revenue miss occurring a year and a half ago.

Most of PVH's quarterly results have also topped the company's own guidance. And while Cramer recognized that past performance doesn't guarantee future results, he liked the bullish signs.

"It helps to know that in recent years, PVH has become a well-oiled machine," he said. "Even better, the company's sales have been accelerating over the past few years and accelerating revenue growth is something Wall Street loves so much that we normally just call it by its acronym in Cramerica, ARG."

2. China strength

On Thursday, Piper Jaffray retail analyst Erinn Murphy published a note highlighting the strength of PVH's Calvin Klein business in China.

People may be worried about Chinese retaliation against U.S. companies because of President Donald Trump's tariffs, but Cramer saw more good than bad in Murphy's note.

"This strength in Asia [is] a double-edged sword," he admitted. "But the company has far more exposure to the U.S. and Europe. And look, I'd rather they have a booming Chinese business that might come under threat than a lousy Chinese business that isn't worth threatening."

3. Conference calls

Cramer firmly believes that "the single best place to learn about any publicly-held company" is from its quarterly earnings conference calls.

In PVH's call for the quarter that ended in November, management told a very optimistic story, Cramer said. Even though that was months ago, PVH's next quarter lasted from November to January — the heart of the holiday season, he noted.

PVH CEO Manny Chirico also told Cramer in November that early holiday sales were "running well ahead of [PVH's] financial plans," and that December would see "a lot of momentum, tighter inventories" and less promotional activity — all bullish statements for a retailer.

4. The rest of retail

Cramer's next clue? "Everything we've heard from other companies reinforces the idea that the fourth quarter was fabulous for PVH's apparel business," he said.

According to Mastercard, online and in-store holiday spending grew by 4.9 percent year over year. Kohl's same-store sales, a key metric for retailers, grew by 6.9 percent. Nordstrom saw the best holiday season in three years.

Nike's Thursday earnings report was also strong, with CEO Mark Parker talking about "a strong global appetite for athletic footwear and apparel" on the conference call.

5. Weak dollar

A global operator that gets roughly 75 percent of its operating income from overseas, PVH benefits from a weak dollar. This happens because as the dollar sinks versus other currencies, PVH products get cheaper in other countries and foreign earnings translate into more dollars.

"This will be a major tailwind for the quarter the company reports next week," Cramer said.

6. Amazon partnership

Because PVH makes apparel, it's not directly subject to the chronic pain of the brick-and-mortar retailers struggling to compete with Amazon, Cramer explained.

"Think of them as an arms dealer to everyone in retail, including Amazon, ... one of the company's long-standing partners," he said. "Together with Amazon, they created a bunch of Calvin Klein pop-up stores in New York and Los Angeles. This was a holiday exclusive and I have a very good feeling about these numbers."

But wait...

The "Mad Money" host did have one caveat about PVH's quarter, even though he liked its stock as a buy on its recent weakness.

"Even if the numbers are excellent, if Chrico says anything really worrisome about the escalating trade dispute with China, it could torpedo the whole story," Cramer said, noting how much exposure the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands have in the Chinese market.

Final thoughts

"Here's the bottom line: even with the newfound trade war worries, I think the stock of PVH has come down too far too fast," Cramer concluded. "This company is set to report what I believe will be a terrific quarter next week and, given how well apparel has been selling, I think it's absolutely worth buying ahead of earnings."

WATCH: Cramer's take on PVH's upcoming quarter

Cramer: The 6 clues telling me PVH is a buy ahead of earnings

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Nordstrom and Amazon.

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