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Cramer assesses the damage in Facebook, Tesla and Amazon's stocks after scandals

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer checks in on three scandal-ridden technology stocks to see if they are safe to buy.
  • Cramer unpacks the crises at Facebook, Tesla and Amazon to see how they could impact the companies' earnings.

With scandals and pseudo-scandals swirling at Facebook, Tesla and Amazon, CNBC's Jim Cramer wanted to inspect each household company to gauge the potential negative impacts.

"With all three names rebounding nicely today along with the rest of the market, ... I think we need to conduct a damage assessment," the "Mad Money" host said on Tuesday. "Can these three titans keep bouncing or should you be afraid that they're going to get clobbered all over again?"

Facebook

A data scandal involving political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica has rocked Facebook's stock since it came to light, sending shares down 11 percent from where they were trading before the news broke in mid-March.

According to Facebook, the firm harvested data from an estimated 87 million users without their permission. The issue has led Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress.

"The question here is how much any of this will actually impact the numbers," Cramer said. "Because at the end of the day, ... Facebook's a good earner."

Facebook has a 26 percent long-term growth rate, but its stock sells for 22 times earnings, a fairly cheap valuation, Cramer said. But if lawmakers place regulations on Facebook's business, particularly on the sale of user data, it could hurt the company's earnings results.

"I think the stock is probably a bargain, but you can't buy this unless you're prepared for the fallout if the company disappoints when it earnings are reported in a couple of weeks ... and you can't handle the scrutiny that Zuck's getting," the "Mad Money" host advised.

Even so, Facebook's stock had its best day in two years on Tuesday, closing up 4.5 percent at $165.04 a share.

Tesla

Automaker Tesla, with shares down 15 percent from their January highs, has come under fire in recent weeks for a fatal accident in California involving a Tesla Model X that was on autopilot.

But the crisis called more than just the autopilot feature into question, raising concerns among investors about the company's financials, ability to meet production goals and need for capital, Cramer said.

Shares of Tesla have been churning since the accident, falling on news of the crash, recovering slightly, falling again on CEO Elon Musk's April Fool's joke about the company going bankrupt, then bouncing last week on better-than-expected production guidance.

"Short-term, if Tesla ends up needing to raise capital, and Goldman Sachs says they will even as Musk says otherwise, then you'll get slammed if you own this thing," Cramer warned.

But, he continued, "long-term, my friend Jim Stewart just published an incredibly positive review of the Model 3 in the New York Times. The stock ran up huge today with the Chinese president talking about lowering tariffs on American cars, [a] big win for Tesla. Nevertheless, I think it's too risky to bet on at the moment."

Amazon

Since Axios published a story titled "Trump Hates Amazon, Not Facebook," Amazon has been the target of a firestorm launched from President Trump's Twitter account.

Trump has railed against the e-commerce giant for its tax treatment and what he considers to be an unfair deal with the U.S. Post Office, but most market-watchers assume his frustration stems from his hatred of the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Shares of Amazon are down 11 percent from its early 2018 highs and down roughly 4 percent from when the retail colossus came under fire from Trump.

"Even though the company's facing intense criticism from the leader of the free world, I think the stock's a buy, plain and simple," Cramer argued. "At the end of the day, it's hard to see how this will impact Amazon's earnings."

The "Mad Money" host reminded viewers that Amazon started collecting state and local sales taxes years ago, and that if the Post Office pushed back on their deal, Amazon could simply take its business to FedEx or UPS.

"Long story short, the punishment of Amazon's stock doesn't fit the non-existent crime," he said. "This is not a real scandal. I think it's a buy into any additional weakness."

Conclusions

"The bottom line? Looking at these three damaged tech titans, Amazon is obviously in the best shape. ... Tesla? Too risky for this guy," Cramer said. "As for Facebook, ... you've got my permission to speculate on it, but please be careful. There's a real chance Congress could take action to force the company to be more up-front about the way it takes your data and routinely matches it with advertisers. Because believe me, if there's another big breach, it's not going to be enough for Zuckerberg just to say, that's the business model."

WATCH: Cramer does a damage assessment on top tech stocks

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

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