Mad Money

Cramer: Wall Street got Spotify's quarter all wrong—I'd be a buyer, not a seller

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer explains what went wrong with Spotify's first earnings report as a public company.
  • Cramer argues that the results weren't as bad as investors thought.
I'd be a buyer of Spotify, not a seller

When CNBC's Jim Cramer thinks the stock market misjudged an earnings report — like he says it did with Spotify's first report as a public company — he feels obliged to step in and clear things up.

"Whenever the market makes a particularly egregious error, I like to go back and set the record straight," the "Mad Money" host said on Monday. "After all, nothing screams 'buying opportunity' like a stock that's been unfairly punished."

Such is the case with music streaming service Spotify, which recently delivered its first earnings results since listing directly on the New York Stock Exchange in early April.

Shares of Spotify fell as much as 11 percent the day after the report, marking the stock's worst trading day since its listing. At first glance, it seemed like Spotify had missed the numbers.

But "upon further review, it turns out this company hit all of its targets it set out for when it started trading," Cramer said. "You heard me: Spotify got clobbered for delivering in-line numbers."

Cramer chalked up Spotify's drastic decline to the unusual nature of the company. For starters, instead of having a bombastic, promotional initial public offering, Spotify opted for a direct listing, letting existing shareholders sell its stock on the open market right away.

Most technology companies also do roadshows before their IPOs to garner investment and support, but Spotify didn't try to sell anybody on anything but its streaming service, Cramer said.

"It was the most non-promotional thing I've seen from a major technology company in years, maybe decades," Cramer said. "The CEO, Daniel Ek, is the straightest of straight-shooters."

But being a straight-shooter might've hurt Ek when it came to earnings, the "Mad Money" host said. Most of Spotify's first-quarter results came in at the high end of the company's guidance, but for tech investors, that simply wasn't enough.

"To borrow a line from the legendary film Cool Hand Luke, what we have here is a failure to communicate," Cramer said.

"I think there's a cohort of short-term investors who've gotten used to certain patterns from these newly public tech stocks," he continued. "They expect management to sandbag them with low-ball numbers before the deal so that the company can blow away the estimates right out of the gate."

That wasn't the case with Spotify. Even as bullish analysts slapped "buy" ratings on the stock ahead of the music giant's earnings report, Spotify's management stayed true to the estimates it had shared with investors before its listing.

"Now we know what to expect," Cramer said. "Spotify is run by some of the most honest, straightforward, non-promotional executives I've ever seen. Based on their track record so far, I'm not worried about them missing the numbers going forward."

And despite the fact that a weak U.S. dollar could weight on the Swedish company, Cramer liked the store "regardless of currency" because of its growth prospects and top-notch platform.

"Bottom line? Do not let last week's sell-off in Spotify scare you," the "Mad Money" host said. "It just got punished because a bunch of investors let their expectations get out of control. To me, that says these guys are incredibly straight-shooters. I think that's amazing. I'd be a buyer."

WATCH: Cramer says Spotify investors are misjudging earnings

Cramer: Wall Street got Spotify's quarter all wrong—I'd be a buyer, not a seller

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