When a caller asked CNBC's Jim Cramer about Jack Henry & Associates, he knew he had to look into the under-the-radar financial technology play.
And now that he's had some time to study the company, the "Mad Money" host has drawn a conclusion: "I can safely say that this stock is definitely worth owning, although given its monster recent run-up — the darned thing is less than a buck off its all-time high — you might want to wait for a pullback before you pull the trigger."
Cramer loved the fact that Jack Henry & Associates' technology helps banks, credit unions and other financial players process transactions and manage their data more efficiently.
But he liked its stock, which has rallied nearly 30 percent over the last 12 months and 173 percent over the last five years, for another key reason.
"It’s not just that business is good, it’s also that Jack Henry the stock is safe," Cramer said. "You don’t need to worry about trade disputes, ... it’s a nice, U.S.-focused financial technology stock — a non-bank financial that gives money managers the sector exposure they need without any interest rate risk. … It's almost as if the stock of Jack Henry was created for this very moment."
Even so, there's a catch. The "Mad Money" host warned that if the big bank stocks fall back into Wall Street's favor, shares of Jack Henry could take a serious hit.
"If the banks get their groove back and money managers start selling the fintechs in order to swap into the real financials, that could be trouble," he said. "While I believe in Jack Henry’s long-term prospects, you might want to hold off buying this one until Friday when we start getting the big bank earnings reports. If they disappoint, then Jack Henry's your man."