Cramer introduces 'cloud princes,' the riskier, faster-growing versions of cloud kings

  • CNBC's Jim Cramer highlights several speculative cloud stocks for investors who can afford to take some risks in their portfolios.
  • If you're investing for retirement, buy a cloud king, the "Mad Money" host says. But if you're not, consider a prince.

For the last six months, CNBC's Jim Cramer has been backing the "cloud kings," his favorite cloud-computing stocks that represent one of the market's most popular secular growth stories.

But the cloud kings aren't right for everybody. The underlying companies — like Salesforce.com and Adobe, to name a few — are already huge, meaning their growth is somewhat limited. That may translate into less volatile stocks, but not all investors want steady movers.

"If you're on the hunt for a turbocharged rally and you're willing to take some additional risk, you want to search for smaller, up-and-coming cloud companies that are still making their names," Cramer said on Wednesday.

That's why the "Mad Money" host came up with a new group, the "cloud princes," for investors who feel like they can take on some more risk — for a potentially greater reward — in their speculative portfolios.

"If you want to own a cloud stock in your retirement portfolio, you buy one of the cloud kings," he said. "But if you feel like taking some additional risk in your speculative mad money portfolio, meaning money you can afford to lose, you might want to consider buying a cloud prince."

So, who are the cloud princes? Companies like Coupa Software, the first official Cramer-crowned cloud prince. Coupa's platform helps businesses manage their spending and cut costs. Its stock has been on fire, rallying over 45 percent since Cramer recommended it on June 1.

Here are the five new members of the cloud prince cohort.

1. Tableau Software

A play on data analytics, Tableau Software helps its clients manage huge chunks of data and make the information accessible to people without data-mining experience.

"Tableau is sort of like a long-lost cloud prince," Cramer said. In 2016, the company — then more of a play on dated, on-premises software — started to change its business, simplifying its software and partnering with Amazon Web Services.

"Since then, ... Tableau's embraced the cloud and started selling its software as a service via a subscription business model," the "Mad Money" host said. "We've seen the same transition, by the way, from Adobe and ... Autodesk, and both times it's been very lucrative for investors."

So far, it's paying off: in Tableau's latest fiscal quarter, total annual recurring revenue jumped 181 percent, bringing total revenue growth to 32 percent. The stock is up 66 percent this year.

"You know what? It's not done," Cramer said. "I think it has more room to run."

2. HubSpot

HubSpot uses the cloud to fuel sales and marketing capabilities for its clients, most of whom are companies or online retailers looking to capture a bigger audience.

"They're masters of social media and search engine optimization," Cramer said. "HubSpot has rolled out some free customer relations and marketing tools to help lure in new clients, with the idea that they'll then pay, ultimately, for better software. They're also raising prices and targeting larger enterprises, which is a real sign of confidence."

And while shares of HubSpot took a hit after the company reported earnings in early August, they've bounced back as investors recognized HubSpot's whopping 38 percent revenue growth.

"I'd be a buyer on weakness," the "Mad Money" host said.

3. New Relic

"Here's a cloud prince that's almost ready to become a king," Cramer said of New Relic, an analytics play that helps businesses track the performance of their software and manage the digital user experience.

"Basically, New Relic makes sure the digital trains run on time," he said, noting that the company's stock has run 120 percent in the last 12 months.

"So far in 2018, they've continued to blow away the numbers," he continued. "While the stock's been trading sideways for the past few months, I think it's just catching its breath after an epic move higher and it isn't done."

4. Okta

Fourth up was digital security play Okta, a player focused on protecting companies' networks using multi-factor authentication, a type of user filtration that requires several identifiers like fingerprints, passwords or security questions.

"As far as the cloud princes go, Okta is as expensive as it gets," Cramer said, adding that the stock hit all-time highs after its recent earnings beat. "Let me tell you something: in April, I told you this stock was too pricey, and since then, it's rallied another 83 percent. People are willing to pay up for growth here, although I'd like Okta ... on a pullback."

5. Atlassian

Collaboration expert Atlassian took the title of Cramer's fifth cloud prince. The company makes software for software developers with a laser-focus on communications, tracking, service management and product development.

"Think of this as kind of a meta cloud prince," Cramer said. "In fact, it might be the purest way to play the cloud, because many of these companies develop[ing] cloud-based software are using Atlassian's tools to do it."

At $21 billion, Atlassian's market cap puts it in the running to be a cloud king, but Cramer said he was waiting for a fuller track record to back it up.

"Still, the company keeps reporting terrific results and they recently announced a big partnership with Slack, ... the hugely popular business collaboration platform," he said. "This stock has given us a huge run since we had the CEO, Mike Cannon-Brookes, on the show last December, but I think it's got more upside."

Final thoughts

If you're in the market for a cloud-based stock, think carefully before you go after a riskier cloud prince — and make sure you're using money you can afford to lose, Cramer said.

"These cloud princes are more speculative than the kings. They're-faster growing, though, but they're also a lot more expensive," he warned. "But if you're willing to take the risk, you might want to own some Coupa, some Tableau, HubSpot, New Relic, Okta or Atlassian, as long as you know that what goes up can also come down and come down hard. Of course, at lower levels, I'd like all of these stocks even more."

WATCH: Cramer introduces the 'cloud princes'

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

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