'New Tech' Gets No Respect—Yet

Once again on last night’s show, which by the way I think was one of the best we’ve done before a live audience, Jim recommended a “new technology” company, Donaldson. Look, you watch the show so I won’t waste your time going over the differences between new tech and old tech again on this blog. What I do want to get into is why we spend so much time on Mad Money fighting over what to call stocks. It seems silly, doesn't it?

Since April 28, when Jim interviewed Eaton CEO Sandy Cutler, another member of the new-tech cohort, we’ve been waging an all out war to get people to think of innovative industrial manufacturers as technology companies. “New tech” isn’t just a gimmick. We actually believe it’s important to convince people—especially the big institutional investors who have lots of money to throw around—that these stocks are “technology” stocks.

Why? What’s wrong with Donaldson being labeled an industrial-goods manufacturer? A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, right? Yeah, but we deal in stocks, not flowers. And as it turns out, the stocks of old technology companies get higher valuations relative to their growth rates than the stocks of the high-quality industrial-goods companies Jim’s featured on the show.

So the label actually matters. Jim keeps hammering away at it on the show, not because he likes to make fun of Apple's new 3G iPhone or Take-Two Interactive's Grand Theft Auto IV—the products of old technology companies—although I know he does, but because we believe that once the big money guys on the Street, who currently don’t buy into the new-tech thesis, start thinking of companies like Eaton and Donaldson, and Emerson Electric, and Joy Global, and Parker Hannifin—all names we’ve mentioned on the show—as technology companies, they’ll also start paying more for their stocks.

What’s in a name? Maybe four or five points of upside.

Cliff Mason is the Senior Writer of CNBC's Mad Money w/Jim Cramer, and has been that program's primary writer, in cooperation with and under the supervision of Jim Cramer, since he began at CNBC as an intern during the summer of 2005. Mason was the author of a column at TheStreet.com during 2007, which he describes as "hilarious, if short-lived." He graduated from Harvard College in 2007. It was at Harvard that Mason learned to multi-task, mastering the art of seeming to pay attention to professors while writing scripts for Mad Money. Mason has co-written two books with Jim Cramer: Jim Cramer's Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich and Stay Mad For Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer). He is 100% responsible for any parts of either book that you did not like.

Mason has also had a fruitful relationship with Jim Cramer as his nephew for the last 23 years and will hopefully continue to hold that position for many more as long as he doesn't do anything to get himself kicked out of the family.

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