NVIDIA is “the smartest and best way,” Cramer said Wednesday, to play the “netbook explosion.”
When netbooks first launched, Cramer assumed they’d cannibalize smartphone and laptop sales. But these small, cheap computers, which provide a high-quality Internet experience on the go, are a burgeoning product category in their own right. Sixteen million were sold in 2008 in North America alone. That number should reach 35 million worldwide this year and then hit 139 million by 2013.
Why NVIDIA ? The company makes a line of compact graphics processors, called the ION, that’s “gaining significant traction,” Cramer said. More than 50 ION-based products will hit the market in 2009, and sales are coming in ahead of expectations. Also, Hewlett-Packard is a client, and that’s “the single best account you could possibly have.”
AMD had taken share in the overall graphics processor market, but NVIDIA has battled back. A rising demand for these processors will help them further, as personal-computer sales pick up, businesses spend on NVIDIA’s enterprise products and the company’s new energy-efficient chips are released. Cramer also expects an upgrade cycle to boost sales when Microsoft's Windows 7 and Apple’s Snow Leopard operating systems are out.
“I’m not abandoning AMD,” Cramer said, “but we really have to get behind this competitor and do it right now.”
There’s a mobile Internet play here, too, NVIDIA’s Tegra chips for portable devices. Think smartphones, global positioning systems, PDAs and handheld media plays. Microsoft’s Zune uses them, as do 50 other products.
In the end, though, it’s the netbook trend that makes NVIDIA a buy, Cramer said. He called it “the graphics play for netbooks.”
Cramer’s charitable trust owns Hewlett-Packard.
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC
Questions for Cramer? email@example.com
Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website? firstname.lastname@example.org