If I hear another "boo-yah," I'm going to go Van Gogh on myself.
I've been watching CNBC's Mad Money all week long to give Jim Cramer, financial theater's biggest celebrity, a chance. I'm also tuning in to make sure that investors have a second opinion before acting on his words.
Last night's show began with Jim Cramer waxing ominous about the market's near-term direction. He sees yesterday's late market rally as a reason to sell, arguing that the two pillars of bullish hope -- the passage of the stimulus package and the tech rally triggered by IBM's
Cramer doesn't think that the stimulus plan will shore up the housing and banking sectors, which we'll need to lead this country out of its deep economic funk. I agree. He also feels that the tech rally isn't exactly justified, and I partly agree there.
The market did make way too much out of IBM's report three weeks ago. The stock soared 12% that day, after posting improving profits despite a dip in revenue.
"IBM is a great proxy for the state of corporate spending," I wrote at the time. "That would make the top-line slip the only metric that matters, but good luck trying to tell IBM shareholders that."
Oh, no! I'm starting to agree with Cramer. Boo-yah, buddy!
But our harmony was torn to shreds when Cramer panned Life Partners
I disagree with his bearish thesis. Life Partners occupies a gruesome niche, the viaticals business, which essentially buys up life insurance settlements of terminally ill patients at a discount. Dying policyholders get their money early, and Life Partners has the grim distinction of rooting for speedy deaths.
I'm appalled, too, but let's look at the company. Over the past three months, analysts have gone from expecting Life Partners to earn $2.43 a share to $2.84 a share next fiscal year. How many companies have seen their outlooks improve over the past few months? Life Partners should grow its earnings for its fiscal year that ends this month by 46%. Wall Street sees a 25% spike in profits over the next 12 months. Life Partners is now trading for just 10 times this year’s earnings estimate. My moral compass doesn't like the business, and I don't like the risks. But the value proposition here is too juicy to ignore.
Lightning round? Of course. As usual, Cramer keeps shooting down any banks that aren't the investment banking duo of Goldman Sachs
Anyone care to wager on the over-under for bank stocks brought up in tonight's show? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Further entirely sane Foolishness:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of Cramer, and even read his autobiography a few years ago. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy does not have its own bobblehead doll.