Clorox revealed at the Tuesday event that it cut earnings and sales estimates for the 2020 fiscal year, but the “Mad Money” host thinks the share price is on its way higher because it’s a stock that can work in a volatile market.
“In spite of that unexpectedly downbeat analyst day, I think this is the time to start buying Clorox. Although I wouldn’t buy it all at once,” Cramer said, framing the meeting as “a cleansing moment where management resets expectations … by getting all the potential negatives out in front of you.”
Clorox’s updated outlook is low enough that the numbers can be beaten, giving the chemical manufacturer an opportunity to under-promise and over-deliver, said Cramer, who compared the stock’s rallying potential to similar moves made by McCormick and Apple earlier this year. In January, the spice company and iPhone maker both made guidance cuts that induced buying opportunities in their equities. Now their stocks are up more than 40% and nearly 60%, respectively, from their intraday lows that month.
Cramer went on to point out what he saw as “good news” from Clorox’s analyst day that got little attention. The company, whose household consumer products include Brita, Glad and Pine-Sol, laid out a new long-term strategy to invest in its brands and innovation to stand out from competitors. Management is also looking at as much as 4% net sales growth, along with 25 to 50 basis points of operating margin expansion and free cash flow generation.
“The issue here is that most analysts just don’t believe Clorox can do it. They don’t think it can hit the targets,” the host said. “If Clorox can actually deliver on these goals, the stock deserves to go much higher.”
Investors spent a bulk of the summer rotating money from high-flying growth stocks to a number of value and defensive consumer names, but Clorox is one that has been overlooked. Clorox shares are lagging the broader market and are down more than 2% this year since they began trading in the red in late September. The S&P 500, by comparison, is up nearly 18%.
Even if it takes time to climb higher, Clorox is paying shareholders a 2.8% dividend yield to wait, Cramer noted.
“When I see this kind of pullback in Clorox, I don’t think sell. I think buy, although there might be more downside before it bottoms,” he said. “But Benno Dorer is an excellent CEO who’s more than proven himself, which is why I’m willing to stick my neck out and recommend putting … some Clorox in your portfolio.”
Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Apple.