“On the one hand, Super Storm Sandy was absolutely horrible, a human tragedy that caused tens of billions of dollars worth of property damage. But on the other hand, Sandy could turn out to be an economic shot in the arm.
Although Cramer has offered lots of thoughts on how to play the recovery, on Monday’s broadcast he presented another play – one that he feels has largely gone unnoticed – Brunswick, the number one make of boats.
“According to the Boat Owner’s Association of the United States, over 65,000 recreational boats were damaged or lost because of Sandy at a cost of $650 million.”
In fact, according to the Boat Owner’s Association Sandy was the worst storm for boats since they started keep track of stats in the 1960’s.
“These numbers tell me that there should be a lot more demand for new power boats than we would’ve had without Sandy. And if more people are going to be buying boats, if only to replace their broken or destroyed old ones, then the stock to own is Brunswick,” said Cramer.
Considering boats are luxury items and tax rates on the wealthy will likely jump in a couple of weeks, why is Brunswick a buy?
“Because, as bad as the fiscal cliff might be it won’t be nearly as bad as the great recession and Brunswick handled the great recession with flying colors,” said Cramer.
“In the marine industry, about 30% of the dealers in the United States went under during the recession, but Brunswick’s dealer count remained flat. They held in much better than the competition and used the economic weakness to take share. Plus, the company also took out $450 million in fixed costs during the downturn to come out even stronger than ever.”
Also, over the last decade, the age of the average power boat in the water has gone from 15 years old to 21 years old.
“That means there’s a ton of pent-up replacement demand. We saw the same thing happen in the automobile market, where the average car on the road got so old that it led to a surge in demand for new autos. I bet what’s true for cars is also true for boats, and that’s terrific news for Brunswick.”
Numbers are also impressive.
“Back in late October, right before Sandy hit, Brunswick reported a big 14-cent earnings beat off a 29-cent basis, and the company also gave upside guidance for the full 2012 fiscal year.”
And the company is getting leaner.
Brunswick announced a restructuring plan that should give its bottom line a nice boost going forward. The company’s consolidating its boat product portfolio and shutting down one of its factories in Tennessee in order to cut costs.”
“Also the company has been cleaning up its balance sheet to the point where it has the lowest level of debt in more than seven years.”
All told, Cramer smells a buy – and that’s despite the gains of nearly 50% ytd.
“Even after this move, the stock is still pretty darned cheap, selling for just 12 times earnings with a 12.5% long-term growth rate,” said Cramer