CNBC’s Jim Cramer, after reviewing quarterly reports from Accenture consulting and Lennar home construction on Thursday, said it’s difficult to be a bearish investor in the current market environment.
Both company’s shares rose about 7% during the session after posting solid beats on the revenue and profit lines, but the proof, according to Cramer, is in the earnings call.
“Their quarters and their conference calls turned out to be terrific primers for what’s happening, primers for what makes it so tough to be bearish and negative right now,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Accenture, finding a lot of business in helping companies adapt to the digital revolution, brought in $11.76 billion in revenue and produced $2.32 of earnings per share. The company’s revenues grew for the first time after two straight quarters of slight declines amid the pandemic.
What stuck out to Cramer was Accenture’s 25% increase in bookings, stock buyback and dividend increase. Despite limited travel opportunities, the company is providing consulting services to help businesses find tools to digitize their finance, supply chain and other works.
CEO Julie Sweet on the conference call said “every business is now a technology business and exponential technology change is going to continue.”
Accenture also raised its forecast. The stock, representing a nearly $175 billion company, is up 25% this year, and Cramer forecasts more gains are in store.
“On the face of it, those are the kinds of numbers you should pay up for. You can’t say Accenture is a fly-by-night operation. If anything, it’s a hidden gem,” Cramer said. “I came away from the Accenture conference call saying … if anything, the stock’s undervalued.”
As for Lennar, the homebuilder reported earnings of $2.82 per share on revenue of $6.83 billion. The company is benefiting from an unlikely housing boom in the face of a recession that was brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Cramer took a cue from Lennar Chairman Stewart Miller, who said, “The housing market is simply very strong, and demand for homes, new and existing, is greater than limited supply.”
When high demand meets low supply, it’s a sweet spot for business, and Cramer suggested a housing market peak does not seem to be near. Meanwhile, interest rates are favorable for homebuyers.
“Remember, we’ve spent a decade building too few homes in the wake of the financial crisis. If anything, we’ve got a housing shortage,” he said. “Miller says this isn’t merely a short-term reaction to COVID, but, and I quote, ‘a hard-wired way of life.’ In other words, he thinks it’s a secular trend, not a cyclical one, and it’s gaining ground. I’m with him.”
Cramer’s assessments came after the major stock averages closed at record highs, driven by stimulus spending optimism.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6% to 3,722.48 at the close, the Nasdaq Composite moved 0.8% higher to 12,764.75, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%, closing at 30,303.37. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit intraday and closing records.
“As much as I wanted to come out here and tamp down on the euphoria,” given the worsening coronavirus pandemic, “when I look at the stocks that are roaring here, I want to buy them hand over fist,” Cramer said.