Investors might be wise to give Nordstrom another look after the holiday season, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday.
While the conventional wisdom might be negative toward the department store company, the “Mad Money” host said a new report from top retail analyst Matthew Boss of J.P. Morgan shines light on why it might be an attractive buying opportunity.
“If any of these pans out, you could get a rocket ship effect … with Nordstrom being the best way to play the holiday season renaissance,” Cramer said. Given Boss’ track record, “I think you’d be crazy, crazy, to bet against him,” Cramer said.
Cramer said he believes in Boss because the issue with Nordstrom — and similar companies such as Macy’s and Kohl’s — has been the retailers’ execution, not forces around consumer spending.
“It’s not that the consumer’s weak, which means these problems could be fixable and should be fixable,” Cramer said.
Boss’ upgrade on Nordstrom to neutral from underweight helped send shares of the company up around 2.8% on Monday. The stock closed at $40.98, which is still about $8 below where it traded in January 2019.
The upgrade call noted that about 34% of Nordstrom’s sales come from online, with the goal of reaching 40% by 2022. That puts it ahead of its competitors. Cramer also pointed out that more than 90% of Nordstrom’s physical stores are in grade-A malls, which have fared better than the overall sector.
“Nordstrom sports a 3.6% yield, and Boss projects that it can deliver 2.3% sales growth. Wall Street’s only looking for 1.6%. That will ignite the stock,” Cramer said.
Boss also took a more positive view toward Macy’s and Kohl’s. Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Kohl’s, and while the trust had been offloading shares, Cramer said, those sales were halted after Boss’ note was released.
Boss maintained his sell rating on Macy’s but raised same-store sales forecasts by a percentage point, Cramer said.
“My view? Don’t forget that the stock yields 8.7% here and the balance sheet keeps improving,” Cramer said of Macy’s, whose stock rose 3.45% on Monday to $17.10 per share.
Kohl’s also saw its stock rise, concluding Monday’s session up 1.77% to $50.06.
Boss bumped up his same-store sales estimates for Kohl’s to 1.5%, which far outpaces Wall Street’s forecasts of .4%, Cramer said.
Cramer also said Kohl’s partnership with Amazon, in which customers can return orders from the e-commerce giant in a Kohl’s store, has been working well.
“It doesn’t hurt that Kohl’s pays you a juicy 5.4% yield,” Cramer said. “Judging by the balance sheet, that dividend is pretty darned safe.”
Cramer emphasized that Boss’ report on retailers stands in contrast to what many Wall Street analysts are projecting, particularly when it comes to the strength of holiday sales.
“The conventional wisdom says that these department stores are facing shortfalls across the board, yet Boss is talking about a robust holiday season,” Cramer said.
But if the analyst is correct about the aforementioned retailers, Cramer said, “that could produce a staggering short-squeeze in their stocks because so many of these names have been written off and left for dead and heavily shorted.”
Disclosure: Jim Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Kohl’s and Amazon.