Jim Cramer: The Penalty Box for Whole Foods
NEW YORK ( Real Money ) -- If it weren't for Twitter's
We focus on these two because Whole Foods is among the fastest-growing of the senior growth stocks in retailing, and Qualcomm is pretty much the same for semiconductors.
Both have spoiled us in the last few years: Qualcomm has put in pretty consistent 30% revenue growth, and Whole Foods has been delivering same-store sales growth of 5.9% to 7%. Both are at top of game for their respective groups, and both stocks are true core holdings in the business.
That's why it was so jarring to hear both of them lower their growth rates.
Now, that said, I have not been a fan of Qualcomm. That's because, while it has given you high growth as phone companies have transitioned from 3G to 4G and as China has rolled out better coverage, I actually find the firm maddeningly inconsistent. When Qualcomm meets with analysts two weeks from now, it would be perfectly within the company's ways to raise the growth rate back because of new orders, or because of lessened concentration at the top tier of customers vs. what management had previously thought -- which was the principal reason for the guide-down.
There is a reason a company with 30% revenue growth has only seen its shares rise 12% this year: I am obviously not alone in thinking that Qualcomm just produces too many surprises in its quarter-to-quarter roadmap. While it has returned capital to shareholders in the form of share buybacks and dividends to the tune of $6.7 billion, the actual share count has been pretty much consistent these last three years, and the 2% yield does us no favors. It won't be a floor.
So I'm left here thinking, "Great company -- but why can't these guys guide better?" Someone is always looking to start a position in this name, and I am sure today will be no different, because management did hold out hope for a second-half turn. But at some point this one may turn into a company such as Broadcom
Whole Foods, on the other hand, has consistently earned our trust. That is why the stock has risen 41% coming into Thursday's session. Now, I had feared the reaction to this quarter, and I had told people not to buy it, but I was disappointed -- as we are all meant to be -- by the guidance of a slowdown, even if it seems puny by most companies' standards.