Jim Cramer sees reasons to be more bullish on stocks and gives these 2 names his stamp of approval


Unsatisfied with your portfolio after the miserable stock market performance of 2022? You are probably far from alone. Most investors have struggled to make headway in the ongoing bear market this year, which has provided only short-lived relief.

However, as the end of the year draws closer, CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer thinks the bears are showing signs of exhaustion, which is good news for battered investors.

“You have to adjust your mindset to a world where the bears are finally retreating, because I bet the next four weeks are going to be better than what we’re used to,” Cramer said.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at two stocks that recently received approval in Cramer’s “lightning round” segment. According to the TipRanks database, Cramer isn’t alone in thinking these tickers are ripe for the picking; both are rated as Strong Buys by analyst consensus. Here are the details.

MP Materials (MP)

According to Kramer, the first name we’ll look at is “winner.” MP Materials is a rare earth miner based in North America. Its deposit-rich Mountain Pass mine in California is the largest rare earth mining and processing facility in the United States, providing the company with ~15% global market share in rare earth production.

Its production is mainly focused on Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr), a rare earth element used in high-strength permanent magnets that drive traction motors used in electric vehicles, drones, wind turbines, robotics and other advanced propulsion technologies.

Being able to produce the much-needed components used in the receiving segments should be a recipe for success, and the company is basing its latest Q3 earnings report on an increase in the realized price of rare earth oxide.

Despite China’s COVID-19 lockdown and global economic headwinds causing NdPr prices to consistently decline, average prices increased significantly year-on-year, highlighting the continued demand for NdPr.

Revenue rose 24.8% year-over-year to $124.45 million, beating the Street’s call for $6.73 million. The increase in revenue resulted in a 34% year-over-year increase in adjusted EBITDA to $91.4 million. As a result, Adj. EPS of $0.36 also beat the Street’s estimate of $0.30.

So Cramer thinks the lawmaker is a “winner,” and so does BMO analyst Robin Fiedler.

“MP is a rare land play with a tier 1 asset among limited alternatives. We find MP’s unique and diversified vertical integration growth and China supply chain avoidance strategy attractive and thus bearable near-term price and expansion risks,” the analyst said. “We believe the risk-reward at current levels is attractive given our assessment of the upside of vertical integration over the medium to long term and the potential for ‘wins’ in various legislation next year.”

Accordingly, Fiedler rates MP shares Outperform (i.e., Buy), while his $50 price target suggests a 53% 12-month gain. (To follow Fiedler’s record, Click here)

Fiedler’s stance on MP is bullish, and he’s far from the only bull on the stock. MP has 7 recent analyst reviews with a consensus rating of Strong Buy with 6 Buys and 1 Hold. Shares are priced at $32.68 and their average price target of $44.93 implies a one-year upside potential of ~37%. (See MP Materials stock forecast on TipRanks)

ICON plc (ICLR)

“I like it. It’s a very cheap stock.” Here’s Cramer’s short and succinct explanation for backing the next company we’ll look at.

Icon is a big name in the world of clinical research organizations (CROs). That is, the company helps pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other research laboratories complete their work. It is one of the biggest names in the sector offering a wide range of services. These include everything from strategic development, program analysis, and assistance with complex selection to patient recruitment and retention, site monitoring, and data management.

Icon has gone through some big changes over the past year and a half. In July 2021, the company closed the acquisition of contract research company PRA Health Sciences in a deal valued at ~$12 billion, creating what it bills as “the world’s leading healthcare intelligence and clinical research organization.”

On the financial front, Icon’s latest statement has been successful. In its Q3 report, the company posted revenue of $1.94 billion, beating Street expectations by $10 million. Similarly, EPS of $1.94 beat analysts’ estimate of $1.82. The company also reported full 2022 revenue and adj. EPS manual.

Assessing the Q3 print, JP Morgan analyst Casey Woodring thinks the long-term thesis remains “sound” while highlighting the importance of the FRAH deal.

“We are encouraged by how the company has performed in 2022 and see the repeat of LT targets through 2025 as a positive indicator of the overall health of the market and ICLR’s competitive position,” the analyst wrote. “We continue to view ICLR as a top-tier clinical CRO, with the potential to drive new business success as a result of the company’s scale and integrated capabilities during this period of considerable biotech uncertainty, as well as a more leveraged position for big pharma. has an attractive financial profile. PRAH Treaty.”

These comments support Woodring’s Overweight (ie, Buy) rating, supported by a $265 price target. Implications for investors? Up ~22% from current levels. (To follow Woodring’s record, Click here)

Overall, ICON receives strong support from the Street; Ratings are split 7 to 2 in favor of Buy, with a consensus rating of Strong Buy. The average target is slightly lower than Woodring’s; At $259, this number indicates ~20% one-year upside potential. (See ICLR stock forecast on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for buying and selling stocks at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy section, a newly launched tool that integrates all of TipRanks’ stock insights.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of selected analysts only. The content is intended for informational use only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.



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