After the decline on Thursday, Jim Cramer’s inclination was to buy biotech stocks. But, in many cases, it is too late to get out. So many investors sold biotechs in the first quarter, now the group seems sold out.
“I think it is worth reminding you of a major caveat: biotech investing is hard! This entire group is full of land mines just waiting to be set off,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Cramer warned investors to be very careful when speculating on development-stage biotechs, because the sector is extremely volatile. Even high quality stocks can implode.
So, why does anyone bother owning speculative biotechs?
The flipside to these two scenarios is that while investors must be careful, the group can also soar like Medivation, which roared on a takeover speculation.
So, while some investors may want to own early-stage biotech stocks, Cramer wants investors to remember that they can lose a tremendous amount of value in the blink of an eye. The group is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for a retirement fund.
When Cramer looked back at the first quarter of 2016, he found that the stock market was broken into two groups: those who ran away screaming, and those who conquered fantastic gains.
“The lesson of this winter of despair/spring of hope quarter is that if you own shares of a decent company … you will almost always get a better chance to sell,” the “Mad Money” host said.
To Cramer, a decent company offers real earnings prospects and does not have immense debt on its balance sheet. It is a company that has historically been able to bounce back in volatile times.
“Despite the overwhelmingly negative backdrop, it wasn’t the time to sell, it was the time to buy. The toughest move would have been the smartest one to take,” Cramer said.
When it comes to stocks, bonds and the economy, Cramer pokes fun at analysts who don’t bother to think past next quarter. But when he sees a piece of fantastic research that can really help investors make money, he wants to shout it from the rooftops.
No one called the turn of Europe better than Michael Cembalest, chairman of market and investment strategy at JPMorgan Asset Management.
Cramer read Cembalest’s “Eye on the Market” newsletter in 2015, which discussed a bullish turn on Europe. It pointed out signs that Europe was about to take off, and no one was paying attention, in part because people were sick of hearing about a potential turn, and because of the ongoing soap opera in Greece.
Cramer considered Cembalest’s predictions brilliant. One year ago the euro hit a low versus the dollar on the FXE, the ETF that reflects the price of the euro against the dollar, and it was at $104. Almost everyone but Cembalest felt a breakdown would occur at that price.
“They were dead wrong, and he was dead right,” Cramer said.
So, with most of biotech rebounding on Thursday after the news of a potential takeover bid on Medivation, Cramer wondered what to do with a development-stage biotech like Radius Health.
Radius is a company focused on treating osteoporosis and other endocrine-mediated disorders. The stock fell 4 percent on Thursday, though it had positive news of a new drug application with the FDA for its lead drug, a therapy for osteoporosis that is already awaiting review in Europe.
Cramer spoke with Radius Health CEO Robert Ward, who described the urgency of meeting the needs of those with osteoporosis.
“When we think about osteoporosis, not many people realize that there are more Americans affected by osteoporosis than cancer … So, it’s a huge, unmet medical need, and so as new therapies come out it readdresses this question: how do we get access, how do we get treatment to these patients,” Ward said.
Another biotech that has been a real punching bag lately is Seres Therapeutics, which is devoted to creating drugs that will restore the balance of the bacterial ecosystem in a patient’s intestines.
Its lead compound is designed to prevent the recurrence of CDI, an inflammation of the large intestine that is one of the worst antibiotic threats out there. It is a disease that can be treated with antibiotics, but the same antibiotics that cure it could create a bacterial imbalance that could leave someone getting infected again.
Seres Therapeutics CEO Dr. Roger Pomerantz explained to Cramer that the goal of the company is to both think about the patient and save money for what he views as a failing health care system.
“You go to a high unmet need niche … you come up with a drug that is innovative and has tremendous data, and then you use it and price it right so that you can make a fair profit for your shareholders, at the same time returning money to the failing healthcare system … This is what drug development is, or should be, about,” Pomerantz said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller-favorite stocks:
Relypsa: “Too speculative, didn’t like the last results. I know many viewers love it, and they’re going to hector me for that, but I have been right to be cautious!”
World Wrestling Entertainment: “Not enough there. We’ve got entertainment companies like Disney and Time Warner. Those I like.”
Read MoreLightning Round: I’ve been right to be cautious on this