Wow, it’s a bit tough to really figure out what CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer feels about Zillow. You may recall him flipping hsi opinion last fall, something I pointed out at the time in my story: “Cramer vs. Cramer: Mad Money host changes his tune on Zillow.”
Now, this week, Cramer is back on the airwaves with yet another take on the “young whippersnapper” Zillow, whose stock is up more than 240 percent this year.
Cramer takes direct aim at those who’ve thought to short Zillow’s stock, basically betting against the company’s prospects. In fact, Cramer almost goes so far as to mock those who’d think that a growth-oriented Internet company like Zillow, now valued at $3.6 billion, is too expensive.
“Short sellers, you need to know what you are betting against,” Cramer said in his loud screeching voice this week. “In this case, they bet against the hottest Internet play on Earth right now…. They got it wrong, and now they are paying the price for a lack of understanding.”
Cramer notes that the shortsellers largely have misunderstood Zillow, looking at it as a housing play, rather than a fast-growing Internet company like LinkedIn or Yelp.
What’s interesting about those comments is that Cramer tossed caution to the wind against Zilow, and Trulia, for that matter, last fall just before the companies’ stocks accelerated.
Back in November, Cramer said that Zillow and Trulia did not have deep “moats” around their businesses. At the time, Zillow was trading at about $26 per share, and Cramer called it “expensive” at that price. He said both companies were walking on a “tightrope.”
Zillow is now at $96.45.
“There’s nothing stopping anyone else from getting in on the action,” he said. “And there are many companies that want in.” He recommended Realogy, whose stock is basically flat this year.