Constellation Energy is a safety pick among nuclear energy stocks whose time to shine on Wall Street has finally come, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday.
“When the [Federal Reserve’s] tightening aggressively, hedge funds love to hide in defensive stocks like the utilities. Constellation Energy, it’s the perfect mantra: It’s a real company with a real service, real earnings, a reasonable valuation,” Cramer said.
“I think the twin imperatives of going green and freeing our European allies from their dependence on Russian natural gas has created a perfect moment for nuclear power. … I think it’s worth paying up for Constellation Energy,” for investors who also believe the U.S. will ramp up its nuclear energy production, he added.
The “Mad Money” host’s comments come as President Joe Biden warned Thursday that NATO would respond “in kind” if Russia uses weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine. Recent nuclear weaponry development by other countries, such as North Korea, has also raised concerns in the U.S. At the same time, the world’s broader shift to renewable energy to combat climate change means that countries are considering adding nuclear energy as a potential energy source.
Constellation Energy stock rose 2.65% on Friday to $53.80, still a little below its 52-week high of 56.57. Morgan Stanley predicted earlier this month that the stock would climb 23% in the next year to a $63 price target. Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the company with a buy rating earlier that week.
Cramer outlined what makes Constellation an investable stock and profitable company, including its large fleet of nuclear plants – the company lists 13 on its website – and its strong financial position.
While there are two other publicly-traded independent power generators, NRG Energy and Vistra Energy, Constellation is “the only thing that even comes close to a pure play on clean energy,” Cramer said. “They also have the cleanest balance sheet and they benefit from various state level nuclear subsidies,” he added.
The company’s commercial and industrial consumers, who make up a bigger part of their retail sales than residential customers, means “their profits are pretty much locked in with long-term contracts,” Cramer said.
The host said he doesn’t believe that Constellation’s business will be threatened by a potential rollback of government nuclear subsidies or surge in uranium prices, especially since Constellation said it has enough uranium supply to last for years regardless of Russian sanctions.
He added that the company’s stock is pricier than its two counterparts’ stock, but the premium is warranted by Constellation’s strong balance sheet. “That said, obviously I’d like it below $50 on a pull back, just because it’s had such a move from one month ago,” he said.
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