Jim Cramer: If Philly Were a Stock, It Would Be “Incredibly Undervalued”

The Mad Money host says his hometown is on the rise and breaks down local companies to watch for.

Jim Cramer in the Mad Money lair. (Courtesy of NBCUniversal)

Jim Cramer in the Mad Money lair. (Courtesy of NBCUniversal)

Jim Cramer loves Philadelphia. That much we know.

But the Mad Money host doesn’t just love the sports, cheesesteaks and the hometown charm — he thinks it’s an emerging business climate with plenty of great companies to watch out for.

“If Philly was a stock, it would be incredibly undervalued,” said Cramer in an interview Friday.

Cramer should know. Although he lives in New York, he grew up here, owns property in the area and visits “constantly.” In fact, he’s throwing out the first pitch at the Phillies game Saturday (despite complaints about his shoulder, knees and back).

“It would be great to start a businesses in Philadelphia,” he said. “It’s the most affordable city in America.” While that’s not exactly accurate, it’s surely much cheaper to live in Philly than other big business hubs like New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

Philadelphia’s recent real estate and economic boom has certainly bolstered city living and revitalized neighborhoods, but there’s a big piece missing: How do you keep young families in the city when schools are so underfunded? Cramer points to Brooklyn (where he also owns property), because it saw a revitalization in its elementary and middle schools coinciding with huge gains in property value.

“Philadelphia needs to somehow keep those people downtown, and a good school system can do that,” he said.

Cramer says a big key to pushing Philadelphia into the world-class city category is a high-speed rail line connecting Philly and New York (something that will undoubtedly be a difficult sell in light of Tuesday’s deadly train crash).

“If you could get a high-speed train that could go 150 mph — in a safe way – that would be huge,” he said. “If you could make it from Philly to New York in an hour and 15 minutes, it would change things in a major way.”

Cramer on Local Companies

Comcast: “Full disclosure, I work for Comcast, but I think Comcast is the most powerful force in entertainment and distribution in the country now. The signup numbers are really great. It’s been a win. The stock has been best performer in the group. Its initiatives seem to be working. They’ve got a lot of good technology people, and the cash flow is really good. I know [new CFO] Mike Cavanagh — he’s fabulous. I thought he was going to get the J.P. Morgan job, he didn’t. I think as a CFO he’ll be great. I think it’s a great stock and good company.”

Urban Outfitters: “One of the most undervalued national retailers. Once the flagship turned around, everything turned around. Anthropologie is an amazing division. Free People is incredible. It’s for real.”

Five Below: “It’s a very exciting concept … but they have a distribution issue and they’ve missed their numbers so many times. They’re fabulous guys, but I can’t recommend [the stock] because it’s too inconsistent.”

Duck Duck Go: “It’s a tremendous source of readers for my website The Street. Privacy is much more important than people recognize. People love the idea [of a web search firm that deletes data right away]. It’s a private company, so I don’t know their plan, but it’s a powerful force and I hope it gets bigger.”

Crown Holdings: “It’s a niche business that has developed into a really great packaging company. People should understand that the company has been the consolidators in the industry. They’re a survivor. Crown is a very inexpensive company and run incredibly well run by Mr. [John] Conway.”

Radian: “It’s been one of my core recommendations for a long time. It’s a great financial guaranty company that has been much more prudent than everyone else. I got behind Radian when [the stock] was at eight bucks. I still think Radian is a good stock.”