Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) is one of the most mentioned stocks on Jim Cramer's Mad Money as well as one of the most asked about stocks by callers to the show, so I decided to see how well Jim Cramer was able to navigate trading of this stock over its last two bumpy years from the XBOX 360 rollout, to the Windows Vista launch and its competition in search advertising with Google Inc (GOOG).
Cramer had owned Microsoft until July 2006 for his "Action Alerts Plus" charitable trust where he apparently sold at the bottom after the delay of Windows Vista and an earnings disappointment. His calls leading up till then would be a bit confusing to the casual watcher of the show: 3/6/2006 "Going higher" - Buy, 3/17/2006 cites Vista Blowup - Don't Buy, 4/4/2006 "Buy before it gets to 30" - Buy. At the bottom, the calls are mostly bearish: 5/15/2006 "I would no longer sell Microsoft, its just too darn low" - Buy, 5/16/2006 "Paddles, clear!" - Don't Buy, 5/24/2006 "One cautious thumb up" - Buy, 5/30/2006 Don't Buy, 6/20/2006 "Probably done going down" - Buy.
Cramer did eventually jump on the Microsoft (MSFT) momentum train when it became clear that the Vista launch was not completely botched, but he became less bullish when the stock broke through 30. His calls in 2007 include: 2/12/2007 "One of America's greatest companies at a discount" - Buy, 2/15/2007 "There's nothing to offer in software" - Don't Buy. However, he recently turned positive on MSFT on 7/13/2007 recommending it along with the Four Horsemen of Tech Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Research in Motion (RIMM), Amazon.com (AMZN), as well as other tech names Dell (DELL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Cisco Systems (CSCO), SanDisk (SNDK), Texas Instruments (TXN), EMC Corporation (EMC), QUALCOMM (QCOM), and Intel (INTC). For the technology sector, according to Cramer, "this is 1995, not 1999."