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Flour, Foster Wheeler, and National Oilwell – Where's The Love?

Jim Cramer shares the pain of believing in solid companies with strong earnings but having to watch them be pummeled by the computerized trading systems…

Market Unfairly Beating Up on These Three

By Jim Cramer

8/12/2008 12:34 PM EDT

Foster Wheeler (FWLT) , Fluor (FLR) and McDermott (MDR) are in free fall, and while I was disappointed in McDermott’s earnings, I am miffed that FWLT and FLR, which had really great backlogs and earnings, can’t get any support at all here.

Fluor, first of all, guided up very big, one of the biggest I have seen, so for this stock to be down 10% seems absurd.

Foster Wheeler now trades at less than one time its backlog, a solid backlog put on mostly when oil was substantially lower, so there is almost no chance of cancellation. Yet nobody cares because of the price of crude.

This is a market that loves and hates with such passion that you have to ask yourself if this is the moment when you have to start buying and putting away stocks that sell at valuations that make no sense unless oil is going to $60 [which it can’t – the marginal costs to drill the deep water wells is $80 per barrel] , which is how I feel with these two.

It is also how I feel about National Oilwell Varco (NOV) , with an order book that, again, is the envy of the industry and, again, just needs natural gas above $7 and oil about $70 to make the numbers for at least the next three years.

Unfortunately, the pain of sticking with stocks like Fluor and Foster and National Oilwell is beyond the ken of most mortals.

These are not dot-coms. There is worth here. But nobody cares. One day they will. The trick is to remain alive and in the game until they do, because we know, from the banks, that when they turn, and they will turn [in a big way] because their businesses are, long term so excellent and steady, you will not be able to get into them. You will, by nature, be too late.

Sometimes you have to lose some big money to make some bigger money. That’s how I feel about these stocks at these levels. But boy do I feel lonely

NOTE: On a separate thought, Lehman Brothers upgrades Flour today. Here is their comment:

Fluor Estimates Increased at Lehman
7:41 AM EDT Lehman continues to believe that FLR is the only E&C that provides enough diversity across the sector’s end markets. Analyst sees potential for several large bookings for FLR in the near term. Lehman raised Price Target to $103 from $98. FLR mgmt raised FY2008 guidance to $3.65-3.80 from $3.30-3.45.