Jim Cramer Names Meta Platforms Top Pick For CNBC Stock Draft: His Reasoning Might Surprise You

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In honor of the NFL Draft, which kicks off Thursday, CNBC holds an annual Stock Draft featuring stock picks from market professionals, athletes, celebrities and even social media influencers.

The goal is to select stocks that will outperform and record the largest percentage gains between now and the Super Bowl.

The first four stocks selected were Palo Alto Networks Inc PANWChewy Inc CHWY, Amazon.com Inc AMZN and Microsoft Corp MSFT. The fifth choice off the board was Ethereum ETH/USD, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, but the top five picks pale in comparison to the hot take Jim Cramer laid out next.

What To Know: When Meta Platforms Inc FB was selected sixth, Cramer chimed in and said Meta would have been his No. 1 pick. The reason why might come as a surprise.

“TikTok will be No. 2, second banana to Reels, by December,” Cramer said Thursday on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”

Many investors and analysts had expressed concerns that Meta shifted its focus entirely to the metaverse and away from what makes the company tick today: Facebook and Instagram.

That was cleared up on the company’s first-quarter earnings call Wednesday. CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that the company plans to focus on improving Reels and further monetizing the product.

Related Link: Meta Platforms Q1 Earnings Highlights: EPS Beat, Revenue Miss, User Metrics Up And More

Reels is the short-form video feature of Instagram, which competes directly with TikTok. The Meta CEO also said Reels accounts for more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram.

“Overall, I think about the AI we’re building not just as a recommendation system for short-form video, but as a Discovery Engine that can show you all of the most interesting content that people have shared across our systems,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post following the company’s quarterly results.

FB Price Action: Meta shares were trading around 52-week lows ahead of the company’s earnings report on Wednesday, but shares surged following better-than-expected results.

According to data from Benzinga Pro, the stock gained 17.59% Thursday, closing at $205.73.

Photo: Solen Feyissa from Flickr.