Cafaro said Ventas is building a "framework for growth," noting that the company has a low cost of capital and a great team in place to both grow organically and through acquisition. Ventas is gaining scale, noted Cafaro, and is improving its balance sheet in the process.
When asked about the company's business and how it relates to debates over Medicare funding and health-care costs, Cafaro explained that Ventas is simply a landlord and the company's senior living centers, for example, are managed by Sunrise Senior Living (SRZ) and other experienced operators. "We collect rents regardless of what happens with Medicare funding," Cafaro added, which is why the company is able to deliver consistent earnings.
Also adding to the company's strength is that Ventas serves the middle of the market, which makes its facilities accessible to middle-income seniors. Cafaro said 80% of her company's revenue stems from private paying tenants and not from government subsidies.
Cramer said he's been remiss in not recommending Ventas before as the company has been terrific for its shareholders. He recommended buying on any weakness.
A Cereal Dividend BoosterIn a second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills (GIS), the consumer packaged-foods giant that delivered a solid quarter Wednesday, but with conservative guidance. General Mills also boosted its dividend by 8%, it's 12th boost in just eight years. Cramer currently owns shares of General Mills for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS. Powell said that while last year was challenging for General Mills amid some of the highest commodity inflation in 30 years, things are different now and commodity costs are trend below expectations. He said the environment overall is better and his company continues to innovate. Powell said the packaged-food business is still very competitive and consumers are looking for health, convenience and value when they make their purchases. That's why General Mills has been able to take market share and is seeing strong gains in cereals, soups and organic products. The company's Greek yogurt business doubled in size last year, said Powell, and continues to see strong momentum.
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