Hess has long been viewed as a company with under-managed assets, which explains why its shares have been underperforming its peers. On July 25, management laid out plans for long-term restructuring by selling some non-core assets to fund increased drilling in select areas, but Cramer said that plan doesn't go far enough for shareholders.
Cramer noted that on the exploration and production side of the business, Hess is seen as unfocused. That's why making even more asset sales could unlock tremendous value. He said the company's assets in the Bakken shale alone are worth $25 a share, while the company's Utica shale assets in Ohio aren't valued at all. Internationally, Hess' West Africa assets are worth $11 a share; Europe, $8, and Asia $17.
Add up all those numbers and investors are already making 17% on their investments, said Cramer, and that's not even including the company's refining operation in New Jersey, nor its 1,300 filling stations along the east coast. Those assets could fetch another $2 billion, or $6 a share.
Both Marathon Petroleum (MRC) and Phillips 66 (PSX) have both proven that refinery spinoffs work, said Cramer, as both of those stocks are near their 52-week highs. The same would be true with Hess, he said, if only management would keep an open mind.