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On Wall Street, "ConAgra" is synonymous with "a joke of a company," but
is a joke no more, Jim Cramer told viewers on his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday.
It's time market players take a second look at the company as its shares near their 52-week high, he said.
"There are two kinds of companies: tragedies and comedies," Cramer said.
A tragic company is one that takes itself all the way to zero, and a comedy is a company that, no matter how badly organized, cannot ruin itself, he explained.
A comedic company "is ConAgra in a nutshell," Cramer said. This company is a house full of "great brands" under one roof that has "failed over and over again."
people at ConAgra couldn't pull it together and make all these great brands work," he said.
The management thought it was in the food business. But in reality, "ConAgra doesn't sell food, it sells brands," Cramer said. "It lives or dies by its brands."
For a brand to work, it needs to be "carefully managed," he said, and nobody at ConAgra managed brands successfully.
But then last year, the Omaha, Neb., company brought in Gary Rodkin to manage its brands and appointed him as its new CEO.
"He is the reason why the stock's been climbing, and it should continue to climb," Cramer said.
However, despite the fact that the stock has been moving up, analysts don't believe that ConAgra's brands can be turned around, he said.
"ConAgra has always been a good box with bad packaging, and the analysts don't see this," Cramer said. "It is going to make people some mad money and is a turnaround story with a bright future."
ConAgra is a buy, he said.
More often than not, market players get caught up in asking themselves if they were too late getting into a stock, Cramer said. But in the case of
Buffalo Wild Wings
, it's not too late to get in, he said.
Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings hit a high Wednesday, and Cramer believes that not only is the stock still worth buying at $50, but it's "even more of a buy than it was at $42."
Even though the arithmetic doesn't make sense, "it is completely and utterly true," he said.
However, Buffalo Wild Wings might not be suitable for everyone to own, as it is a tiny company with a very volatile stock. If people don't like volatility and companies with small market capitalizations, they should stay away from this stock, Cramer warned.
A lot of people were betting against this stock, he said. According to their case, the company was a bearish bet because it stopped giving out quarterly guidance. This rightfully "scared investors," Cramer said.
However, he said, it was spending time to grow and if people do their homework, they don't need a company to tell them its guidance because people can find it out for themselves.
Apart from having a "great marketing campaign with ESPN," Buffalo Wild Wings has also been branding itself as a family wing place, Cramer said. It is through this family-friendly brand image that the company sets itself apart from competitors, he said.
In addition, Buffalo Wild Wings recognizes the fact that "a chick wing is indistinguishable from any other chicken wing. "It's all about the topping and the sauce," Cramer said. "It has 14 different sauces."
Plus, it is located in 36 states, with most stores in the Midwest, and it has room to expand.
Although Cramer said he wishes he had called Buffalo Wild Wings a buy on Monday, "this is a story in its adolescence, if not in its infancy," he said. "It's better to be in late than not get in at all."
It's a buy, he said.
The Options-Backdating Rebound
Although there are companies that have been hit hard by options-backdating problems, trends show that after an initial decline, these stocks tend to rebound, Cramer told viewers.
For example, "
got taken down from $8 to nearly $4 while its options-backdating scandal was going on and has rallied almost $5 now," he said. Brocade closed at $8.64 on Thursday.
also rallied after their backdating scandals, Cramer added.
A little "less flattering" is the case of
, a stock he owns for his
Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust and which "had, by far, one of the worst backdating-option scandals," he said.
On news of its options backdating, the stock slid, but even UnitedHealth bounced after the scandal was aired out in the open.
"Now we know when news hits of an options backdating scandal, that's when a stock hits bottom, and that's when you buy," Cramer said.
"Backdating options isn't something you do when business is bad," he went on to say. "In each case the options were backdated for one reason, because performance was better than expected."
Rather than being viewed as an "accounting scandal," it should be seen as a "compensation scandal," Cramer said.
The bottom line: Being involved in an options-backdating scandal doesn't necessarily land a stock in the sell block.
Pulte Sees Stability
CEO Richard Dugas to the show and asked him if only the homebuilder's low-end homes were moving well.
"No, we're having a slowdown across the board," Dugas responded.
When Cramer asked if he sees any areas that have bottomed," Dugas said, "I wouldn't call it a bottom yet."
"We have seen signs of stabilization," Dugas went on to say. "As an example, our cancellation rate was steady for the entire three months of the quarter, which is a positive trend."
"We are hopeful that certain markets have bottomed, but cannot call it for certain yet," Dugas said.
Because there's been a very big run in the homebuilder, Cramer advised viewers to "take a little off the table."
To view Cramer's interview with Richard Dugas, please click here.
In the "Sudden Death" round, Cramer was bullish on
. He was bearish on
Qiao Xing Universal Telephone
Cramer was bullish on
Abercrombie & Fitch
Enterprise Products Partners
Cramer was bearish on
Advanced Medical Optics
For more of Cramer's insights during the most recent Lightning Round,
Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his latest book by
At the time of publication, Cramer was long UnitedHealth Group.
Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."
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