Has big tech become too powerful? There are many people, both inside and outside of Washington, who think so. But Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday that he looks at big tech differently. Companies like Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report, Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report, Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report and Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report should be celebrated, not vilified, and certainly not broken up.
Congress is thinking about big tech all wrong. These are some of America's greatest treasures, and what they do, they do better than anyone else in the world. We shouldn't be singling them out, but rather creating clear rules for digital commerce that can apply to everyone in our new digital economy.
Microsoft delivered the best quarter of any company in 2021, Cramer proclaimed. Not only is Microsoft a leader in office software, it's also winning in the job market with LinkedIn, in the cloud with Azure, and it has $130 billion in cash.
Over on Action Alerts PLUS, Chris Versace and Bob Lang are looking at AMD's results: Despite the chip shortage, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Get Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Report beat estimates, with revenue climbing 54% year over year and guided revenue for the current quarter above consensus. The drivers for both quarters: robust demand and share gains at graphics and data center. Read more of their trading strategies and investing advice in Action Alerts PLUS.
Google is the undisputed leader in search and also in video, where YouTube reigns supreme.
Apple is not only a leader in smartphones, it also owns payments, entertainment, fitness and countless other services that millions of consumers can't live without.
Then there's Tesla, which makes the world's best electric vehicles, not only here in the U.S., but also in Europe and China. Amazon is the best online retailer and the best cloud provider in the world.
No one does it better than these big tech giants, and that's why they're worthy of our praise, Cramer concluded.
Executive Decision: PPG Industries
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Michael McGarry, chairman, president and CEO of PPG Industries (PPG) - Get PPG Industries, Inc. Report, the paint and coatings maker with shares up 12% for the year as it struggles with rising costs, supply chain disruptions and an automotive industry that's under pressure.
McGarry said he's still optimistic for the future. There's a lot of latent demand that couldn't be this year that will need to be filled in 2022. While some of its customers expect continued weakness into the beginning of next year, many share his optimism for the back half of next year.
When asked about some of the challenges, McGarry explained that typically, the automakers could provide them with a 90-day forecast that was 90% accurate and a 60-day forecast that was 98% accurate. In today's environment, however, they struggle to predict what will happen next week. And it's not just autos, he added, appliances are the same way. They can't even predict traffic paint given raw material shortages.
PPG buys from a lot of different companies, McGarry continued. And if their paint is made from 20 ingredients, it only takes one to halt production. Between hurricanes, the gulf coast freeze, COVID and disruptions in China, it's going to be a difficult environment for awhile.
Cramer said things will eventually turn positive for PPG, but investors can't afford to wait for those positive things to happen, they need to invest now.
Executive Decision: ProLogis
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also spoke with Hamid Moghadam, chairman and CEO of ProLogis (PLD) - Get Prologis, Inc. Report, the logistics company with shares up 45% over the past 12 months.
Moghadam said there are many smart people working very hard to solve the global supply chain issues, but it's going to take time for the system to reset itself. He said the surge in demand after vaccinations began, coupled with disruptions from the Delta variant, was something the system has never seen before and wasn't prepared for.
Modern supply chains have gotten very long thanks to globalization, Moghadam explained. The items you buy today can comprise thousands of individual components that are sourced from all over the globe. It's like turning on a hose in China, he said, it's going to take a long time for the water to finally reach you. And when it does, you're going to need a lot of it because you're going to be really thirsty.
When asked what the biggest challenge is for the industry, Moghadam responded: labor. He said there's simply not enough workers to unload ships, not enough truck drivers to move containers to warehouses and not enough warehouse workers to get those goods on their way to stores and consumers.
Executive Decision: ThermoFisher Scientific
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in Marc Casper, chairman, president and CEO of ThermoFisher Scientific (TMO) - Get Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Report, the medical equipment maker that just posted a $1.08-a-share earnings beat that included 7% organic growth that topped analysts' expectations. Shares were up slightly, 0.6%, by the close.
Casper attributed ThermoFisher's success during the pandemic to their investments and their capabilities. The company was able to mobilize quickly and scale their production to meet unprecedented demand for testing and research. He said PCR testing was relevant pre-pandemic and it will remain in demand for the foreseeable future thanks to its accuracy and ability to adapt to changing conditions.
Casper was also bullish about ThermoFisher's acquisition of PPD, a clinical research company. He said the deal is the largest in Thermo Fisher's history and brings over 30,000 employees to the company. The combined company will now be able to partner with biotech companies in the early research phase and help them through the research, development, clinical trials and manufacturing phases, all the way to the final product.
When asked about tensions with China, Casper noted that ThermoFisher has been in China for 40 years and helps the country with air quality, food testing, medicine development and other critical services that have made them a trusted partner with a local presence.
Finally, when asked about the lessons learned from COVID-19, Casper said that while it took awhile for the world to mobilize to the crisis, the speed at which vaccines and therapies were developed, tested and deployed has been remarkable. Countries are now taking public health seriously and are planning for the future.
Cramer called Casper one of the heroes of the pandemic given how prepared they were to rise to the global challenge.
Cramer's long been a champion of Robinhood, viewing the company as a "gateway to riches" for everyday investors. Robinhood's easy-to-use app, combined with a little homework, was supposed to be a boon for younger investors to get in the game and start owning a piece of America.
But now we've learned that the average Robinhood account holder has just $250 in their account, and they're not investing in stocks. Instead, most users are speculating in the riskiest of meme stocks along with the most speculative of cryptocurrencies.
While Robinhood announced the addition of 24/7 live support for their users, Cramer said he's questioning what kinds of advice users are getting from this service. Are they being told the risks of speculation, the hazards of investing in options and the lunacy of trading on margin?
Are Robinhood users really investing, or are they treating the platform like a game? Cramer cautioned that Robinhood needs to get back to basics, otherwise their business model simply won't be sustainable.
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money Lightning Round Wednesday evening:
MP Materials MP: "I think the stock is OK right here. I'd hold onto it."
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