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NEW YORK (
) -- "When the smoke clears in Europe, it will be the big themes that win," Jim Cramer told his
TV show viewers Wednesday, as he highlighted what's moving stocks this earnings season.
1. The collapse in commodity prices. Cramer said that companies like
have proven that companies that have pushed through price hikes to customers will reap huge rewards once commodities start falling. Look for
to be next.
2. Differentiation wins. Cramer said companies like
Illinois Tool Works
have become proxies for global growth and are getting hammered, while others, lik2
are bucking this trend with differentiated products.
3. Innovation wins. Cramer said
have proven that new products and innovation will send your shares higher.
4. Know your customer. Cramer said that companies like
, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, and
Chipotle Mexican Grill
listen to their customers, while it's clear that
5. Down with paper pushers. Cramer noted that investors are rewarding companies that make products and are still penalizing companies like financials and insurers that don't. With new fees and regulations continuing, Cramer said this trend will likely continue.
6. Fossil fuels vs. renewables. Cramer said the wind and solar stocks have been obliterated this quarter, while the fossil fuels are back and bigger than ever. Stocks like
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Jim Flaws, CFO of
, whose stock just delivered a six-cent-a-share earnings beat on a 29% rise in revenues along with raised guidance. Corning also announced a 50% increase in its dividend and a stock buyback program.
Flaws said that inventories have finally bottomed in the company's display business and he's seeing strong retail demand for televisions in every region of the world. Corning's fiber optic business has also been building and is now the strongest its been in 10 years, he said. Flaws also said that there's strong growth in China, which is now the largest market for televisions in the world.
When asked about the dividend and buyback program, Flaws said that Corning is a constant cash flow generator and the dividend is something it has planned for awhile. The buyback, he said, is the company's way of saying that shares are undervalued. He has also personally made a similar commitment, buying shares on the open market.
Turning to new products, he said that its gorilla glass product will triple this year, while at its North Carolina fiber optic plant, Corning is pioneering new technology and is hiring new workers.
Cramer said he's never been more confident in recommending Corning than he is right now.
Customer Loyalty Abounds
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Ron Shaich, founder and executive chairman of
, which delivered a three- cent-a-share earnings beat on a 21% pop in revenues. Same-store sales rose 6% and Panera delivered better-than-expected guidance going forward.
Shaich said that customers keep coming back to Panera and are responding to its food and its loyalty program. He said the company's media is working and its operations are also starting to make a difference. Shaich also noted that thanks to record low real estate and developments costs, Panera is opening some of the strongest stores it's ever opened.
Shaich said that investors shouldn't analyze Panera over any given quarter, but should look at the long term, where the company has seen growth in 13 of its past 14 quarters. He said the company has a sustainable business model and one with many years of growth ahead.
When asked about rising commodity prices, Shaich said that value doesn't mean cheap, it means getting a lot for your money. He said that Panera customers are willing to pay reasonable prices, which is why the company was able to offset all of its rising food costs.
Shaich concluded by saying that Panera remains committed to its stock buyback program. The company is about half way through its $600 million repurchase authorization and uses any opportunities in its share price to buy back more.
Cramer said companies like Panera and Chipotle have over thing in common, customers love them, and so does he.
Food Business Play
In still another "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with David Wenner, president and CEO of
, which delivered inline earnings, raised guidance and a boost in the company's dividend.
Wenner explained that as B&G's free cash flow has increased, the company felt comfortable raising its dividend. He said the company also remains active in its stock buyback program.
When asked about new products, Wenner highlighted B&G's move into dollar stores. He said its dollar store offerings offer the same value, just in smaller packages, which has helped that segment to increase by 50% so far this year. Other new products in the company's Cream Of Wheat, Ortega and Las Plamas brands have also been very well received, said Wenner, as is its maple syrups.
Turning to commodity costs and price increases, Wenner said it's too early to tell what the reactions are from customers and competitors alike regarding its recent price hikes. In the restaurant segment, Wenner called the situation fragile, as gas prices and consumer confidence have been taking their toll. However, he said that packaging costs should remain flat going into 2012.
Cramer said that B&G remains one of the best stories in the food business and he continued to recommend the stock.
Cramer was bullish on
Abercrombie & Fitch
He was bearish on
In his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with David Pyott, chairman, president and CEO of
, which just reported a two-cent-a-share earnings beat with inline revenues buy upside guidance.
Pyott recapped that sale grew by 10% year over year and earnings per share were up 18%. He said the company's eye care business was hurt by increased rebate activity in the U.S., but he expects that 2012 rebate levels will not be increasing so there's no need to worry.
Turning to the company's use of Botox for migraine headaches, Pyott said that Allergan received approval a little over one year ago and has been training physicians and setting up reimbursements with insurers. With that activity ahead of schedule, Allergan has now turned to marketing the product to patients and is seeing great initial successes.
Another highlight for the company is its Juvederm family of products, which now has less pain on injection thanks to new innovations.
Cramer said that all still seems to be well at Allergan and he continued to recommend the company.
Cramer recommended the railroads, including
, along with network content provider
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple.
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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