The end of the world might not be as close as we thought, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. Sure, there are still a lot of things that can go wrong, Cramer admitted, but it's important to always hear the other side of the trade.
That other side was heard loud and clear with Apple (AAPL - Get Report) , an Action Alerts PLUS holding. While analysts have viewed the company as simply a handset maker and they've built binary models that revolve around the number of iPhones the company sells, Apple thinks differently. Apple is more of a services company, tacking on another 100 million users of its various iCloud services this quarter alone. Yet shares of Apple are still valued less than Procter & Gamble (PG - Get Report) .
Next up was Facebook (FB - Get Report) , another Action Alerts name. Just a few weeks ago, all looked hopeless for the company. But after the company began apologizing profusely, posted terrific earnings and today announced an outside counsel will help right the ship, Facebook looks to be back on track.
The market has also been focused on rising commodity costs like oil, freight, steel and copper. But Cramer said freight problems are being fixed, while more oil will begin flowing after new pipelines are completed. As for steel tariffs, those now appear baked into stock prices.
While it's true we still don't know what will happen regarding trade with China, Cramer reminded viewers that there is a possibility that China is less important than we might think. Even with North Korea, its beginning to look like there might be a method to President Trump's madness.
So if Apple and Facebook can defy the odds, perhaps the rest of the market can too, Cramer concluded.
Apple's Services Side
Just how important was the services side of Apple's earnings this quarter? Cramer laid out the numbers.
Apple reported 270 million users paying for its various services. That's 100 million more than it had just last year. For some context, that's 170 million more than Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) Prime, 130 million more than HBO and double -- yes, double -- the subscribers of the beloved Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) . Keep in mind that Apple has an install base of 1.3 billion devices, leaving plenty of opportunities ahead.
To truly understand Apple's potential, think of its customers less as people who buy iPhones and more as members. Just imagine what Apple could do if the company offered an affinity credit card or an online buying club. Then there's healthcare. Apple could roll out a unified healthcare data platform for its 1.3 billion members as well. All of these services could have gross margins as high as 90%.
So the next time you see analysis valuing the company simply on the number of iPhones it sells, think again. Apple has more in common with a consumer packaged foods company than it does a tech company.
Over on Real Money, Cramer analyzes the service stream that Apple has pretty much backed into. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Buybacks Are Booming
Earnings aren't the only thing skyrocketing this quarter, Cramer told viewers. Companies are taking control of their own destinies and buying back stock at a record pace. In fact, buyback programs are up 54% this quarter and Cramer highlighted the biggest winners.
Amgen (AMGN - Get Report) tops the list with a $10.7 billion repurchase program announced this quarter. That's seven times more than last year. Oracle (ORCL - Get Report) was second on the list with $4 billion in announced share repurchases.
But the honorable mention is, of course, Apple, which announced a $100 billion buyback program, along with a 16% boost in the company's dividend. Cramer said Apple will surely make a dent in its paltry multiple of 13 times earnings with such a sizable commitment to increasing its share price.
Cramer and the AAP are buying PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) into Wednesday's weakness. They say the recent selloff has become largely overdone. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Executive Decision: Dominion Energy
For an "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Tom Farrell, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion Energy (D - Get Report) , the utility that just posted a 10-cents-a-share earnings beat. Shares of Dominion are down 20% for the year and sport a 5% dividend yield.
Farrell said that Dominion is celebrating the opening of their liquified natural gas export facility, which has been under construction for three years. The facility came in on time and on budget, costing $4.1 billion. U.S.-made natural gas is already en route to India and Japan, he said.
When asked about his slumping share price, Farrell explained the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, surprisingly reversed a 40-year policy with no notice. The new ruling, which the industry has asked be reconsidered, caused the hit to their finances and will make it difficult to finance gas infrastructure going forward. That said, the company plans no more stock sales until at least 2020.
Turning to the topic of renewable energy, Farrell said Dominion has installed 2,000 megawatts of solar in nine states and has wind farms in two states. His company is looking at offshore wind as an option, but he noted that all renewables need gas infrastructure to back them up in the evenings.
Executive Decision: Coupa Software
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Rob Bernshteyn, CEO of Coupa Software Inc. (COUP - Get Report) , the expense management software provider with shares that are up 50% so far in 2018.
Bernshteyn said that Coupa helps companies optimize their spending and get smarter with their suppliers, l through a unified cloud platform that has the right technology to get it done.
Bernshteyn explained that many companies start with the simple recording of paper receipts for things like restaurants, travel and Uber. Then they evolve into better reporting, which in turn leads to expense management and other services. The Coupa platform takes care of ordering and purchasing with no human intervention and can help eliminate suppliers that cannot deliver.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH , Costco (COST - Get Report) , Limelight Networks (LLNW - Get Report) , Seagate Technology (STX - Get Report) , Danaher (DHR - Get Report) , General Mills (GIS - Get Report) , Texas Instruments (TXN - Get Report) and FireEye (FEYE - Get Report) .
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