Investing is all about the search for great stories, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers on Thursday. But a good theme is not enough, you also need to invest at the right time. That's why Cramer regularly visits Silicon Valley, to hear first-hand what the next big themes will be.
This week, Cramer's in San Francisco for the Dreamforce event, and visiting companies and CEOs in Silicon Valley.
The biggest theme this trip? Personalization. Companies that know who their customers are and what they want before they do are able to dominate their industries, Cramer said, and the companies providing those companies with the tools to personalize are the winning investments.
Salesforce.com (CRM) is one of those tools, as the company's customer relations platform was built to gather data and use artificial intelligence attract new customers and keep existing ones happy. That's part of why shares of Salesforce hit new all-time highs today.
But personalization is a lot more than software. Ask HP (HPQ) , the company that allows Coca-Cola (KO) to print personalized bottles of their iconic product, or Nike (NKE) , which has digitized their operations so customers can build their perfect pair of sneakers. Even hotels can be personalized. Just ask Marriott International (MAR) , which also uses Salesforce to provide guests with the ideal travel experience.
Companies without personalization continue to struggle, Cramer added, citing the 21% decline in Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) . This retailer has nothing to offer customers that they can't get at Amazon (AMZN) or other places, and they're paying the price.
Cramer and the AAP team are adding shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and trimming Cimarex (XEC) . 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: Box
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer again welcomed Aaron Levie, chairman and CEO at Box (BOX) , to the show. Shares of Box are up 12.5% for year.
Levie started off by clarifying that Box expects to achieve $1 billion in revenue in their fiscal year 2022, but they expect to hit the $1 billion run rate several quarters before that. Revenue this year is expected to be $600 million, Levie said, as they continue to penetrate a $450 billion market opportunity.
Box continues to evolve from a product-based company to one with a platform of services they can sell to their customers, Levie explained, and privacy and security remain a top priority for Box. Customers are 100% in control of their data, he reiterated.
When asked about Facebook (FB) and others that losing the trust of their customers, Levie noted that our laws and regulations were written for the past century and our country needs new rules to deal with the digital economy and a world where most people get their news via social media.
Over on Real Money, Cramer talks about how the Fed's decisions affect different segments of the market. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: HP
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Dion Weisler, president and CEO of HP (HPQ) , a stock which is up 22% in 2018.
Weisler said HP has been innovating ever since it was founded in 1939. Today, HP believes in innovating with purpose, having a sustainable impact on the planet and in the communities it serves. That's part of the reason why HP is able to attract the best and brightest mind and why Weisler said innovation is alive and well across the company.
HP has built a trusted brand, Weisler added, that's why the company uses 9,000 tons of recycled plastics in their toner cartridges and why the company is run on 50% renewable energy, on its way to 100%.
Executive Decision: Cisco Systems
For his next "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems (CSCO) , the networking company that continues to transform itself with software, security, services and more. Shares of Cisco are up 26% for the year.
Robbins said Cisco's always had a terrific culture and brand, and now they have the right portfolio of products to lead their company into the next chapter.
Cisco learned early that customers refresh their hardware and software when there's real innovation, and with the transition to the cloud, companies are redesigning their entire infrastructure to support it. The company's latest Catalyst 9000 switch is the fastest ramping product in Cisco's history.
The cloud is also changing cybersecurity, Robbins added. Before, all traffic originated outside the company and terminated inside the company. But today, with multiple clouds in play, traffic can terminate in hundreds of different locations, creating the need for an entirely different security model.
When asked about the effects of tariffs and trade, Robbins said that lots of companies have been impacted by tariffs, but Cisco has been able to deal with the effects so far. What is more troublesome, he said, is the uncertainty the trade disputes bring to the global economy.
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said he's stunned by President Trump's hostile stance towards Canada, our nation's largest trading partner. If the president can get along with North Korea, how is it he can't find common ground with our friends in Canada? Cramer said he was simply shocked by the President's comments yesterday and the market's lack of a reaction to them.
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