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We're finally far enough along in earnings season to start rendering some conclusions, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday, as he laid out four themes that are winning and four that are losing big time.
Among the themes that are working, Cramer said the humanization of pets is among the strongest, with both Idexx Laboratories(IDXX) - Get Report and Zoetis(ZTS) - Get Report seeing strong results. Semiconductors also continue to see strength, and Cramer remains bullish on NXP Semiconductors(NXPI) - Get Report , among others.
Biotech has returned from the dead, with strong clinical trial data driving stocks including Ionis Pharmaceuticals(IONS) - Get Report . Meanwhile, new tariffs are buoying the steel stocks, with Nucor(NUE) - Get Report being the standout among many with a great outlook.
As for the sectors to avoid, Cramer called out retail as continuing to be weak unless you're a dollar store or offering products for the home. Restaurants remain weak as well, with Dine Equity(DIN) - Get Report falling 4.7%, joining the likes of Sonic (SONC) , Darden Restaurants(DRI) - Get Report and many others.
Cramer is also bearish on the airlines, where overcapacity, a strong dollar and now the Zika virus is hampering growth. Finally, leisure stocks round out the list of losers this quarter.
Cramer said now that the markets have pulled back, it's time to start testing the waters with some of these winners.
Some of this quarters biggest standouts were the stocks you'd least expect, Cramer told viewers, out of favor names with low expectations that came back into fashion seemingly out of nowhere.
One of those stocks was handicraft marketplace Etsy(ETSY) - Get Report , which popped 8.8% when it reported a 39% rise in revenue. Earlier it appeared that Etsy was sacrificing short-term gains for long-term marketshare and Cramer said the long term just arrived.
GoPro(GPRO) - Get Report was another name that shocked Wall Street, this time with an 11% rise in the average selling price of its action camera lineup. With new products on the horizon, Cramer blessed GoPro for a quick trade
Then there's Fitbit(FIT) - Get Report , which soared 13%. To be fair, Fitbit never missed its earnings, only disappointed investors with its guidance, but today, with 46% revenue growth and strong adoption in Europe, Fitbit is back on center stage.
Executive Decision: Phil Knight
Cramer asked about celebrity endorsement deals and whether they've gotten out of hand in the footwear world. Knight said Nike uses a "sharp pencil" when it calculates the return on their investments and has turned down deals that don't make sense. But in the case of one celebrity, Michael Jordan, the deal came together in storybook fashion.
Knight said Jordan was not only a great athlete, but also a dramatic player and showman who became a brand in and of himself. Many younger consumers don't even know who Michael Jordan is, he quipped, but still wear his shoes.
Turning to the price of footwear, Knight said the consumer tells Nike if prices are too high. The important factors are fashion, comfort and helping people perform. If you can provide those three things, then a shoe becomes worth a lot to a person.
Finally, when asked about the Olympics, Knight said it is the pinnacle of athletics and the fashion runway where Nike can show off how great its products really are.
Executive Decision: Benno Dorer
Dorer said that what makes Clorox unique is it has growth where others don't. They have become experts at taking out costs, then reinvesting those savings back into the business. That's how the company has been able to increased volume growth by 7% this quarter.
Clorox is also a leader in innovation, Dorer added, having just introduced products including Fresh Step cat litter with Febreeze odor control built right in. Clorox has also grown its Kingsford charcoal business to half a billion dollars a year, adding over $100 million in sales in just the past three years.
Following and engaging customers has also become key to Clorox' success, which is why the company is now spending a full 40% of its media budget on digital and social programs.
Cramer said Clorox just delivered one of the best consumer packaged goods quarters he's ever seen.
Executive Decision: Tom Quinlan
In his third "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Tom Quinlan, president and CEO of R.R. Donnelley(RRD) - Get Report , a company that plans to split itself into three pieces and is also rumored to be a takeover target for Xerox(XRX) - Get Report .
Quinlan said he won't comment on the rumors but did confirm Donnelley is on track for the spinoffs announced. He said after failing to unlock the full value of the $500 million in free cash flow that Donnelley generates, the board decided three separate entities would be the best course of action.
Quinlan noted that two of the three proposed spinoffs will trade at higher multiples than Donnelley currently trades at, and future acquisitions will remain part of the strategy at all three companies.
Cramer said whether or not the rumors are true, Donnelley is a terrific investment.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in NXPI.