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Unlike the World Series, the market has many winners, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday, as he pitted the best companies from Chicago against the best Cleveland has to offer in a World Series of stocks that has not one, but several winning combinations.
Cramer's first match-up was Eaton (ETN) - Get Report vs. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - Get Report -- a competition that easily went in favor of Walgreens. Even without the Rite-Aid (RAD) - Get Report acquisition, Cramer said, Walgreens handily beats Eaton's disappointing quarterly results.
For game three, it was Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) - Get Report up against Parker-Hannifin (PH) - Get Report , a bout that would have gone to Hannifin had it not been for a surprise blowout performance by Archer Daniels.
Game four pitted the venerable Key Corp (KEY) - Get Report against United Continental (UAL) - Get Report . Cramer chose Key's fabulous quarter, saying that the bank only gets better when interest rates rise.
To the untrained eye, Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Report and Chevron (CVX) - Get Report may seem similar. Both companies are huge integrated oil giants, but when they reported earnings this quarter, some stark differences emerged. Chevron beat on both the top and bottom lines, and shares surged 4%, while Exxon missed on the top line and the stock sank 2.5%.
Exxon has always been viewed as a steady operator with a solid dividend, Cramer explained, while Chevron's earnings have been more volatile, causing its dividend to come into question. But this quarter, Chevron not only gave investors a monster 31-cents-a-share earnings beat, but also talked up growth prospects in the Permian Basin.
Exxon, on the other hand, has never been promotional, Cramer said, and the company held true to its nature as it spoke more of accounting issues than growth on its conference call. That led many investors to view Chevron as a reinvigorated growth company with the possibility of doing even better in the future. That makes its shares worth the premium 23 times multiple they currently receive, as compared to Exxon at 19.5 times earnings.
Cramer was also a fan of Chevron's superior 4.1% dividend yield.
The Future Is Potatoes
Seems like just about everyone is splitting themselves up these days, Cramer told viewers, and next week, ConAgra Foods (CAG) - Get Report will become the next company to do so, as it spins off its commercial foods division under the name Lamb Weston.
Investors probably know ConAgra by its stable of brands such as Chef Boyardee, Hunts, Pam cooking spray and Slim Jim, but the real story of ConAgra has been the company's ill-timed purchase of private-label food maker Ralcorp in 2012 for $5 billion.
But those core brands are in trouble, Cramer noted, as the company saw grocery and snack foods fall 5% last quarter -- and 6% internationally -- as weakness at the supermarket takes a toll on the entire sector.
But then there's Lamb Weston, which is hyper-focused on making frozen potato products for restaurants and currently has 42% of the market share in the U.S., along with sizable prospects overseas. With the company expecting high single-digit earnings growth, Cramer said, he'd be a buyer of Lamb Weston, the lean, mean potato-making machine, but a seller of the remaining ConAgra, which is only still hoping for a turnaround.
Executive Decision: Clorox
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke again with Benno Dorer, chairman and CEO of Clorox (CLX) - Get Report , the consumer packaged goods giant which today delivered a six-cents-a-share earnings beat, but saw shares punished 3.2% on its weaker-than-anticipated guidance.
Dorer said that Clorox is seeing strong 3% top-line growth in an environment where growth is hard to come by. He said Clorox has the momentum and is "staying the course."
When asked about increased price competition in come categories, Dorer said that when commodity prices are favorable, some companies will cut prices to gain market share. But over the long term, this tactic is not sustainable, he said -- which is why Clorox tends to hold prices and take a longer-term view.
Dorer was bullish on his company's acquisition of Renew Life probiotics, saying that while the category is not a needle-mover yet, he expects that it will be as the category now tops $1.3 billion. Dorer was also bullish on social and digital media, saying that Clorox spends more than 40% of its media budget in the category, which delivers the right message to the right customer at the right time.
Cramer said while the packaged goods stocks are out of favor right now on Wall Street, Clorox is the one to own when they do come back into favor.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said that even in a difficult market, there are still bullish themes that are working.
Case in point: dental supply giant Henry Schein (HSIC) - Get Report and pet medicine purveyor Zoetis (ZTS) - Get Report , along with video game makers Electronic Arts (EA) - Get Report and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) - Get Report , and grocer Kroger (KR) - Get Report .
What do these stocks tells us? First of all, taking care of your teeth never goes out of style, and if current trends continue, taking care of your pets isn't going to, either. It also means the stay-at-home trend is alive and well, as consumers continue to eat more often at home and play more video games while they're there.
So while some days it may seem impossible to pick winning stocks, remember these names, Cramer concluded.
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the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in WBA.