This column was originally published on RealMoney on June 6 at 8:53 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here.
At first glance,
have nothing to do with each other. Pru's
getting out of equities, Ameritrade is steeped in them.
But they are two sides of the same coin. Ameritrade is an asset gatherer that does not have research. Pru hasn't gathered enough assets and paid for expensive, top-quality research. And I mean top quality; I love Pru's stuff.
So, one business is unattractive enough that Pru closes it, despite a long history of excellence. No scale. And the other
attracts not one, but two activists who know that Ameritrade can create great scale if it merges with another asset gatherer,
I call them asset gatherers because you just can't make much off of trading, and people are trading at a decreasing rate.
Intriguingly though, I would sell Ameritrade and buy Pru. Here's why:
Ameritrade has now run 5 points even though its last quarter was not that great. If it chooses to do nothing, its stock will go down. Plus I think that Ameritrade is very well run and doing everything it can to bring out value
Pru, on the other hand, shows an endless desire to make money for people, even striking down some idols like research.
They mean business. They are taking no prisoners.
My kind of company.
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At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this post.
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