Remember when bankruptcy used to mean the end of a company? Yesterday I found myself scrambling to buy some
as a corollary to
Fruit of the Loom's
filing, betting that Sara Lee's
division can now shine.
And then I realized -- as did the market, which hammered Sara Lee -- that it may end up being the loser in this bankruptcy. This current brand of capitalism never blows anybody away. Fruit of the Loom will simply crunch all of the debt and come back as a leaner, meaner and better competitor to Sara Lee's Champion division. All of that hard work that Champion did to take business away from Fruit and what happens? Fruit comes roaring back anyway.
Join the discussion on
Message Boards. I am sure some value guy somewhere is licking his chops at Sara Lee's low stock price and figuring that the standard deviation of Sara Lee over the course of the past few years, plus the price-to-book and the price-to-sales, means it simply has to move from the fourth quadrant to the second quadrant of the
To which I say, put some clothes on the emperor -- this stuff ain't flyin' anymore.
And if I ran Sara Lee, what would I do? I would take the darn thing private. You ain't ever gonna get a multiple in this market.
The confessions of value managers continue to flood my mailbox. They are all admitting that they can't stand the bilge they have to pump to their clients right now and feel ashamed at the "rigor" they are trying to overlay on a market that is not obeying. Rock on, jokers. ... Got to love the all new, uncivilized way that analysts are now handling one another. How about Alex Cena's trashing of the
analyst for his price-target
boost. "Walt's always been a day late and a dollar short," Cena told
yesterday. Yes, smash mouths of the world unite! This may turn out to be the kind of trend we Philadelphia boo-birds can identify with! Next thing you know we will be calling bums, bums. And they won't have a booth to retire to when they are canned.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Qualcomm. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at