Those Poor Nondot-com Execs

The merger-and-acquisition game isn't any fun if you're not a dot-com.
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The merger-and-acquisition game must be killing these nondot-com execs. Just killing them.

Jeff Berkowitz

, my partner, was just commenting to me how rough it must be for


(HON) - Get Report

, a company with earnings, to make a very compatible acquisition,



, and then watch its stock just get laid to waste.

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(VRSN) - Get Report

makes some acquisition that is complimentary and the stock can't even catch its breath. I felt the same way about


this morning. I saw they did an acquisition of some dot-com and I didn't even sweat it. Companies with no earnings that merge with other companies with no earnings are pure 2+2 is $40 in this market. It allows for target boosts, and stock splits and euphoria. I love it!

But a well-run company with earnings that acquires an underperformer with slow earnings with an eye toward turning it around? That's 2+2 =$3. A house of pain. How much longer will the free pass last? Man, am I sick of that question. With stocks like Verisign gaining more points in two days than a REIT will see in a lifetime, why ask?

Random musings

: The value boys are in there slugging me big time today about an overemphasis of the

Red Hots.

Mike Barrett

tells me that I am doing everybody a disservice by recommending hot stocks at the high, and that I am a pure momentum player. Hey, wait a second. What does that make


? A fraud?

And let's make two points: I don't recommend stocks, as a broker does, and if you think I was late to the Red Hots, then what are they doing up so much since I first wrote about them? I tried to be nice in response and said let's just drop it, but no, he has to insult me a second time. Ain't you ever read

A Christmas Carol

, Mike? You are


to hit me with this stuff now. Some other guy,


, suggests that maybe I was pumping and dumping (federal crime by the way), with that list of potential draftees I printed last night. Hey, before you lynch me, I didn't even own any of the stocks! Now there is a charge that gets my blood boiling! I think you have to buy them


you can dump them. And I don't do that either. No winning in this game sometimes. Suffice it to say, I will now only write about stocks I know nothing about and don't intend to own or short and will be sure these are stocks that barely move, that represent great value and are solid long-term holdings.


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James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund was long VeriSign and Cramer's fund also may be long or short certain stocks in his B2B rotisserie league or Red Hot index. 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