As the great American philosopher Kenny Rogers once said, "you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." Jim Cramer channeled The Gambler last night in offering up three stocks during last night's Sell Block segment on "Mad Money" -- Wind River Systems ( WIND), Axsys Technologies ( AXYS), and Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG). Cramer recommended Wind River a year and a half ago, saying then that a takeover of the company was on the horizon. Shares in the Alameda, CA-based embedded software maker have gained 35% since. Cramer's prescient call paid off yesterday, and now he said it's time to take the profits. Intel ( INTC) announced its acquisition of Wind River for $11.50 in cash, or $884 million. The deal is Intel's first in nearly a decade and could signal a move for the company beyond computer chips and into gadgets. Reportedly, Intel is eying other product markets, like smart phones -- and it just so happens that Wind River software can be found in products from Alcatel-Lucent, Verizon, BMW, Boeing and NASA. But after the announcement, some analysts downgraded the company, saying it's unlikely Wind River will see another competing bid. Axsys Technologies, too, saw a bid come in yesterday. This one, from defense giant General Dynamics ( GD) yesterday, was for $54 a share. By pegging the total value of the deal at $643 million, General Dynamics is buying the chance to play in markets beyond tanks, destroyers and submarines. The Connecticut-based Axsys specializes in making sensor systems for cameras and lenses. This marks an opportunity for General Dynamics to engineer products for wars and covert operations of the future involving long-range surveillance and infrared cameras.
Axsys shareholders still have yet to approve the deal, but it's expected to close in the third quarter. Cramer recommended Axsys back in February and shares have gone up 30% since then. But last night, Cramer spent a lot of time talking about the coming storms for Intuitive Surgical. The stock is up 81% since March, but Cramer said good times are coming to an end. The company makes a robotic surgical system called da Vinci, which is used on hysterectomies and prostate surgeries. But Cramer said the company may be running out of customers. A quick survey of the hospital sector will tell you that the industry is hurting under mounting debt loads. Simply put: customers for da Vinci just can't afford it right now, meaning that he expects sales to plummet. Also, the Sunnyvale, CA-based outfit has already saturated the market with the device, leaving little room for more selling upside. On Tuesday, though, Sameer Harish, an analyst at Needham and Co., delivered a decidedly different take. He upgraded his rating on the company to Buy from Hold because he expects better international sales in the coming months. According to a survey of more than 60 U.S. hospital execs, 29% said they expect to buy an additional da Vinci system in the next two years. Because of that, Harish expects U.S. revenues to be stronger than he originally thought. He set a stock price target at $180 per share. The stock closed at $155.09 at the bell, down 92 cents on the day. But it picked up in after hours, gaining back 51 cents.