Take Worthington Industries (WOR), a market leader in value-added steel processing for the auto industry. Worthington recently announced plans to acquire a 75% stake in Aritas, a leading European liquified natural gas company. In its second quarter of 2014, Worthington revenue rose 24% from the previous year to $769.9 million.
Worthington CEO John McConnell said steel has always been the backbone of the company and the company is always looking for other companies that work with steel so it can leverage its purchasing power. The company processed six million tons of steel in 2013, making it the largest purchaser of steel in the U.S. behind auto makers.
Cramer praised the company's break into the LNG space through acquisitions. McConnell said alternative energy is widely used, from transportation needs to mixing stations in the field. McConnell sees it as an abundant, clean fuel and it makes perfect sense to use it and develop an infrastructure for more transportation uses. The government should be supporting a quicker move to LNG, McConnell said.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer discussed Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's note to partners yesterday that outlined two new trends Schultz sees coming: a significant downturn in traditional/pedestrian malls versus online shopping, and a growing demand for gift cards that give people the gift of choice.
The 2013 holiday season was the first where many traditional retailers saw in-store foot traffic give way to online shopping in a big way, Schultz said. Customers are changing the way they shop, watching and waiting and comparing prices before buying the products online, frequently using mobile devices. Starbucks, Schultz said, was "not immune" from the downturn. The company plans to offset those losses by initiating "world-class digital and mobile payment expertise."
When it comes to stores that sell commodity products, traditional retailers are going to get dinged, Cramer said. Unlike Starbucks, most retailers don't have a large number of gift cards at the register, and thus don't stand to benefit from the trend. Online growth and gift card popularity look like they're here to stay.
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-- Written by Chris Sahl in Boston.