Learning from 3M
Investors can learn a lot from a company's conference call, Cramer told viewers, especially when that call is from 3M (MMM). Cramer called 3M's latest call a clear, concise education on what every conference call should sound like. That's why 3M is an Action Alerts PLUS holding.
First off, 3M stated that has organic growth, the best kind, from all divisions and in all geographies. Cramer said investors should always be weary if growth stems from only one part of a company or from one region.
Next, the company said they remain focused on long-term profitability, informing investors that they're investing for the future, but also returning excess capital to shareholders. Cramer said this was also music to his ears.
3M also saw strong margins that were higher than last year, a sign the company continues to know how to run its business well. 3M delivered high growth from traditionally low-growth categories, Cramer noted.
Finally, 3M talked about raising its dividend and continuing its share repurchase program, while reaffirming their forecast and mentioning that they're always looking for strategic acquisitions.
Cramer said everything on 3M's call was exactly what he, and all shareholders, should want to hear from the companies they own. There were no excuses, he said, only explanations. Nearly a third of 3M's revenues stem from products that didn't exist just five years ago. With innovation like that, Cramer said its safe to assume 3M will be having conference calls like this one for many years to come.
"If all calls were this good, picking stocks would be easy," Cramer concluded.