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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Today's stock market is all about brands, Jim Cramer said on Mad Money Tuesday. Great brands stand the test of time and are almost immune to competition, making them worthy of their higher multiples, Cramer said.
Tesla Motors (TSLA) is one such iconic brand, having risen almost overnight from a cult favorite to one of America's most admired brands. That explains the 75% rise in Tesla's stock over the past year, Cramer said.
Other brands like Netflix (NFLX), Costco (COST), Starbucks (SBUX) and Walt Disney (DIS) also fall into "icon" status because these brands can raise prices and no one seems to notice, Cramer continued.
Cramer said the markets are willing to pay up for these high-quality brands, but they're also quick to sell brands that have lost their luster. When it comes to luxury handbags, Coach (COH) used to be the iconic name to beat. But that torch was passed to Michael Kors (KORS), and more recently to Kate Spade (KATE). But today, even Kate Spade faltered on margins, sends shares plummeting 25% on the day.
What's the Deal With Banks?
A deal-less sector in a deal-filled world isn't going to get much love, Cramer told viewers as he explained why the banks and the industrial stocks are losing value by the day.
Cramer explained that consolidation is an integral part of any healthy industry because consolidation takes out competition, lowers costs and allows the remaining companies to boost estimates.
But there just aren't any takeovers happening in the regulation-filled world of the banks that are simply reeling from continuing low interest rates. SunTrust Banks (STI), Wells Fargo (WFC) and KeyCorp (KEY) all posted great earnings, Cramer noted, but their stocks continue to slowly lose value almost daily.
The industrials have also stagnated, as stocks like Eaton (ETN), B/E Aerospace (BEAV) and Honeywell (HON) have proven recently. With their exposure to Europe, Cramer said the industrials have also become a terrible place to be.
Down the Grocery Aisles
Continuing on his consolidation theme, Cramer took a stroll down the supermarket aisles to discuss the consumer packaged-food stocks. He said the packaged food companies used to be the poster children for consistent and stable growth with terrific dividend yields, but no more. Now there are simply too many companies fighting for too little aisle space and none of them seem to be keeping pace with America's changing diets.
Cramer noted that in conference call after conference call, the food companies blamed "promotional ineffectiveness" and "increased competition" for missing their estimates. Even B&G Foods (BGS), posted a 6-cents-a-share miss due to the increased promotions needed to meet its revenue targets.
ConAgra (CAG) is another food stock seemingly in a perpetual turnaround. The company continues to struggle to gain any momentum, Cramer said, and Americans just aren't finding ConAgra's processed and frozen foods all that tasty anymore.
Cramer said this industry desperately needs more consolidation before it becomes investable again.
Executive Decision: Burton Goldfield
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Burton Goldfield, president and CEO of TriNet Group (TNET), the employee benefit manager that's seen its shares surge 30% since Cramer last checked in on May 13.
Goldfield explained that TriNet helps companies navigate the increasing complexity of hiring and having employees. He said each state has its own requirements for taxes, payroll and health care and there are plenty of places a company could go wrong trying to go it alone.
When asked about the key metric to watch for TriNet, Goldfield said it's worksite employees, which is the total number of employees on the payroll at TriNet's 9,000 member companies. He said that number is currently over 250,000.
Cramer said that in today's increasingly complex world, companies need services like TriNet, which is why he continues to recommend the stock.
Executive Decision: James Foster
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with James Foster, chairman, president and CEO of Charles River Labs (CRL), a stock that's returned 50% since Cramer first recommended it 20 months ago.
Foster said that Charles River is still seeing great demand for its services and the over-capacity issues it has been experiencing over the past few years are slowly fading as its lab space once again begins to fill up.
When asked how a company like Charles River could help in a situation like the recent Ebola outbreak, Foster explained that his company helps determine the correct formulations and dosages of a certain drug that will be needed to both fight the disease but also not harm the patient in the process. He said in the case of Ebola, there are a lot of options for killing the infection, but finding that perfect one that doesn't also kill the patient has remained illusive.
Charles River also has a thriving lab animal business, and Foster noted that one out of every two lab animals in the world comes from his company.
Cramer said with demand once again picking up and capacity issues behind it, the stock of Charles River should be ready to resume higher.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt