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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Today offered a few important reminders for the studious investor, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday. It also rewarded those individuals who bet on several major technology companies. This is a market with opportunities for individuals who take the time to analyze companies, events and economic trends.
A strengthening dollar hasn't created havoc. Many investors were fearful that the stronger dollar would hurt the market. But these concerns were unjustified.
There's no indication that interest rates will have to go higher soon. Interest rates may not be going much higher, as inflation remains under control.
Improvement overseas impacts American companies. Buoyed by U.S.-style stimulus packages, the European economy is improving. That will help overseas growth at multinational U.S. firms.
Cramer reminded viewers to buy stocks they liked at discount prices. Naysayers who predict that the bull market is in its end stages may help create those more favorable prices -- witness Janet Yellen's pronouncements earlier this week.
There were positive earnings in the tech sector. Tableau Software (DATA) headed the list. The data-mining company is coming off a spectacular first quarter in which it beat earnings estimates and reported year-over-year growth of nearly 75%. Cybersecurity experts Cyberark Software (CYBR) also recorded a strong first-quarter performance.
Many major companies have reported earnings for their most recent quarter, but there are several important firms that will weigh in next week. Cramer said to look at Actavis (ACT), a pharmaceutical/healthcare firm that has been performing well in recent months. The stock rose nearly 2% today. Online real estate database Zillow Group (Z), retail chains J.C. Penney (JCP), Kohl's (KSS) and technology giant Cisco (C) will also report. Cramer said that how these companies perform may determine larger market trends.
Executive Decision: Dustan McCoy
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Dustan McCoy, CEO of Brunswick (BC), a manufacturer of recreational boats, weight-training equipment and other leisure products.
Cramer said that the company had been buffeted by a strong dollar. For example, it costs about 20% more to purchase a Brunswick boat in Canada than in the U.S.
But McCoy said that the company did not use that as an excuse for missing Wall Street estimate. "One of the things we don't do is whine about currency," McCoy said, adding that the company "just deals with it."
McCoy said sales were up 20% in the U.S. and 16% in Europe and that certain segments of the boat industry were above 2007 levels. There are 1,100 boat manufacturers in the U.S.
McCoy also said that the company was producing high-quality Life Fitness and Hammer Strength equipment that is a staple in many fitness facilities. "It works forever, doesn't break," he said.
The company spends about 3% on R&D and 4% on CapEx. "We very quietly file lots of patents," McCoy said.
McCoy said that the public wasn't ready for the Tesla (TSLA)-equivalent of an electric-powered boat. "We're waiting on that."
Cramer said the stock "was a buy."
Whole Foods Not a Bargain
Next, Cramer looked at high-end supermarket chain Whole Foods (WFM), which reported disappointing same-store sales a day earlier and saw its stock drop more than a percentage point.
Whole Foods reported a 3.6% increase in same-store sales from the last quarter, below the previous quarter's 4.5% rise. Moreover, that was well below other chains such as Kroger's (KR), which reported 6% same-store sales over the previous quarter.
In recent years, Whole Foods has faced increasing competition from both newcomers and older supermarket chains that have been expanding in new directions. Cramer said that given the company's ability to generate cash -- about $1 million per week per store -- the market capitalization of $9 billion was somewhat puzzling. "The opportunity is bigger than that market capitalization," he said. Cramer said that the retailer still has "enormous growth potential." The chain currently has 420 stores.
"Same store sales demonstrate organic growth," he said, and should be a good indicator of a store's performance and stock price. But Cramer questioned whether there may be a better methodology. He is a loyal Whole Foods customer. Still, he said that "the stock was not a bargain," and he is "loathe to buy until we see more consistent improvement, even as I smile up to the register."
Executive Decision: Wayne Goldberg
La Quinta Holdings (LQ) President and CEO Wayne Goldberg told Cramer that he was optimistic about his company's potential to continue delivering strong results and achieve growth.
The hotel chain has 870 locations and has opened new hotels in areas that it did not have a presence, including Miami, New York City and Santiago, Chile. La Quinta's stock price has risen 44% since its 2014 IPO, and reached an all-time high last week. The company also beat expectations for earnings in its most recent quarter.
The company recently (and voluntarily) paid off $65 million of its long-term debt.
Goldberg said that the strong performance stemmed from the company's commitment to deliver "value to our consumers." La Quinta was among the first to include TripAdvisor (TRIP) on its individual property web sites. TripAdvisor allows customers to post reviews. "I go there and I know our consumers are there," he said. "It makes us better."
He also said that La Quinta would continue to use its own website and sites catering to the hotel and hospitality industry "to be available where eyeballs are."
Goldberg said that attention to customer service has enabled the company to provide strong returns to investors. He said that he had "a positive outlook for the peak travel season this summer."
Cramer said that "the stock goes higher."
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