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Why is this market so hard to kill? That was the question Jim Cramer posed to his Mad Money viewers Tuesday, after a sharp decline at the open saw the markets roar back to even by the close. Cramer then detailed all of the negative news the market had to endure.
First: Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) , the drug maker that has seen its shares decline from highs near $263 last year to just $69 before today when they plunged an additional 51% to just $35. With just about every major political candidate taking shots at the drug industry, Cramer said he was surprised there wasn't more damage done to the overall sector.
Then there were the scary retail sales numbers. Not only did February retail sales decline but there was a downward revision in January's retail sales to -0.4% from 2%. Oil prices were another downward drag on the markets as crude continues to slip from its recent highs.
Add to all of that continued weakness in Europe and a looming Federal Reserve meeting Wednesday and the market should've gone down and stay down, Cramer said. But it didn't.
Despite all of the negatives, Cramer said there have also been a parade of positives, including a takeover bid for The Fresh Market (TFM) , news of positive iPhone sales and other retail earnings surprises.
Cramer concluded that buyers should continue to be cautious but it's clear the trend isn't as bad as many people have feared.
Executive Decision: Matt Ouimet
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Matt Ouimet, president and CEO of Cedar Fair (FUN) , the amusement park operator with 14 parks across the country. Shares of Cedar Fair currently sport a 5.8% yield.
Ouimet said Cedar Fair continues to see consumers prioritizing experiences over possessions. He said the trend has expanded well beyond just the younger millennial patrons. Consumers are also becoming more social, which is why Cedar Fair is adding WiFi to all of its parks and allowing guests to share their ride photos on social media instantly.
In addition, Cedar Fair is teaming up with the gaming industry to create game-focused ride experiences. Ouimet said it used to be there were only movie tie-ins, but now that gaming is bigger than movies it only makes sense to expand with partners like Electronic Arts (ERTS) .
Ouimet added there have been no new parks opened in the U.S. in over 40 years, but Cedar Fair is fortunate enough to have over 1,300 acres adjacent to their parks where they can still expand. He also noted that Cedar Fair remains committed to their dividend and growing their distribution.
Despite what you may have heard, breaking up is easy to do, and lucrative, too, if you're talking about stocks. That has certainly been the case with Allegion (ALLE) , the commercial and residential security company that was spun off from Ingersoll-Rand (IR) in December 2013.
Cramer explained that in the highly fragmented security market, you need to make acquisitions. But if your company is buried deep within a larger industrial conglomerate, finding the capital to make those acquisitions is difficult at best.
That's why the Allegion spinoff made perfect sense. The company instantly gained access to capital and, after incorporating in Ireland, any acquisition made was instantly accretive to earnings on the tax savings alone. Indeed, the company has since made a string of smart acquisitions.
Allegion last reported a 15-cents-a-share earnings beat on Feb 11. Shares trade at 17 times earnings with a 13% growth rate. Cramer said that doesn't make the stock cheap, but it's also not expensive either.
Off the Tape
In his "Off the Tape" segment, Cramer sat down with Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO of the privately held Mod Pizza, a chain of 110 artisanal pizza restaurants in 16 states.
Svenson said that despite the pizza category being $40 billion a year, there has been little innovation in recent years, which left an opening to bring the fast-casual concept to pizza. He said Mod provides great value to customers and has built an engaged team that is making a positive social impact in the communities they serve.
Svenson continued that 95 of Mod's 110 locations are currently company owned, with the remainder being run by very energetic franchisees.
Cramer called Mod "a winner."
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) , AMN Healthcare (AHS) , Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) , NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) , Broadcom (AVGO) , Randgold Resources (GOLD) and CSX (CSX) .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that accounting irregularities always equal sell... always. The smart thing is to always sell first, and ask questions later.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals is just the latest example of this golden Cramer rule. The company has seen shares fall from $263 to just $35.51 today as accounting probes continue.
Cramer said he's always been uncomfortable with the Valeant model of buying up drug companies and then slashing research and development while raising prices. As analysts have pointed out, it's hard for anyone to know what Valeant owns at this point, even with shares down at $33.
Do you homework, Cramer concluded. Always sell at the first hint of accounting troubles.
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