When it comes to the stock market, the four walls of the spreadsheet matter far more than the walls of the White House, Jim Cramer proclaimed to his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. The chaos in Washington might have lasting effects for our country, but when it comes to the financial markets, the sales and profits of individual companies will always rule the day.
That's why stocks were able to end the day higher, even as President Donald Trump's advisory panels collapsed, devolving into a war of words on Twitter (TWTR) between Trump and various CEOs.
Read more: Trump tweeted that he is ending both the CEO advisory councils he created after several executives quit the groups in response to his equivocal reaction to racist violence in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend.
In the end, Cramer said what matters to stocks are sales and earnings, as well as low interest rates, slow inflation and a weakening U.S. dollar.
The chaos in Washington, including the total paralysis of Congress, cannot overcome the underlying secular growth trends in the market. Those include a boom in housing, strength in aerospace and defense, and a technology sector that's benefiting from smartphones, artificial intelligence and the Internet of things, just to name a few.
When you evaluate stocks through the lens of business, things look pretty good, Cramer concluded, which is why he sees the bull market continuing a while longer.
Cramer and the AAP team are telling their investment club members to take a closer look at Allergan PLC (AGN) as it relates to the share price of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) . Get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Executive Decision: Valeant Pharmaceuticals
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer again sat down with Joe Papa, chairman and CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) , the embattled drugmaker that has seen its shares fall from $262 to lows near $9 before finally finding a bottom. Is Valeant turning the corner? Cramer dove in to find out.
Papa admitted that it has been a very challenging 15 months for Valeant, but noted that they've made great progress in turning things around. He said Valeant has new leadership, including a new CFO and general counsel, and the company has retired an astounding $4.8 billion in debt in just the past year.
All told, Valeant will be making 12 asset divestitures to help fix its balance sheet and Papa said the deals still left to close will represent another $1.2 billion on top of that they've already done. Additionally, these asset sales will not impact the bottom line, as Valeant's pipeline of new drugs will generate the returns the company's shareholders are expecting.
Valeant has also made strides in other areas, including the creation of a patient access and pricing committee, which is helping to ensure that more patients who needs their drugs have access to them.
Cramer said that Papa had exceeded what he thought was possible for Valeant and he reiterated his recommendation.
Navigating the Retail Space
In a retail environment where stocks like Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) can plunge more than 25% in a single day and Home Depot (HD) shares do nothing on stellar earnings, is there any place safe to invest?
Cramer said he's got no problem recommending Amazon (AMZN) , but there are two other stocks in the retail space that are worth considering and they are Etsy (ETSY) , the online marketplace for handcrafted goods, and Shopify (SHOP) , the ecommerce platform for small businesses.
While both companies had their IPO in 2015, the stocks have been wildly different. Etsy started out as dog, but then had a stunning comeback, with shares up 32% so far this year. Shopify, meanwhile, has been a steady grower, up 120% since its IPO.
Cramer said it's hard to compare these two companies because they report their earnings differently, but it's clear that Etsy is the cheaper of the two stocks, while Shopify has better growth. Etsy is growing revenue by 19%, while Shopify last delivered 75%. Easy just turned profitable, however, while Shopify is inching towards that goal.
Shopify trades at a lofty 10.6 times sales, making it the riskier of the two, Cramer concluded, which is why Etsy might be the better risk reward, even with its slower growth, as it trades for just 3.6 times sales.
On Real Money, Cramer looks at which retailers are doing better -- and better yet, which offer investment opportunities. Get his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: Kirkland Lake Gold
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down for the first time with Tony Makuch, president and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold (KL) , the Canadian gold miner that just started trading shares today on the New York Stock Exchange.
Makuch explained that Kirkland Lake has two great mines in operation. Their namesake Canadian mine has over two million ounces of proven reserves, while their Australian mine, so far, has one million ounces. The company can produce gold for as little at $250 an ounce, making it one of the most profitable producers.
More importantly, both Canada and Australia are great places to operate geopolitically, Makuch noted, as opposed to many of the riskier places to mine around the globe. After completely two recent mergers, Makuch said Kirkland Lake still has lots more gold to be discovered.
When asked whether gold prices should be higher given rising geopolitical tensions, Makuch said he thinks it should be higher, which is why they're making investments in their mines.
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said there are still a handful of retailers that can beat Amazon. TJX Stores (TJX) is one of those retailers, as its Home Goods chain delivered an impressive 7% increase in same-store sales. Cramer said he likes TJX so much, he bought some for Action Alerts PLUS, as this is one of the few retailers actually opening new stores instead of closing them.
Cramer was also impressed with Urban Outfitters (URBN) , which saw its share rise 17.4% on earnings. This company proves that the right fashion can still win.
Finally, Cramer gave the nod to Target (TGT) , which is slowly getting its mojo back, but still yields 4.4% while you wait.
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