This market is unique in so many ways, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. It seems like every day, individual stocks catch fire and ignite the markets, providing the leadership to propel indexes even higher.
Today's leaders included McDonald's (MCD) , which was recently knocked down on rumors of slowing sales. Today, shares closed up 1.6% at new all-time highs.
Walmart (WMT) was another name that caught fire today, closing up 1.9%. Investors decided that this venerable retailer really CAN compete with the likes of Amazon (AMZN) and earnings are better than they realize.
Even beleaguered grocer Kroger (KR) managed a 1.2% gain after it indicated it may sell its convenience stores in order to unlock value.
With so many fish jumping, Cramer said investors almost don't need a fishing pole.A Breakup Made in Heaven
Vanator is the commodity chemical division of Huntsman, making things like titanium dioxide and other chemical additives. The company is now the third largest producer of titanium dioxide and is number one in Europe.
Titanium dioxide by itself is not particularly exciting. But Vanator makes specialty versions to exacting standards, which command prices three times higher. Specialty titanium dioxide now accounts for half of Vanator's sales.
The Vanator spinoff also comes at the right time, as there are no new titanium dioxide plants under construction in the U.S. and new plants, while fairly simple, still take three to four years to complete.
Most importantly, Cramer said the stock of Vanator is incredibly cheap, trading at just 9.5 times next year's expected earnings.
The sports apparel business has cratered from its 2015 highs, with once high flying stocks barely up, or substantially lower for the year. Columbia Sportswear (COLM) has only gained 4%, Nike (NKE) is up just 1% and Under Armour (UAA) down a staggering 43% for the year.
What went wrong? Cramer said it all began with the Sports Authority leveraged buyout in 2015. At the time, Sports Authority was the largest independent retailer of sporting goods and sports apparel. The leverage ultimately was too much for the company to handle and forced Sports Authority to file for bankruptcy in January 2016. That move in turn hit Under Armour and Nike hard, Cramer said.
After the liquidation however, the prevailing wisdom was that with Sports Authority's inventory worked out, things would only improve for the remaining retailers. That didn't happen.
In reality, Sports Authority wasn't a one-off problem, it was a symptom of a larger disease. Not only were consumers not as interested in sports apparel, if they were buying it, it was online. That forced Under Armor to partner with Kohl's (KSS) and Nike to begin selling on Amazon.
The only outlier in the group has been VF Corp (VFC) , which has invested heavily in its direct-to-consumer sales and has diversified well beyond just sports apparel.
Executive Decision: Seattle Genetics
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Clay Siegall, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Seattle Genetics (SGEN) , a biotech focused on cancer treatments, with shares that are up 16% for 2017. The company's singular drug to treat certain lymphomas, Adcetris, generated $265 million in sales last year.
Siegall said that his company recently completed a five year study with 1,300 patients and was just awarded breakthrough designation by the FDA to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma. Seattle Genetics expects FDA approval for that treatment in 2018.
Seattle Genetics is also working on a treatment for bladder cancer and Siegall noted that early trials are showing a 50% response rate, which is far higher than the 20% of current treatment options. The company's bladder Cancer treatment expected to begin clinical trials in early 2018 as well.
Cramer said Seattle Genetics is exactly the type of companies investors should be looking for in their portfolios.Lightning Round
No Huddle Offense: Walmart
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said there's a monumental re-rating happening with shares of Walmart. The company is spending more, earning more and is the only retailer on earth with a shot at beating Amazon at its own game.
Cramer said moves likes Walmart's $6 rise in just the past three days aren't supposed to happen. Yet shares still trade at just 19 times earnings.
Walmart is the only company with the cash and scale to fight Amazon and still buyback $20 billion worth of its own shares. The company recently gave it's employees a raise and anecdotally, Cramer said his last visit to a Walmart store was a totally changed experience with a friendly staff and an immaculate store.
The only thing that's lacking at Walmart is a belief that the management can pull off the transformation, Cramer concluded, and he only wishes he had pounded the table harder on this terrific retailer.
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