With so much going right in the stock market, the only thing you don't have to think about is tax reform, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. Those in Washington may feel that taxes are integral to the market's success, but in reality, companies don't need help from Congress, they're helping themselves.
Cramer said while it's true that many companies, and their stocks, looked forward to tax reform immediately after the election, as the healthcare debate raged on, they've long since found other ways to prosper. Even the health insurers, like UnitedHealth Group (UNH) and Centene (CNC) , are doing just fine without help from Congress.
That's why Cramer said he continues to like the banks, including JPMorgan Chase (JPM) , which will only get stronger with higher interest rates. He was also bullish on the drug makers, including Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Merck (MRK) .
If tax reform really was going to become reality, then retail, restaurants and entertainment companies would be roaring. Yet those groups remain among the worst performers because no one actually believes it will happen.
So forget about tax reforms, Cramer concluded, and focus on what's working, which fortunately is just about everything.
Executive Decision: IBM
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Martin Schroeter, CFO at IBM (IBM) , which surprised Wall Street today with a two-cents-a-share earnings beat on better-than-expected revenues -- the strongest in five years. Shares responded by rising 8.8% by the close.
Schroeter said the quarter looked just as they had predicted earlier this year, when IBM said the second half would be stronger. He said many of the company's initiatives have longer arcs but they are slowly coming to fruition. International sales are also being helped along by a weakening U.S. dollar.
When asked about those initiatives, Schroeter explained that there's so much data in the world, making cognitive technologies, like IBM's Watson, more necessary than ever. In areas like healthcare, for example, Watson can elevate a doctor's abilities to new levels.
Schroeter also touted IBM's new encrypted mainframe systems that keep data secure, all without losing performance. He was also bullish on IBM's blockchain technologies, where his company continues to be a leader. Schroeter said IBM will continue to invest in all of these areas to create a great portfolio of high-value services.
Cramer said IBM is telling a better story than its current share price reflects.
J&J Bulls Proven Right
Not all opinions are created equal, Cramer told viewers. When it comes to Johnson & Johnson, the opinions of the bulls proved to be the right one.
The stock of J&J had become quite the battleground recently, Cramer explained, as bullish and bearish analysts duked it out with multiple upgrades and downgrades. Much of the fighting surrounded the company's acquisition of Actelion for $30 billion, a deal announced in January, while others feared everything form generic drug competition to slowing medical device sales.
But this week, Johnson & Johnson put to rest those fears, delivering a 10-cents-a-share earnings beat with revenues that rose 10% year-over-year. The company's drug business saw sales up 15%, with medical devices up 7.1% and and consumer goods up 2.9%.
Despite this meaningful acceleration in sales, shares of Johnson & Johnson trade at 18 times earnings, which makes it a buy in Cramer's book, especially on any weakness.
Executive Decision: BioMarin Pharmaceutical
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with JJ Bienaime, CEO of orphan drugmaker BioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) , which saw its shares decline today by 5.6% after the company's analyst day.
Bienaime said they offered an exciting update on their drug portfolio today, which now includes six drugs on the market and another three in development. Each of the development drugs could represent a billion dollar opportunity for the company.
Cramer noted that BioMarin is also a terrific drug manufacturer and Bienaime added that they now have four facilities around the world to manufacture their products.
Despite all the healthcare debates here in the U.S., Bienaime said that the U.S. continues to leader the world in biotechnology and he doesn't see that changing any time soon.
Cramer and the AAP team say good news is spreading throughout their portfolio. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
This week, it was Facebook's acquisition of a little known app (at least to adults) called TBH, for $100 million. Cramer explained that TBH, or To Be Honest, is an app that lets 10- to 12-year olds create polls and connect with like-minded peers. The app is growing like a weed and has been used billions of times.
Why is this important? Cramer said its because this app catches teens early and can steer them towards Instagram and Facebook and more importantly, away from Snap (SNAP) .
Is TBH a fad? Maybe, Cramer admitted, but it shows that Facebook is not sitting idly by and is always looking for what could be the next hot thing. And that's why he continues to invest in FANG.
Cramer will host CNBC's Jon Najarian, TD Ameritrade's JJ Kinahan, famed analytics expert Marc Chaikin and other market experts on Oct. 28 in New York City to share successful strategies for active investors.
You can join them as they discuss how smart investors can make the most of options trading, futures contracts, fundamental and quantitative analysis and great ETFs to buy right now. Participants will also get a chance to meet Jim and other panelists.
When: Saturday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Where: The Harvard Club of New York, 35 West 44th St., New York; Cost: $250 per person. Click here for the full conference agenda or to reserve your seat now.
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