Business is about business, not politics, Jim Cramer reminded his Mad Money viewers Wednesday.
While the S&P 500 has gained nearly 21% since the November elections, Japan's Nikkei has seen a 33% gain and German markets are up 28%. Can any of these gains be attributed to President Trump? Cramer dove into the 10 best performers in the S&P 500 to see which, if any, gained because of Washington, D.C.
Among the S&P's best performers were Nvidia (NVDA) , Micron Technology (MU) , LAM Research (LRCX) and rival Applied Materials (AMAT) . Cramer said none of these tech names saw any benefit from Washington.
Align Technology (ALGN) came in at No. 2 on the list, a feat Cramer attributed to the rise of the selfie generation needing to look their best. United Rentals (URI) made the list, thanks to two hurricanes, while NRG Energy (NRG) was a coiled spring unleashed by better management.
Then there's Boeing (BA) , which does have a defense angle working in its favor, but Cramer noted that Boeing's just seeing strong orders across the board, including in Iran, much to Trump's chagrin.
So while many in Washington would like to think they're the reason stocks has rallied, Cramer said there's not much evidence to support it. Nothing beats a synchronized global expansion, he concluded.
TheStreet offers a glimpse into what could happen in 2018 on a range of issues -- and stocks -- in what will probably be an equally chaotic second year for the Trump Administration.
Executive Decision: Take-Two Interactive
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) , which just posted a blowout 35-cents-a-share earnings beat that sent the stock up 10%. Year-to-date, shares of Take-Two are up over 115%.
Zelnick said that Take-Two's install base is growing and his company is seeing more users that are playing for more hours every day. But even with that growth, there's still a lot more room to grow, he added.
Zelnick was bullish on one of their newest titles, L.A. Noire, which is pushing the envelope for what realistic, cinematic games can accomplish. He said for some of their titles, like basketball, if you squint your eyes, you can't tell the difference between the game and a live sporting event.
Further blurring the lines between gaming and reality will be Take-Two's NBA 2K eLeague, which will consist of gaming teams owned by actual NBA franchises. The league will soon start drafting players and is set to have its debut season in 2018.
Cramer said despite this stock's incredible move, there is indeed more room to run.
On Real Money, Cramer says Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) is scanning the shelves for a company to buy. That may be the only way it can achieve growth. Get more on his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Snap's Last Shot?
Sometimes bad is just bad, Cramer told viewers. That was certainly the case with Snap's (SNAP) most recent results, results that were so bad, Cramer wondered whether the company should be public at all.
If Snap were to come public today, with the problems we just learned of, what would you value it at? Twitter (TWTR) has 30% user penetration with 35% gross margins. Snap has 70% user penetration with 21% margins. Yet Twitter is valued at $14.5 billion. Snap is valued at $15.5 billion. "It makes no sense," Cramer proclaimed.
One of the most troubling things about Snap's most recent quarter was the announcement that nearly 80% of the company's ad impressions are now placed programatically. This means the high-margin, handcrafted ad campaigns the company boasted when it came public were merely advertisers sampling what was possible with Snap. Those campaigns are now rolling off, leaving only the low-margin programatic ads.
Investors need to remember that Snap's common shares have no voting rights, so there is no one to hold the company accountable for its poor performance. Six months ago, we were told Snap's app was terrific. Today we were told it desperately needs a redesign. Is this a company worth even $12 a share? Cramer doubted whether it should be publicly traded at all.
Cramer and the AAP team are taking a hard look at Starbucks (SBUX) long-term growth target. 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.
Executive Decision: Zebra Technologies Corp.
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies (ZBRA) , the mobile barcode and printing company with shares that have fallen 7.9% since reporting earnings Tuesday.
Gustafsson attributed his stock's decline to simple profit taking, noting that Zebra delivered a strong top- and bottom-line earnings beat and guided higher than expected for the fourth quarter.
Retail continues to be a big growth area for Zebra, Gustafsson said. Despite the many reports of store closings, there are actually more stores opening than closing in our country. The leaders in retail are spending heavily on technology to support ecommerce and omnichannel operations and that's exactly what Zebra offers.
Healthcare is another driver of Zebra's growth, Gustafsson continued, as medical errors are still the third largest cause of death in our country. He said Zebra's value proposition is to improve productivity and quality of care by reducing errors through automation, intelligence and data capture.
Off the Tape: DucatiIn his "Off The Tape" segment, Cramer sat down with Jason Chinnock, CEO of the privately-held Ducati North America, the U.S. division of the Italian motorcycle maker.
Chinnock said that Ducati is a company with its heritage in sport and a culture of youth, vibrance and expression. Their motorcycles, he said, are just the gateway into the Ducati lifestyle.
While many motorcycle makers cater to an older demographic, Chinnock said that Ducati's Scrambler brand is targeted specifically to young people. The brand doesn't spend any money on traditional advertising, choosing instead to connect with potential customers outside of motorcycling, using digital, social media and pop-up locations at events.
Even the company's apparel line is targeted towards younger customers with a unique Italian design.
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