Cramer Remix: Why Apple is a better version of Procter & Gamble

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Berkshire Hathaway’s festival-like annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, told CNBC’s Jim Cramer a lot more than just how beloved the Warren Buffett-run company is.

“For us, there’ll be talk of stocks galore, especially Buffett’s portfolio,” the “Mad Money” host said on Friday as the 40,000-person event kicked off.

“You can bet he’ll be asked about his positions,” Cramer said. “Berkshire’s got a ton of them. So let’s take a look at the top five to set the scene for what he might say this weekend.”

Cramer had to start with the stock of Apple. On Thursday, Buffett told CNBC that Berkshire Hathaway purchased a whopping 75 million shares of the technology colossus.

The purchase added to the nearly 170 million shares Buffett’s company already owned at the end of 2017. Shares of Apple hit a fresh all-time high on Friday following the announcement.

“We know that Buffett likes Apple because he thinks it produces the greatest consumer products ever,” Cramer said. “He normally shies away from tech stocks, but to him, Apple’s more like, let’s say, a better version of, I don’t know, Procter & Gamble.”

Cramer has been hearing about a potential “thaw” in U.S.-China relations. If it continues, markets could reap the benefits amid the earnings flood next week, he said on Friday.

The news, “coupled with an employment report that showed strong growth and little inflation, … brought in buyers from the sidelines,” Cramer observed.

“It’s quite the impressive rally and it could continue if the U.S. government goes a tad softer, recognizing that the Chinese are willing to do some deals here,” he continued.

Apple’s stock led the technology sector higher on news that Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased 75 million additional shares of the iPhone maker in the first quarter.

Wondering if the strength could continue, Cramer turned to his game plan for the week ahead, which includes earnings from Disney, Fox, Nvidia and more.

Axon Enterprise may be the smallest competitor in its space ā€” developing evidence-capture technology for law enforcement ā€” but based on its deal flow, it might be the most refined.

The company recently won contracts with the New York Police Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Phoenix Police Department via its acquisition of privately held software play Vievu.

Rick Smith, Axon’s co-founder and CEO, told CNBC on Friday that Axon fought hard for the Vievu deal and other acquisitions it’s made in recent months.

“We’re up against little companies like Motorola and Panasonic and L3, so there’s still a lot of competition, but the fact is we’ve been winning the vast majority of the deals because our system performs really well,” Smith told Cramer.

The cryptocurrency market is on the fritz with correction threats looming, but that might not be so bad for cybersecurity leaders like Kevin Mandia, the CEO of FireEye.

“From a cybersecurity standpoint, an anonymous currency has not been a great thing,” Mandia told CNBC in a Friday interview with Cramer.

“It just opens up another avenue to monetize computer intrusions, theft of IP and theft of communications,” the CEO said. “So we deal with bitcoin from that angle and it’s just been a problem for us.”

Mandia, whose enterprise-facing company builds advanced cybersecurity software, emphasized the risks associated with the proliferation of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Cramer also reviewed the turmoil in the stocks of Yum Brands and its spinoff, Yum China. Both fast-food restaurant operators recently reported earnings, but the “Mad Money” host argued that the flagship Yum was the clear winner.

“I think it is very clear that Yum Brands can blow away its earnings targets even if their same-store sales growth is a little sluggish,” he said. “After all, that’s what they just did. With Yum China, it’s not so clear, and the setbacks at Pizza Hut … have started to get kind of disturbing. If Pizza Hut isn’t actually in turnaround mode, well, I’ve got to tell you this is a much weaker story.”

If trade talks with China go south, things could get even worse for Yum China and offset the stock’s Friday bounce, he said.

“Ever since the breakup of Yum Brands, I’ve been telling you to stick with the heritage Yum and avoid Yum China, and after both stocks sold off hard this week in the wake of their most recent earnings, I am standing by that judgment,” Cramer concluded. “I think the extreme sell-off in Yum Chin was justified and the milder pullback in Yum Brands was not.”

“Forget Yum China, you want Yum everywhere else.”

In Cramer’s lightning round, he fired off his take on callers’ favorite stocks:

Wyndham Worldwide: “Look, [CEO] Steve Holmes is still there. I know they’re splitting the company up. I would not hold, not sell; I would buy. Stock’s down. I think it’s terrific. And, by the way, Holmes, when he’s done, he may be Hall of Fame material.”

Devon Energy Corporation: “Devon Energy shot the lights out. They put up fantastic numbers. They’ve got growth. Good for them. They’re back. They’re bigger than ever. Devon is a buy.”

Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Apple and Nvidia.

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