The consumer packaged goods space has been notoriously difficult, so CNBC’s Jim Cramer wasn’t all that surprised when he saw mass analyst upgrades in the stock of Kellogg.
“They’ve got to like something, don’t they?” the “Mad Money” host quipped. “It might as well be Special K, down nearly 15 percent for the year with a new CEO and a sense that the darned stock has hit bottom, even if the business hasn’t.”
Kellogg, the maker of Eggos waffles and Pringles chips, once had strong growth, but has recently fallen under pressure. The company has had to employ cost-cutting tactics to stay afloat, and while Cramer didn’t want to be too cynical, he found the outlook largely unfavorable.
“The analysts who cover this once great growth category have to find something to love,” Cramer explained. “So they ask themselves, how about a 3 percent yielder where the future looks brighter than the past? How about Kellogg? And that’s how a stock in this bedraggled consumer products group can spike after a long road down, a road I believe that will be less traveled by buyers after the stock moves up a couple of points from here and then the buyers move on.”
Bull market rules
Some may think that Cramer is foolish for not being afraid of the red-hot bull market, but in reality, he’s just trying to make you money.
“I am actually less worried about looking like an idiot and more concerned that you might be scared away from the stocks by the tepid conventional wisdom,” he said. “That’s why I think it’s so important that you have to understand how a bull market like this one operates.”
The rules for investing in bull markets are different, so Cramer went over his 6 key guidelines for how to look at stocks when rallies become routine.
Allergan CEO talks unusual patent deal
Allergan’s controversial deal with the Saint Regis Mohawk tribe giving the group the patent rights to one of its key drugs was widely misunderstood, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders told CNBC.
“I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding on why we did it,” Saunders told Cramer in a Wednesday interview. “It wasn’t desperation, it was tenacity.”
In exchange for the patents for Allergan’s eye drug, Restasis, and $13.75 million (plus potentially $15 million in annual royalties), the tribe granted Allergan an exclusive license to sell the drug.
The deal involving the billion-dollar drug drew widespread criticism, raising concerns that Allergan could now raise the price of Restasis while keeping it under patent protection.
But Saunders said that it was simply how the pharmaceutical industry works.
Sustainability is a hot topic across industries, but Tyson Foods CEO Tom Hayes told CNBC that even major food producers like his have to step up to the plate.
“Here’s the issue: If we’re going to feed nine and a half billion people around the world by 2050, we have to be part of the solution. Big food has to get in the ballgame,” Hayes told Cramer when asked about sustainability efforts.
As a start, Tyson, the largest U.S. chicken producer, recently eliminated the use of antibiotics in all of its chicken products.
Cypress Semiconductor CEO: “We play where it matters”
As money pours into the internet of things and autonomous driving industries, Cypress Semiconductor CEO Hassane El-Khoury told CNBCthat his company will undoubtedly grow with them.
“We play where it matters,” El-Khoury told Cramer. “We’re not playing in the commodity, low-density markets, but we have a big focus on auto, we have a focus on IoT, we have a focus on industrial, and you’ll see us playing and taking share there and growing with that market.”
With the No. 1 spot among wireless connectivity chipmakers, Cypress Semiconductor is uniquely positioned to grow business at a massive rate as these industries expand, the CEO said.
“When a customer like Amazon or any customer wants reliable, high-technology connectivity products, they have to go to the leader. That’s Cypress today,” El-Khoury said. “That business grew 80 percent year on year, 80 percent year on year. That’s tremendous growth and that has established our leadership even more for years to come.”
Lightning Round: My only regret about ISRG
In Cramer’s lightning round, he rattled off his take on some callers’ favorite stocks:
Intuitive Surgical: “What can I say? One of my absolute favorite stocks. I like the business model and I like the management. My only regret: Where are they on this show? Why don’t they come on? I love the da Vinci [Surgical System, Intuitive Surgical’s flagship product].”
CME Group Inc.: “I’ll tell you, I wish the [Chicago] Bears played like CME Group, because that stock is a buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy.”