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Technology

Cramer Remix: Johnson & Johnson is out of battleground territory

If you ask CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Johnson & Johnson’s earnings report and subsequent rally settled the bull-bear divide that has plagued its stock recently.

“First, though, let’s talk about why the stock became so contentious. Part of it simply comes down to the fact that, even though JNJ is an incredibly well-run company that’s in fabulous shape, it belongs to a cohort that hasn’t been getting much love lately, the recession-proof space,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Because the global economy is expanding, Cramer said analysts are less inclined to upgrade Johnson & Johnson’s stock when they can upgrade industrial or technology names instead.

But after a strong earnings report, which showed over 15 percent growth in Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical business, Cramer said the debate is settled.

“While JNJ has been a real battleground in recent months, after yesterday’s phenomenal quarter, the bulls have scored a decisive victory,” he said. “Not all opinions are created equal in the stock market, but it sure does make it tough on you, doesn’t it? Eventually someone is going to be right and someone else will be wrong. With JNJ, yesterday’s quarter tells us the bulls were right, and I think the stock could have more upside here.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may have cautioned that the stock market will drop if tax reform is not passed, but Cramer isn’t buying it.

“Look, I appreciate [that] he’s trying to get Congress motivated, but just on the facts, I think he’s quite wrong. The truth is, most executives don’t believe tax reform is coming. It’s simply not integral to this market. Yes, they’ve lost faith,” Cramer said.

As such, Cramer advised investors against counting on tax reform for stock gains. Expectations of tax reform would have benefited retail, restaurant, cable and entertainment stocks, which currently represent the market’s weakest group.

Instead, they should keep an eye on the federal government’s other moves, he said.

After IBM’s better-than-expected earnings report fueled the stock’s biggest jump in eight years, CFO Martin Schroeter told CNBC that a weaker U.S. dollar could be a continual driver for IBM.

“We now have, for the first time in probably five years, a good tailwind in terms of the dollar,” Schroeter told Cramer on Wednesday.

When the dollar weakens relative to foreign currencies, companies’ earnings translate into more dollars stateside. Schroeter said that two-thirds of IBM’s business is done outside of the United States, so a weak dollar would be additive to the technology giant’s earnings per share.

“We have a global platform. Part of the reason people come to us for our services business and part of the [reason] people come to us for our maintenance business is because of the global platform we can deliver,” the CFO said. “Hopefully, we’re in a longer term sustainable trend.”

Cramer finds that the defining thing about the FANG stocks, his acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, now Alphabet, is that they are always “in motion.”

“Whether it be the imminent decision by Amazon to go into drug stores — those stocks indicate a very near-term threat — or the multiple price target increases for Netflix after that barn-burner of a quarter or a terrific new Google phone to rival Apple, there’s always something going on with these stocks,” he said.

So, when Facebook said it acquired anonymous polling app tbh, Cramer felt the largely unnoticed deal was worth looking into.

Finally, Cramer spoke to BioMarin Chairman and CEO JJ Bienaime, who shed light on his pharmaceutical company’s latest developments.

“We had a very exciting update today about our entire pipeline, but hemophilia and gene therapy was obviously a very important highlight,” Bienaime told Cramer on Wednesday. “We now have a green light from regulatory authorities in the U.S. and Europe to move forward with our Phase 3 trial.”

Calling the trial “very exciting,” Bienaime said the trial’s preliminary results among hemophiliacs were very promising and came close to altogether preventing the disease, which can cause excessive bleeding.

“So far, in the first 12, 14 patients we’ve treated, we’ve been able to show that with just one hour [of] intravenous infusion of the drug, patients are basically free of bleeding episodes,” the CEO said. “We have to be careful using the word ‘cure,’ but I would say as close to a cure as can get.”

In Cramer’s lightning round, he flew through his take on some callers’ favorite stocks:

Shopify: “OK, now, Shopify itself is a little pricey stock. I know that Andrew Left at Citron [Research] has said some very negative things about it. But it is still an important small- and medium-sized business website, so I think it’s fine. I’m not going to pound the table on it after Left’s comments, but I’m not going to tell you that I think it has to go.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings: “I like Aerojet Rocketdyne. I remember the origins of it. But, frankly, I prefer Raytheon to that one right now.”

Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Facebook, Alphabet and Apple.

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Source: Tech CNBC
Cramer Remix: Johnson & Johnson is out of battleground territory

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