CNBC’s Jim Cramer has found that certain companies have started to “change the narrative” with strategic mergers and acquisitions when doubt falls on their well-being.
“Today we got two classic changes of narrative, one from Disney and the other from CVS Health,” the “Mad Money” host said, referring to Disney’s revived deal talks with Twenty-First Century Fox and CVS’ $69 billion deal to buy health insurer Aetna.
If Disney and Fox’s talks prove successful, Disney would acquire Fox’s non-news, non-sports assets to bolster its entertainment offerings. CVS plans to integrate Aetna’s network into its own to become a massive, one-stop shop for pharmacy benefits and clinical care.
Cramer said that “both are defensive deals,” with Disney itching to get out from under its ESPN subscriber weakness and the cord-cutting fears that have plagued the old-line media giant.
“Even that shrewd acquisition of BAMTech, to give Disney what could be the best seamless sports experience from television to the internet, hasn’t mattered,” Cramer said. “It seems like if you’re rooted in old media, the market won’t accept your forays into so-called new media.”
CVS, on the other hand, needed to prove itself in the age of Amazon. Until news of the Aetna deal emerged, the company was widely viewed as being “left in the dust” by the rest of the drugstore cohort.
By acquiring Aetna, “CVS becomes a true health care business with a brick-and-mortar kicker,” Cramer said. “In one fell swoop, CVS would go from a low-multiple retailer to a high-multiple health care company that’s no longer shadow-boxing with Amazon.”
Cramer said the CVS-Aetna combination could create a more health-conscious retailer with less junk food products, like when CVS bought pharmacy benefits manager Caremark and stopped selling cigarettes.
A Disney-Fox deal would give Disney a heap of successful film and television assets and boost its overseas footprint, ideally giving Disney better growth prospects.
Better yet, both deals would serve to change the stock market’s view of the businesses, lifting CVS out of “retail purgatory” and muting Disney’s ESPN woes, Cramer said.
“We know most acquisitions are done for scale and cost cuts. But sometimes, you buy another business to change the whole image of your company, and that’s the theme of both these deals,” the “Mad Money” host said. “And when they’re completed, the stocks will run. The regulators may dally, but investors probably won’t wait, as the future prospects for Disney and CVS, to me, … look a lot more rosy and attractive.”
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Source: Investment Cnbc
Cramer: Disney-Fox and CVS-Aetna could revamp how investors see their companies