Wake Up and Smell the Starbucks (SBUX) with CEO Howard Schultz
Cramer says that Starbucks illustrates the principle that it is worth trusting a company "if you respect the CEO's track record." Starbucks reported a bad quarter but management insisted that the cause was a frapuccino that took too long to make and that the company would recover. After falling to $30 the stock is now at $39 and those who didn't have faith missed a good opportunity to buy Starbucks, said Cramer who added that it is worth staying with a company during down times if it has a solid growth potential. He welcomed CEO Howard Schultz onto the program and congratulated him on the company's comeback. Schultz discussed raising the global opportunity from 30,000 stores to 40,000 stores and is planning openings in Brazil, Egypt, Russia and India. Cramer asked if China and India would be bigger markets than the U.S. and although stores have not opened yet in India, Schultz saw an "acceptance" and "awareness" of the company's brand in China, but notes that not all brands will succeed. Schultz discussed "a unique partnership with iTunes and Apple (AAPL)," and when Cramer asked about other merchandise in the pipeline, Schultz responded that while Starbucks will remain essentially a coffee company, he added that it has "the unique opportunity within the footprint of Starbucks to do other things while preserving the experience." Cramer predicts that the stock is going to $50.
Related: Hari discusses Starbucks' prospects in India.
Cramer warns investors against panic-selling when a "wacky ruling" is handed down, as in the case of SHW which was threatened with a large settlement because of its lead paint. Many people dropped the stock which fell from $52 to $41, but when the case was thrown out SHW jumped up again to $58. Cramer believes that MO "is the next Sherwin Williams," and is facing charges that it misled consumers by marketing cigarettes as "light." He is confident that the case will be thrown out, that the company will split three ways as soon as its legal woes are finished and will jump to $100. In the meantime, it is also worth owning for its 4.5% dividend.
Related: Investopedia Advisor comments that the recent ruling is good for Altria.
Sell Block: Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), CA (CA), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Akamai (AKAM), DivX (DIVX), Corning (GLW), AU Optronics (AUO), Electronic Arts (ERTS), Garmin (GRMN), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Intel (INTC), Texas Instruments (TXN), Nvidia (NVDA), Broadcom (BRCM)
Although the sector is doing well, Cramer insists that not all tech is created equal and notes that "it is too simplistic to break it down into just hardware and software." He likes MSFT's PC, ORCL's business and CA's enterprise. According to Cramer, CSCO is the telecom leader, AKAM and DIVX are good bandwidth shortage plays, and GLW, AUO, ERTS and GRMN are the best for big-screen TVs and gadgets. However, Cramer would stay away from AMD and INTC because of their price war (with a slight nod toward AMD), would get out of TXN and NVDA and does not trust BRCM because of its poor earnings.
CEO Interview: Clarence Otis, Darden Restaurants (DRI)
Clarence Otis discussed the company's same-restaurant-sales numbers with Cramer: The Olive Garden increased from 5% to 6% and Red Lobster went from 2% to 3%. He attributes the gain to a successful August, and when Cramer asked him about reports of lagging consumer confidence Clarence Otis responded that while the picture has been "uncertain" Darden's customers have been "resilient."
Related: George Gutowski is concerned about Darden's growing labor costs.
More: Cramer's latest stock picks, including: Mad Money Recap, Lightening Round, Stop Trading and his Radio Show.
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