Cramer's Mad Money - Kellogg And ConAgra Are Trading Places (6/25/12)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Monday June 25.

ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), Kellogg (NYSE:K)

It used to be that Kellogg (K) was the top player in the packaged food space and ConAgra (CAG) was the laggard. More recently, the companies have switched places. ConAgra yields 3.8%, very close to the "magical" 4% dividend floor that keeps many stocks from dropping further. CAG, which makes brands such as Hunts, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice and Hebrew National, was losing out on high commodity costs, but the decrease in raw costs is now at tailwind for CAG. The company is seeing an improvement in its gross margins and is taking market share, even as it has raised prices. Kellogg's sales are declining on lack of innovation and consumer complaints. Management cut guidance, and its price increases are causing it to lose market share. ConAgra is increasing its buyback, and Kellogg has had to reduce its buyback. CAG and Kellogg are two stocks that are trading places; CAG is a buy, and Kellogg is a sell.

Corning (NYSE:GLW), Anheuser-Busch Inbev (NYSE:BUD), Nokia (NYSE:NOK)

With the Dow declining 138 points, some feel it is best just to get out of stocks. Cramer pointed out that many of the Europe-inspired declines in stocks have provided buying opportunities. Governments could come up with a viable situation to mend the European economy, and in the meantime, many domestic companies are performing well; a number of them are hitting 52-week highs.

Cramer took some calls:

Corning (GLW) is not a stock worth buying.

Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD) is in an amazing growth industry, and the stock is a buy.

Nokia (NOK) is unlikely to get its act together. Cramer said to the caller, "I told you to sell it all the way down to here. Now do you need me to tell you to sell it?"

Whole Foods (WFM) vs. The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM)

In a volatile market, the difference between a good stock and a great stock can be crucial. Both Whole Foods (WFM) and The Fresh Market (TFM) have similar stories, but WFM is much larger, with a $17.5 billion market cap compared to TFM's market cap of $2.5 billion. The latter might be considered as a Buy, because it is potentially a regional to national play, with room to grow. TFM is slightly cheaper in price, selling at a multiple of 30.9 with a 22% growth rate, compared to WFM, which trades at a multiple of 34 and is growing at 18%. While TFM is growing its square footage by 15% a year, and has robust same store sales, which increased by 8.2% this year, Whole Foods, according to Cramer, "is simply better." One square foot at WFM generates double the sales as a square foot at TFM. WFM's same store sales are up 9.5%, and the company is accelerating its store count dramatically. WFM has a knack of coming into an area that doesn't have a health food store and dominating the market. TFM has room to expand, but it will run into competition from WFM, which has a broader selection, brand recognition and customer loyalty. Both companies are solid, but WFM is the better stock.

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Burger King (BKW), Sara Lee (SLE), Dole Foods (NYSE:DOLE)

Which is the better stock, McDonald's (MCD) or Burger King (BKW)? It's a matter of taste. Long-term investors may be partial to McDonald's (MCD) because of its steady growth and 3.18% dividend yield. However, BKW, which came public last week, while not a stock for the faint of heart, is inexpensive and has several catalysts. Cramer thinks BKW will be a beneficiary of the Wall Street Promotion machine, and is likely to receive upgrades. BKW is a turnaround story, and management says it plans to build 1,000 restaurants in China. Even if this target is not met, the bullish talk may raise the stock. BKW lacks a dividend, and for this reason, can only be considered viable as a short-term trade. For the long-term investor, McDonald's is still cheap, trading $14 off its high and with a low multiple of 14. There is uncertainty about its new CEO, with the departure of Jim Skinner, so MCD may be a value investment to buy on weakness.

Cramer took some calls:

Sara Lee (SLE) is splitting up, and Cramer suggests holding onto both parts.

Dole Foods (DOLE) has not been a good stock, and Cramer does not see a reason to buy it.


Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS: Trade right alongside a Wall Street pro! Start your 14-day FREE trial today.

Get Cramer's Picks by email - it's free and takes only a few seconds to sign up.