Cramer's Mad Money - When The CEO Leaves, Stay Away (9/13/12)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday September 13.

Bernanke Keeps The Fire Going. Stock mentioned: Boeing (NYSE:BA)

The Dow broke out 207 points after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made a commitment to keep interest rates low and to purchase more mortgage-backed securities. Cramer praised this move as keeping the fire going in the economy. While critics questioned what this strategy will do to remedy severe unemployment, Cramer noted that the policy will stimulate homebuilding, which will in turn, create jobs and encourage the consumer to feel more secure about spending.

Cramer took some calls:

There is no reason to be concerned about the effect of aerospace mergers on Boeing (BA), because Cramer sees a bull market in aerospace that will make enough room for BA and its competitors.

CEO Interview: Mike Sutherland, Joy Global (NYSE:JOY)

Investors often wonder if they should start buying stocks in a badly beaten sector on the hopes of a comeback. Joy Global (JOY), a dominant mining equipment producer, has been pounded along with other coal-related stocks. With weakness in China and cheap natural gas providing more competition for coal, as well as tightening FDA regulations against coal, the entire sector has been challenged. Joy Global's management indicated that 2013 might be an even harder year than 2012. CEO Mike Sutherland said he expected business to be flat or slightly down from 2012, but he intends to use the hiatus to streamline the company and cut costs. Sutherland was confident that China will start spending again on infrastructure projects. After electricity demand has been declining in China, Sutherland noted a slight improvement recently. In addition, China will continue to rely on cheap coal imports, since it is too expensive to mine coal in China. While many utilities have been forced to get rid of coal for their power, Sutherland plans to counteract this by continuing to expand in emerging markets, particularly Asia.

Cramer added that the CEO told a similar story around the time Joy Global bottomed the last time, and while it won't happen in a flash, the company will eventually see a comeback.

Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW), Limited (LTD)

Manitowoc (MTW) is yet another stock whose parts are greater than the whole. The company has two businesses that have nothing to do with each other. It has an internationally successful crane segment and a food service equipment business. Having these two businesses under the same roof seems to be an advantage; construction is cyclical, and the food service segment can drive earnings when industrials are slow, and vice versa when the economy favors the industrials. However, investors do not want these businesses lumped together. Why buy stock in a company with a food service component when industrial stocks are ready to rally? Why flee for safety in food service when that safety is threatened by an industrial segment that will not perform in a weak economy? Both businesses are valued at $2.5 billion, while MTW's value now is $3.9 billion. If the company split, it could add 28% to the total value. Breaking up would be good for MTW to do.

Cramer took some calls:

Limited (LTD) is aggressive when it comes to creating value. Cramer is bullish on LTD.

When a CEO Leaves, Stay Away: Francesca's (NASDAQ:FRAN), Mellanox Technologies (NASDAQ:MLNX), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), WellPoint (WLP)

When a CEO or a CFO leaves, that is usually a good sign to sell or stay away from a stock. Even after Francesca's (FRAN) reported a strong quarter, it was announced that the CEO John De Meritt was departing from that position and from the Board of Directors. One has to wonder why a CEO would suddenly leave if a stock is doing very well. On this announcement, the stock dropped 17% the next day.

Mellanox (MLNX) was on an unstoppable rally, until the CFO Michael Gray announced he was leaving "for personal reasons." The stock got hit 20 points. In some ways, it is a worse sign to lose a CFO than a CEO, since CFOs are the "number guys." While Cramer can cite no fundamental reason about the company to justify selling, and conceded this strategy might be a bit "paranoid," in 30 years trading stocks, Cramer said this paranoia is more often justified than not. Consider the case of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which has never been the same since the departure of CEO Mark Hurd, or First Solar (FSLR), which was similarly crippled when its CEO left.

Cramer took a call:

WellPoint (WLP) is a case in which the departure of the CEO, Angela Braly, actually helped the company, but Cramer said that is because the CEO was not effective.


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