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Cramer Remix: What is weighing on Apple suppliers

With Apple's stock roaring 6 percent on Wednesday, Jim Cramer noted that a win for Apple is pretty much a zero-sum game for other publicly traded companies.

The companies that have won from Apple's strength are those that can harness the power of a device to gain viewers, like Alphabet, soon-to-be-public Snapchat and Facebook.

Qorvo reported a weak quarter on Wednesday, and Cramer said he expects to see all of Apple's suppliers like Skyworks to be hit overnight as a result.

Facebook beat Wall Street's expectations for the fourth quarter, with revenue advancing to $8.81 billion versus the $8.51 expected. People simply cannot resist checking Facebook and Instagram from their iPhones, Cramer said.

As for the losers, bricks-and-mortar stores once again suffered, and this time it was because of Apple. Apple is the mall now.

"When I say that Apple is the mall, I also mean that if you were actually thinking of going to the mall, you probably ended up using your iPhone to comparison shop to be sure you weren't overpaying," Cramer said.

Tim Cook
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Tim Cook

When Cramer reviewed the latest quarter from Apple, it was clear that the company finally took control of its narrative. This isn't just a device maker, he said. Apple's service stream revenue makes it something much larger. It's a software and subscription company, and investors have finally figured that out.

"What has dogged Apple's stock for ages, what has kept its share price so low, at least in terms of its valuation, is the 'Blackberry-ization' issue. The notion that in the end, the iPhone is just a device and device companies eventually get wasted as Blackberry did," Cramer said.

For the last two years Apple has struggled to explain why its service revenue stream business is so important. As a result, investors did not take it seriously.

This time, it made it clear that its service stream is growing, and it was time to recognize it. Apple's service revenue encompasses 150 million people paying every month, both directly and indirectly, and the company expects it will double in four years.

A little over a year ago, local television station operator formerly known as Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced it would buy Media General for $4.6 billion, becoming the nation's No. 2 largest broadcaster.

Last month the company finally received approval from the FCC and closed the deal, changing its name to Nexstar Media Group. It is now the second largest local affiliate for networks like NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox. As a result, the stock is now up 53 percent in the last year.

Cramer spoke with Nexstar's chairman and CEO Perry Sook, who said the company is still tied to its local roots, with half of the money it makes coming from local news broadcasts.

"At our core we are a local service business. We produce local content, we help local businesses sell stuff, and that is our reason to exist," Sook said.


Mark Zuckerberg
Lluis Gene | AFP | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg

H&R Block's stock was hit hard last year, thanks to a dismal tax season and online competition that impacted its numbers. Some investors are also worried that if President Trump repeals the Affordable Care Act and simplifies tax code, that could mean less business for tax preparers.

Cramer spoke with H&R Block's CEO Bill Cobb, who admitted that last year was a tough year and that the company is ramping up efforts to bounce back. On Wednesday, the company announced a partnership with IBM's Watson to roll out in-store locations to help customers find tax deductions that they might not know they are eligible for.

"We wanted to be aggressive across the board on all fronts, and you're going to see a very different Block this year," Cobb said.

With the semiconductor space on fire lately, Cramer found one off-the-radar player that he says could be in the early innings of a win.

"While I think they have got more upside, I also feel like we might be missing out on some of the lesser-known, lower profile names in the sector," Cramer said.

Maxim Integrated Products is a semiconductor company focused on making chips for the automobile, data center, computing, consumer and industrial end markets.

In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few stocks from callers:

FireEye: "FireEye is a little too low to sell, but it's not my favorite. It's Checkpoint and then after that, after that it's Cyberark. These guys just miss too often. They're in the penalty box big time."

Sanchez Energy: "We like the secondary offerings, it makes the balance sheet better. I've got no problem with that. And the oil stocks have come down a bit. I think it might be time to do a little buying."