Bill Ackman’s pain could be your gain, says Cramer

Monday, 12 Aug 2013 | 6:54 PM ET
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Monday, 12 Aug 2013 | 6:58 PM ET
Mad Money host Jim Cramer shares his final thoughts of the day.

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

It's not good to have enemies on Wall Street. Bill Ackman seems to have more than his fair share. And Cramer thinks they're about to gang up on him.

Ackman, a widely followed hedge fund manager, has landed in crosshairs after firing off an angry letter in which he voiced frustration with the board of JC Penney and the slow speed at which they were moving as they attempted to permanently fill the CEO job.

The move generated significant ire on Wall Street, particularly among other money managers who are short JC Penney stock.

It's hardly the first time that Ackman has rubbed peers the wrong way. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn publicly hurled insults at Ackman on CNBC in a conversation about Herbalife, a company that Ackman is short and Icahn is long.

Meanwhile, on Monday, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb took aim at Ackman in another on-going feud, writing, "Never interfere with an enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself."

No stranger to the rivalry that's widespread in the hedge fund world, Cramer believes other big money players may start betting against Ackman's positions – if for no other reason than to amplify his woes.

"I believe that right now a bunch of shark hedge funds are circling around Pershing Square, Bill Ackman's company, betting against him," Cramer said.

Bill Ackman
Jonathan Fickles | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bill Ackman

And if you're nimble, Cramer thinks as these billionaires take swipes, Ackman's pain may be your gain – that is, they may be creating opportunities - as the situation plays out.

Specifically, as these funds do battle Cramer believes they will hedge driving moves in related plays.

"First, the short against Ackman's Penney position needs to be protected by buying another second-rate retailer, I'd pick Sears Holdings. That way if back to school season is good, you have a nice hedge," Cramer said.

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"Just a few weeks ago we learned Ackman's taken a huge position in Air Products. If you want to short Air Products, may I suggest that you also buy some Airgas. It's a better company that's up less for the year," he added.

"Just a few weeks ago we learned Ackman's taken a huge position in Air Products. If you want to short Air Products, may I suggest that you also buy some Airgas, a better company that's up less for the year," he added.

Looking at other holdings Cramer said, "Ackman's got a huge and profitable position in Canadian Pacific, but CanPac's not even a close number two to the railroad operators at Union Pacfic. Also, Ackman's cleaned up on Procter & Gamble, but that stock looks extended and I don't think it can challenge Colgate effectively in emerging markets."

On top of that, Cramer said, "The records show a position in Burger King; I prefer to bet with McDonald's."

However, make no mistake, this is the deep end of the pool. "You might not profit from betting against Ackman," Cramer warned. He's a shrewd investor.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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