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Cramer investigates Monster opportunity

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

Some opportunities are big. Others are simply Monster.

In this case it's Monster, the energy drink company. Jim Cramer thinks shares could make a nice, albeit speculative addition to any portfolio.

Of course, Cramer is well aware of the recent woes that shareholders were forced to endure.

"In 2012, a combination of negative news stories about the potential health risks of consuming hyper-caffeinated energy drinks along with a number of lawsuits, and regulatory concerns about the safety of the product caused the stock to get slaughtered. Monster was nearly cut in half, falling from $79 to $40, in a matter of months," Cramer said. "And the bad publicity really put the kibosh on Monster's sales."

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Going forward, however, Cramer sees signs that health concerns have started to ebb. "Energy drink volumes have been reaccelerating, with the category once again growing at a double-digit pace," he said.

Also Cramer sees other positives such as:
- Legal headwinds are largely baked into share price
- Monster is facing significant opportunity overseas
- New products, such as coffee drinks and protein drinks are generating enthusiasm among consumers.

In fact, it's those Monster protein drinks that may have gotten Cramer thinking about this stock.

You see, although Cramer believes fundamentals are solid, he's also intrigued by Monster because he thinks it could be the object of a takeover bid; something similar to the way in which Hormel acquired the private company that makes Muscle Milk, a protein shake that athletes drink to help put on muscle.

Because protein shakes are a rapidly expanding area of the beverage market, Cramer believes the acquisition was intended to boost Hormel's growth. "Protein drinks are growing much faster than their core meat business," Cramer said.

And if Muscle Milk can attract a suitor, Cramer thinks the reaccelerating Monster Beverage business can too.

"Energy drinks are still the fastest growing beverage category out there, while carbonated soft drinks have basically no growth to speak of. So if you're in the soft drink business, I think it would make sense to snap up Monster in order to boost your growth. I think Coke might be willing to acquire them," Cramer said

And it's not just Coke that may be looking at this company. Cramer said that PepsiCo might find the acquisition intriguing, as well as other, less obvious, companies such as a packaged foods maker.

Looking at potential upside, Cramer thinks it could be significant. "Back in 2007 Coke bought Glaceau, the maker of Vitamin Water, for over $4 billion. If they were to value Monster the same way, then I'd expect them to pay a 25 to 30 percent premium over where the stock's currently trading," Cramer said.

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All told, Cramer believes Monster presents several ways to win. "While the fundamentals are sound and could drive an advance, I also think it could make an attractive takeover target. And with all of the consolidation in the food and beverage space, I think it's worth speculating on Monster Beverage.




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