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Cramer: Is Charles River getting ready to run?

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This stock had made sharp gains through the spring but then tumbled sharply into summer, before again ticking higher. Is Charles River Labs ready to run, again?

Charles River Labs has been a Jim Cramer favorite for almost two years now with the "Mad Money" host's optimism due, in part, to the company's business model. "Charles River provides universities and biopharmaceutical firms with everything they need to discover new drugs and they also conduct early stage clinical trials," Cramer explained.




Although long-term prospects sound positive, the price action earlier in the year was anything but.

As you can see from the chart, "From the first week of April through the first week of May, Charles River dropped from $61 down to $50, and it spent the next three months stuck in the low $50s, in part due to worries that drug companies were shifting their outsourced research budgets away from the early stage research that Charles River is all about and towards firms that specialize in later stage clinical trials," Cramer explained.

However, after talking with Jim Foster, the chairman and CEO of Charles River Laboratories, there's new reason to believe that business at his company is, again, on the upswing.

"We've got great demand in both big pharma and biotech," he said. "And we're getting full," Foster added, referring to the occupancy at facilities his company operates in which drugs are tested for safety and efficacy. "There had been a surplus of space but now it's filling up very nicely. The industry is at 70 percent and we're substantially higher than that."

Cramer thinks the renewed strength is reflected in recent earnings.

"The company delivered a 15-cent earnings beat off of an 82-cent basis, with higher than expected revenues that rose 15.9 percent year over year, and management raised its full-year earnings guidance," he said. And sales growth exceeded 10 percent, Foster added.

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After talking with the CEO and sifting through earnings, Cramer thinks there's every reason for optimism.

"From what I'm hearing, it sounds like Charles River is back on track. Clients are spending again and (Foster says) the company is back on a sustained growth path. There's real need for what Charles River Labs does. I think the stock goes higher."

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