There are some executives that you just want to get behind. They’re heroes – in the sense that the key criterion for being a hero is if you can make people money. Nolan Archibald, CEO of Black & Decker , does just that, and Cramer’s got him on the phone.
Short-sellers have bet against this guy, and they’ve had their heads handed to them, Cramer says. Black & Decker blew away the numbers even when people assumed the subprime debacle would have hurt the company’s bottom line.
Archibald says it’s the product line that helps when there’s a down market – and it was Black & Decker’s innovative brands and products that helped give the stock the boost it needed.
Cramer was listening in on the company’s conference call, and he heard Archibald say the company might have gotten a break because the big box stores were low on their inventory. He made it seem like investors shouldn’t get too excited. Cramer wants to know if he was reading that too negatively.
There was some inventory filling, but new products and new customers were what made the difference, Archibald says. He still doesn’t want people getting too exuberant, though. “We are cautious given the economy, but we seem to be doing fairly well,” he says.
Black & Decker managed to shrink their float dramatically last year. There are plenty of CEOs who talk about buybacks, but not nearly as many who actually do them, Cramer says.
Archibald intends to continue to buyback shares of the company. “We bought 11.8 million shares of our stock back last year,” he says. “We’re now down to 67 million shares.”
That announcement might have officially elevated Archibald to hero status in Cramerica.
“This is the real deal,” Cramer says. With 67 million shares, there might not be enough to go around for the shorts! He thinks BDK is headed right through $100.
Questions? Comments? email@example.com