With a big chunk of its business rooted in home repair and remodeling, you’d think Fortune Brands would be one of the major casualties of the housing crisis. But you’d be mistaken.
Fortune, with a diversified set of businesses ranging from faucets and cabinets to liquor to golf balls, is holding up just fine as far as Cramer is concerned. CEO Bruce Carbonari said on Wednesday’s Mad Money that the housing downturn is by no means the kiss of death for Fortune. The company is “riding the rhythm” of the trend, he said.
To that end, Carbonari said Fortune is continuing to introduce new products on the home furnishings side in order to keep consumers excited.
It is also consolidating its liquor exposure by selling its wine brands to Constellation . According to Carbonari, the wine business, especially the low end, didn’t prove profitable because people don't show the brand loyalty they do with spirits. A Jack and Coke is one thing, but when was the last time you heard someone ask for a glass of Sutter Home?
Fortune lost the bidding war for Absolut, which Carbonari said was because he wasn’t willing to pay up to acquire the brand. Organic investment still garners the best returns, he said.
Cramer remains bullish on Fortune. And when housing finally rebounds, he thinks this stock could rocket faster than anything else.
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