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Cramer hates this stock—Icahn loves it

Family Dollar worst-of-breed: Cramer

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

Last week billionaire investor Carl Icahn revealed an almost 10 percent stake in Family Dollar, a company Jim Cramer has hated for quite some time.

Either Icahn or Cramer has gotten something terribly wrong, right?

That might seem like a logical conclusion, but, in fact, it's entirely possible that both Wall Street pros are on the same page.


Carl Icahn
David Grogan | CNBC

is an activist investor and "activists don't invest like you and me," Cramer said.

That is, Cramer feels that individual investors are best served putting money into best of breed companies and then benefitting as the company prospers over time. " is a far cry from best in breed, " said Cramer. Therefore Cramer often tells viewers to stay away on "Mad Money."

However, billionaire activists such as Icahn aren't all that interested in best of breed. Instead, "they find challenged companies where management has been making mistakes."

And Cramer said Family Dollar has been making a lot of mistakes.

"Then by leveraging their considerable voting rights and using their considerable financial firepower, they force companies to make changes that can unlock tremendous value, " Cramer said.

That's what Cramer says is doing. And for a man as powerful as Icahn, Cramer sees a lot of ways to unlock value.

"Icahn could position Family Dollar to be taken private via a leveraged buyout," Cramer said. "Or he could advocate for Family Dollar to sell itself." Although both scenarios are squarely on the table, Cramer thinks a third scenario is most likely; a management shakeup. "Specifically, I think he could try to oust Howard Levine from his position as CEO. We know that Icahn has very little patience for CEOs who don't deliver, and many of Family Dollar's operational and execution issues can be laid right at Levine's feet."

Because Howard Levine is the founder's son, Cramer thinks Icahn will encounter strong resistance, however, Cramer also thinks Icahn has a strategic advantage.

"Icahn is not the only activist in this stock," Cramer explained "Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz has a 7.35 percent stake and top hedge fund manager John Paulson has a 5.68 percent stake, which means together, these three activists control over 22 percent of the company. With that kind of financial firepower, you can push through a lot of changes."

And that, Cramer said, is why Icahn established such a sizable position.

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"Don't be confused by Carl Icahn's Family Dollar buy. Although on 'Mad Money' I tell you to buy the stocks of good companies," Cramer said, "activist investors follow a different playbook. Carl Icahn got involved with Family Dollar because he thinks he can change the business. That something most individual investors can't do."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

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