Cramer: Apple pricing power stronger than ever

The market was down on Wednesday, but many stocks consolidated gains in a way that showed Jim Cramer that the companies underneath have some seriously strong pricing power.

"Sometimes, it just comes down to figuring out who has pricing power — who can raise prices and who can't," the "Mad Money" host said.

Pricing power refers to a company's ability to raise prices without resistance. Cramer likes these stocks because they are the ones that bounce back quickly in a marketwide sell-off. And the weak ones in this area will fall behind quickly when the market comes back because their earnings-per-share numbers come into jeopardy.

One of the reasons Cramer always says to own Apple, not trade it is because Apple represents the ultimate strength of pricing power.

Apple store
Yves Herman | Reuters
"You can't compete with the lowest cost producer on price and not expect your stock to get clobbered." -Jim Cramer

Earlier this week, Apple unveiled a smaller version of an iPhone that has special features that weren't necessarily innovative but captured what people want.

"I think that those who sold Apple on this announcement didn't understand the signature positive of this new phone is that even though it is smaller, Apple can still command a high price for its wares," Cramer said.

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Apple has no pricing pressure because its products are regarded as the finest in the industry, and it generates $30 billion in revenue.

"Apple's pricing power is legion," Cramer said.

Alphabet and Facebook have pricing power, too. Advertisers clearly realize that Alphabet's Google search function and Facebook are the two best places to reach people in a digital world. There might be a ceiling to the amount they can charge, but that limit could be is not clear to Cramer.

Even McDonald's has pricing power locked down for breakfast. On Tuesday Krispy Kreme reported a disappointing quarter, with management citing a difficult environment that was too promotional. Those sentiments were also echoed by Jack in the Box, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Dunkin' Donuts when they reported.

The value proposition executed by McDonald's is one that can only be done by a low cost producer, and that is exactly what McDonald's is.

"You can't compete with the lowest cost producer on price and not expect your stock to get clobbered," Cramer said.

This battle over price defines the same action that Cramer is seeing for individual stocks. The ones with pricing power were the ones to bounce back the fastest on Tuesday, and those that don't have it are destined to stay that way until further notice.

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