NextEra Energy Partners' deal to buy Oncor for $18 billion has hit a roadblock, and Jim Cramer is offering a solution: bow to the deal-blockers, also known as the Texas Industrial Energy Consumers.
The group, composed of businesses that make up the largest consumers of electricity in Texas, has been holding the deal hostage to squeeze additional money out of Oncor's acquirer.
For NextEra, which has the highest valuation of the seven biggest utilities in the United States, another failed deal could dampen investors' growth expectations and slam the stock.
"If NextEra wants to maintain its status as the premier growth utility, let me tell you something: it needs to swallow its pride and give the Texas Public Utility regulators exactly what they want," the "Mad Money" host said. "Otherwise they'll block the Oncor deal and NextEra's stock will get pounded."
If NextEra gives in, Cramer argues that it could bode extremely well for the company, which with the purchase of Oncor will exclude itself from the interest rate cycle that holds so many other utility names hostage.
Cramer's favorite thing about companies like industrial conglomerate Caterpillar, engine maker Cummins, and electrical giant Eaton is that each company generates about half of its business from overseas.
"To me, these unsung manufacturing companies that stayed here and just [ground] it out, simply doing what they do best, offering the finest products both here and abroad at great prices, that's where a lot of the money's been made," Cramer said.
Following that, Cramer was baffled by Amazon and Tesla's respective price upgrades Monday, particularly because "cult stocks" are unpredictable and very difficult to seriously price.
"Why not just have a 'sky's the limit' price target, because if it's overvalued at this level, then what's the point about putting a target price on it?" he asked. "Why not just say, 'Look, we can't justify it, but it's going there.'"
What really matters to Cramer is that traditional valuation metrics are not applicable when what a stock like Amazon is offering cannot be duplicated due to its scale and distribution chain.
"Why not just say Amazon, raising from $900 to infinity and beyond? Honestly, that kind of analysis wouldn't be any less rigorous than what they're currently slinging at us," Cramer said.
For patient investors, Cramer still has faith in some household names that could end up winners of the brick-and-mortar game.
While all of retail rebounded on Thursday, Cramer urged caution. Macy's and JC Penney each have plans to shutter over 100 stores and gave weak 2017 guidance. Nordstrom's revenues missed expectations. Same-store sales are declining across the board.
"I don't want to fool ourselves here," he said. "It's just too hard to offset the Amazon effect there, which is why I'd prefer to go with non-mall based plays like Wal-Mart, Kohl's, the outstanding Burlington Stores, or TJX," the "Mad Money" host suggested.
At the end of the day, Constellation Brands seems to be the consistent go-to for growth and libations alike.
"Constellation's brands are on fire, including terrific Mexican beers like Modelo and Corona, and [one] we had a hard time keeping in stock this weekend at Bar San Miguel: Pacifico," Cramer said.
The company has perpetually delivered double-digit revenue growth, strong cash flow and earnings beats, and has been scooping up market share nationwide by acquiring small craft beer makers and other brands in popular segments.
And while Constellation would be at risk if Congress passed a border-adjusted tax, as the company imports many of its beers from Mexico, Cramer thinks the tax passing is unlikely.
In Cramer's lightning round, he rattled off his take on some caller favorite stocks:
Advanced Micro Devices: "OK, Goldman put a "sell" [rating] on it, and Goldman's view is well reasoned. It's basically the same view that you could have for Nvidia, which is that these were the two hottest stocks, others are catching up to them both in technology and also price-to-earnings multiple, so therefore, AMD has got a marked time. And that's what I think AMD is doing."
Esperion Therapeutics Inc.: "Well, that's what people are thinking, that it is going to be a takeover. I do find it somewhat unlikely, but I do know that periodically, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Sanofi, they all need pipelines. And buying Esperion would be one, but that's not a reason to buy, because remember: on a fundamental basis, it is overvalued."
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