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Cramer Remix: Amazon is finally facing a real rival

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer's telling you why Amazon could finally be feeling the heat.
  • Cramer also checks in with Align Technologies to see if it could falter after a competitor's move.
  • In the lightning round, Cramer was bullish on an international telecom provider.
Cramer Remix: Amazon is finally facing a real rival

With Amazon's stock down over 125 basis points from its high, CNBC's Jim Cramer couldn't help but wonder if the e-commerce giant was the most vulnerable of the top tech stocks.

The "Mad Money " host pointed to Wednesday's news that Wal-Mart would partner with Google to link Wal-Mart shoppers' accounts with a Google-made, voice-enabled device.

While Cramer nodded to the power and machine-learning capabilities of Amazon's voice-enabled technology, Alexa, he saw the announcement as a clear attempt to stem Amazon's domination.

"Wal-Mart's not going to be outdone with its Google partnership. They have too much money riding on this fight and the company keeps assuring me that we ain't seen nothing yet out of theses partnerships. I like this battle royal. Plus, Google may know even more about you than Amazon does," Cramer said. "Combine Google and Walmart, and for the first time — maybe the first time in a long time, maybe the first time ever — it feels like Amazon could have a real rival, someone to fear and loathe on the Alexa trail."

PVH CEO on Europe, China, U.S. Growth

Manny Chirico, CEO, PVH
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

As U.S. retailers race to adjust to an increasingly online shopping environment, PVH President and CEO Manny Chirico told CNBC that the e-commerce pain isn't affecting much overseas.

"The department store channel there continues to be fairly strong, and our own stores and our own direct e-commerce business is very strong," Chirico told Cramer on Wednesday. "I have to be honest, we're clearly taking market share in Europe, and same thing in China."

Sitting down with Cramer after the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger parent reported earnings, Chirico touted the brands' mid-to-high single-digit same-store sales growth, a key measure of success for retailers.

Particularly in Europe, Chirico said Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein were both growing at double-digit rates, with Calvin seeing a 25 percent boost in the company's latest quarter.

Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Talks Oil Industry

In this 2007 file photo, Pioneer Natural Resources' Timothy Dove is shown at Oooguruk Island off the coast of Alaska's North Slope.
Steve Quinn | AP

Wall Street traders are all to familiar with oil's recent trajectory — trading in a tight range and struggling to break out above $50 a barrel.

But if oil's 2014 crash was an obstacle for Pioneer Natural Resources chief Timothy Dove, it was hardly enough to eradicate the U.S. oil industry altogether, he told CNBC on Wednesday.

"It's a bit like waking the sleeping giant," Pioneer's president and CEO told Cramer. "In other words, challenging U.S. industry to improve in the face of adversity, in this case price adversity, is something that we all stood up to and accepted."

During the crash, oil prices tumbled from over $100 to the $40s in about a year. But rather than letting the fall shutter the oil industry altogether, Dove said it actually spurred innovation.

Powerball Procedure

A screen displays the value of the Powerball jackpot at a store in New York City, August 22, 2017.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

You've won the Powerball. You're on top of the world. You can taste the $700 million already. But wait! Cramer has seven rules that will ensure your winnings don't get squandered.

"First and foremost, you take the money all at once," the "Mad Money" host said. "Don't let them string it out like that. You want the time value of all that cash working for you. That's vital."

Cramer's second vital step is to pay your taxes right away.

Align Technology: Off-Course or On the Right Track?

Finally, Cramer checked in on Align Technology, the orthodontic device provider best known for making Invisalign, a clear, removable alternative to traditional braces.

In light of dental equipment player Straumann's recently announced takeover of ClearCorrect, one of Align's competitors, Cramer wondered how the merger might affect Align's business.

"I've been thinking about this and I've gotta tell you, I'm not all that concerned," the "Mad Money" host said. "Most braces are sold by orthodontists, not the general dental practitioners that Straumann focuses on. Consider it more of a separate set of goods sold to a different set of dentists than a true replacement offered to Align's existing clients at a lower price point than Align can offer."

After all, Straumann has zero exposure to the North American orthodontist market. Align takes in 60 percent of its sales from it. And to the extent that other dental providers start giving people ClearCorrect products, Cramer saw it as an extension of the market where Align is the leader.

Shirley Stacy, the vice president of corporate and investor communications at Align, responded to Cramer's analysis in an email to CNBC:

"We expect competition in the clear aligner space to accelerate as companies recognize that outdated metal braces are a thing of the past and move to take advantage of the huge market opportunity for clear aligners. With new entrants, market awareness grows, the clear aligner category grows faster, and the market expands significantly," Stacy wrote. "Align's clear-aligner-focused company strategy and Invisalign['s] brand strength, combined with decades of technology advancements and tremendous know-how in moving teeth with plastic, gives us the confidence to continue to successfully compete."

And the "Mad Money" host seemed to be on board with Stacy's remarks.

"Align's products have proven to be more popular. Invisalign is simply better," Cramer said. "Look, I know competition is anathema to profits, but I really don't believe this Straumann-ClearCorrect deal represents a meaningful threat to Align Technology. That said, we prefer to buy high-quality stocks into weakness. Maybe we should just hope that Align pulls back again, giving us the opportunity to get into this quintessential look-you-selfie-best, 'InstaImperative' stock. "

Lightning Round: Cramer's Call on Vodafone

In Cramer's lightning round, he rattled off his take on callers' favorite stocks:

Vodafone: "I like Vodafone very much. I trust the yield. Maybe I shouldn't."

Ormat Technologies: "I think there's a place for geothermal, and they're the kings of it."

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