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The takeovers are coming, the takeovers are coming! At least that's what CNBC's Jim Cramer thinks based on the stock market's response to some recent, large-scale combinations.
"It's pretty simple: the upward movement in the stocks of the acquirers is going to drive the takeover bus," the "Mad Money" host said.
Cramer began with the market's reaction to Gilead Sciences' $11.9 billion takeover of Kite Pharma. Ahead of the announcement, Gilead's stock had been fairly stagnant since the company released its Hepatitis C cure.
The cure generated a lot of cash for Gilead, but the biopharmaceutical company had not put the money to work until it decided to buy Kite Pharma, a deal announced on Monday.
Gilead is betting that the money-losing Kite Pharma will receive FDA approval for its CAR-T, or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, therapy, which would advance a much sought-after cancer-fighting treatment.
"Gilead's stock has since vaulted from $73 to $81. That's incredible. The market-cap gain is nearly what they spent for Kite, even as there's little hope that Kite can boost earnings for at least three years," Cramer said. "This purchase has started the chatter that Celgene will buy Bluebird Bio, which is working on some promising anti-cancer gene therapies. As with Gilead-Kite deal, both Celgene and Bluebird have been moving up. It's a virtuous circle."
Shares of both companies have been roaring on the news, yet another example of the "virtuous circle" when it comes to takeovers, Cramer said.
"All these names demonstrate one salient fact: if the acquirers' stocks move up after news of a deal, well, then a heck of a lot more companies will make acquisitions," the "Mad Money" host said.
Until recently, Cramer felt there had been a notion among investors that companies should wait for the Trump administration to implement tax or regulatory policy before making acquisitions.
"I think corporate America has finally given up on our dysfunctional government and is now going full speed ahead on acquisitions. Ripe areas? Drugs, aerospace, even oils, if the price of oil were to drop to the low $40s where I think it's headed," Cramer said. "All bad news for the shorts and a bit of welcome good news for the longs."