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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.
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."
Cramer found Wednesday's market sentiment to be somewhat nearsighted about the potential catalysts that could drive stocks higher.
"We've got to take a step back and look at the bigger picture here, because that's what helped power today's rally," he said.
The massive reclamation project in Houston will likely deliver a boost to an array of companies related to rebuilding, the "Mad Money" host said.
From companies dealing in homebuilding materials — think Weyerhaeuser, Louisiana-Pacific and USG — to road aggregates — Martin Marietta Materials' wheelhouse — to roofing — the specialty of Owens Corning and Beacon Roofing — Cramer is anticipating a lift across the board.
It hasn't been an easy year for Hain Celestial Group founder, Chairman, President and CEO Irwin Simon.
"I went through a year of hell," Simon told Cramer in a Wednesday interview, referring to a lengthy accounting probe into Hain's financial practices. In his 24 years at Hain, Simon said "2017 was one of my toughest years ever."
The review found no financial wrongdoing, but Hain's stock has struggled to fully bounce back to its levels before the investigation.
Still, Simon said that he and his employees learned some valuable lessons from the probe.
Then, Cramer sat down with Michael Neidorff, the chairman, president and CEO of Centene Corp., a major provider at the front-and-center of government-sponsored health care.
Neidorff offered his take on fixing health care reform in the Wednesday interview, saying it should be easier than Congress' deliberations make it seem.
The CEO recommended simplifying the system, putting in place a "copper" plan with a big deductible for wellness and catastrophic care for healthier people and a re-insurance plan for higher-risk patients.
"That would cost you $15, $20 billion on a $3 trillion budget," Neidorff said. "I don't think anybody would get hurt, it's just they're trying to be 'all things, all people.' You know, they're trying to help the states and say [to] the states, 'You can do what you want. You have chrome plans and iron plans.' I believe in keeping it simple."
Finally, Cramer spoke with Aneel Bhusri, the co-founder and CEO of human capital management software system Workday.
"Our math is that 30 percent of the Fortune 500 has chosen Workday. Fifty percent of the market of those Fortune 500 companies haven't made any decision yet," Bhusri told Cramer. "So from our math, we're the clear leader in the Fortune 500 segment and likely in the Fortune 50 segment as well, but there's still a lot of market opportunity in front of us."
And when it comes to competition with the likes of ADP, Bhusri painted the playing field as fairly complex.
"In places we compete and [in] places we partner," Bhusri said. "I think a fair comparison for ADP is, candidly, SAP and Oracle. You have to look at other companies that have to deal with legacy software and generations of old technology and it's a challenge to overcome that and I think [CEO] Carlos [Rodriguez], again, is doing a good job in the time he's had at ADP."
In Cramer's lightning round, he rattled off his take on some callers' favorite stocks:
Snap-On: "We love their products, but the numbers have not been there. Frankly, the numbers have just not been there so I want to be very careful. I think it's a great company too, but that group… I was hoping the group might come back off of Houston, but the last piece of research I read about Snap-On was a downgrade and it was a very tough one and I thought it had gravitas."
GW Pharmaceuticals: "My problem with GW Pharma is that every time we seem to have a referendum on marijuana, the voters approve it. Let's just say the stuff that used to be illegal is getting a lot more legal."