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Cramer unpacks Analog Devices' 'mosaic' of unstoppable growth drivers

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer outlines the bull case for semiconductor company Analog Devices.
  • Analog does business in industrial, auto, communications and consumer markets, making it a solid play on the internet of things, Cramer says.

To counter the rising interest in exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, CNBC's Jim Cramer wanted to explain why individual companies do still matter to these funds and the overall market.

"What was behind the incredible rally in non-FANG tech yesterday?" the "Mad Money" host asked on Thursday.

Cramer argued that it wasn't Warren Buffett's endorsement of Apple or the small jump in shares of Netflix.

"No, it was all about a little company called Analog Devices," Cramer said. "Of course, it's not really little anymore. It's a $30 billion semiconductor company, and it reported a terrific quarter and held a brilliant conference call."

Analog Devices, a multifaceted semiconductor manufacturer that many once regarded as being hostage to Apple, delivered a top- and bottom-line beat in its third-quarter report.

The company specializes in chips and other technology for data conversion and signal processing, serving 125,000 customers around the world, according to its website.

Since Analog's $14.8 billion acquisition of Linear Technology, Cramer said the manufacturer's scope has become even more broad.

"It's a totally different animal, with just 17 percent of its products going into 'consumer' markets, which is often code for ... Apple," the "Mad Money" host said.

The rest of Analog's business was what really piqued tech investors' interest. Forty-nine percent of the company serves the industrial sector, helping build robots and automate factories.

Given that a company can save roughly $2 million each time it automates its factory with Analog's devices, Cramer figured Analog's industrial business has promise.

Then, 16 percent of the manufacturer's products go into autos, at about $250 a car. Analog said it hasn't felt the effects of slumping auto sales, yet another promising trend for the company.

"Some of that is because of demand from car companies seeking autonomous driving solutions," Cramer said. "And, for electric vehicles — the other mega-trend beside autonomous driving — when you're charging the battery, ADI's chips give you a reading that's three times more accurate than the competition."

Analog also thinks that it can double its products' car applications in the next eight years, bringing its total income per car to $500.

The manufacturer also devotes 18 percent of its business to communications. Currently, it plans to assist in the roll-out of 5G wireless networks, first in China and Japan and then worldwide.

"Now think about this mosaic: industrial, autos, communications, consumer," Cramer said. "What you get is a company that's involved in all of the important elements of the future, the hottest parts of the IoT, internet of things, and it's doing incredibly well. No wonder tech is taking center stage as we enter the ninth month of the year."

Paired with Analog's 70 percent gross margins and healthy cash flow, its lines of business could propel the individual stock much higher than a broader ETF, Cramer said.

"Long story short, these are unstoppable trends, people, like the move to the cloud, like the importance of the data center, like the need for security ... and power, and like the desire to mine data to better understand your customer, like artificial intelligence driven by voice, like the need for more environmentally friendly cars that don't need a human driver, and, of course, the desire to compete with Amazon," the "Mad Money" host said. "These trends are why tech stocks are more robust than any other time I can recall in my career, except when the personal computer became cheap enough to be a mass-market product and the internet became universal."

WATCH: Cramer's case for Analog Devices

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