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Cramer Remix: A takeover could be Wynn Resorts' ticket to recovery

  • "Mad Money" host im Cramer explains why Wynn Resorts could be prime for a takeover now that CEO Steve Wynn has stepped down.
  • Cramer also sits down with the CEOs of Thor Industries and Martin Marietta Materials..
  • In the lightning round, Cramer expresses his concern about one struggling REIT.

This market has been desperate for mergers, with investors hanging on every word from embroiled tech giants Broadcom and Qualcomm.

But on Thursday, market-watchers like CNBC's Jim Cramer were finally sated when health insurer Cigna and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts reached a $67 billion takeover deal.

"It did ignite the whole health care sector," the "Mad Money" host said, adding that this deal could positively affect more of the market than just the health care space.

Another positive leg of Thursday's action came from casino stocks MGM and Wynn Resorts, which got a boost from strong year-over-year growth in Chinese gambling hotspot Macau.

Shares of Wynn fell under pressure in recent months after its founder and CEO, Steve Wynn, stepped down amid a storm of sexual misconduct allegations against him. But with Wynn out and the stock in recovery, Cramer had some new hope for the company.

"I think Wynn might be acquired by another casino company now that Steve Wynn has stepped down from his operating role in the wake of those admittedly disturbing sexual misconduct allegations," he said. "I think it's a natural takeover target for, say, Las Vegas Sands or even MGM. It doesn't rally $10 bucks in one session idly for nothing."

The ailing auto sector

Uber driver picking up customer
Al Seib | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Uber driver picking up customer

As much as Cramer likes the state of the economy, he acknowledges that certain industries, like the auto space, deserve to be in decline.

"Domestic auto sales have indeed peaked. The question is, why?" Cramer said on Thursday. "How come the automakers are struggling when the rest of the economy is in such great shape? Higher interest rates? Sure, they're part of the problem, but they take a back seat to what I've discovered and I think is the main issue."

For Cramer, the main issue is clearly the rise of ride-sharing. Services like Uber and Lyft have brought a secular change to the world of transportation, offering far cheaper travel alternatives to owning a car, especially for city-dwellers.

"This is a permanent change in consumer behavior and, if anything, it's only going to get worse once autonomous driving technology starts getting rolled out en masse, as that makes ride sharing even cheaper," Cramer said.

A bargain in Brown-Forman

Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
Getty Images
Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey

In this market, Cramer most often sees "bargain" stock prices appear after the underlying company reports earnings, not before.

"But it's very hard to pounce on a stock that's getting clobbered right after it reports because the whole setup makes you question your own judgment," the "Mad Money" host said.

This scenario played out most recently on Wednesday when Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve and a number of other liquor brands, reported earnings.

The liquor manufacturer posted strong third-quarter results, boasting double-digit growth for nearly every brand except for its well known Jack Daniels whiskey, which grew by 5 percent.

But shortly after the report, Brown-Forman's stock fell under pressure, sliding from $56 a share to $52 before settling at $53 on Thursday. Cramer said some of the blame fell on the company itself and some on the market's overblown worries about tariffs — but the stock is still a buy.

Thor Industries CEO explains the millennial draw

You may not think of recreational vehicles as being on the average millennial's bucket list, but Bob Martin, the CEO of the world's biggest RV manufacturer, Thor Industries, might beg to differ.

"You look at the RV industry, the Go RVing campaign, our own internal advertising campaign," Martin told Cramer on Thursday. "We're getting younger people, we're getting younger families, and I think, for us, it's because we appeal not just to dad, or mom and dad, but we appeal to the entire family."

"Millennials are bigger than Boomers, so for us as a company, we're starting to talk to them," the CEO added.

Martin told Cramer that this burgeoning trend has resonated in Thor's products: the company is now building smaller, more affordable travel trailers and motor homes to appeal to younger buyers.

To add to Thor's appeal, Martin said that some private campgrounds are upgrading their areas with WiFi, amphitheaters and other amenities to satisfy millennial campers.

"The younger buyer, they want things just a little bit differently. They want it to be easy," Martin told Cramer. "It's still a very affordable way to go camp and to have a vacation, and it can be different every weekend. And, you know, you've said it: it's all about Instagrammable experience."

Martin Marietta Materials CEO on US infrastructure

With top U.S. policymakers turning their focus to infrastructure, Martin Marietta Materials CEO Ward Nye told CNBC on Thursday that state governments could soon follow suit.

"The states are going to be there this year," Nye told Cramer. "State departments of transportation have been hiring. They've been using more outside resources to get projects ready and out the door. We're seeing volumes up this year 4 to 6 percent, and for us, that's a pretty notable move."

One of the first states to make a concerted move to improve its infrastructure is Texas, Nye said, pointing to the state's particularly lucrative "golden triangle" between the cities of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

"[The] Texas DOT has indicated they intend to spend over $70 billion over the next decade improving their highways, bridges, roads and streets, and to us, that matters a lot," Nye said. "We're the largest producer of aggregates, cement and ready-mix concrete in Texas and we're clearly the largest in that big golden triangle. So we believe Texas DOT will be very healthy this year."

Lightning round: Torn on EPR

In Cramer's lightning round, he flew through his take on some callers' favorite stocks:

EPR Properties: "I am torn about EPR. We've had them on a bunch of times, but candidly, they missed the quarter and they missed badly and there were real concerns about credit issues. It was bad, what can I say? Now, it yields 7.7 [percent], but it was not what I wanted. Let's leave it that way."

Home Depot: "Home Depot is both an interest rate play and a sales play. The sales are good. People are worried about interest rates. That's why the stock has not held up. Call me a buyer."

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Broadcom.

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