Investors looking to own something safe, Cramer said Thursday, should consider buying shares of Coca-Cola.
There are many reasons to buy this defensive name , the "Mad Money" host said. It's the world's largest maker and distributor of non-alcoholic beverages and syrups with a strong brand and has been aggressively taking market share around the globe. Cramer said he's highlighting the stock now because it's lagged the market year-to-date. It's trading in-line with its peers and selling for roughly 15 times next year's earnings, but has historically traded at 19 times earnings. To Cramer, that's hard to believe considering it's delivering upper single-digit organic growth and up to 19 percent returns over the next several years. It has better growth than similar competitors that trade at the same price-to-earnings multiple, meaning Coke gives you great risk-reward.
The company has a strong balance sheet and although it's an iconic American brand, it gets 75 percent of its sales from outside of the U.S. It plans to invest $20 billion in Africa, Mexico, Russia and China, he said. Being as Pepsi is only spending $15 billion, Cramer thinks it will be hard for other companies to compete with Coke in international markets.
In the USA, the story is all about the Coca-Cola Enterprises bottling acquisition. Coke currently owns 80 percent of its distribution, which Cramer thinks should lead to lower costs. The company can now make changes to production on the fly. He noted Pepsi has success in making a similar move.
When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Coca-Cola.
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