There were two large business events that defined a new cycle in the market on Wednesday, and Jim Cramer said it all comes down to squandered opportunities versus created opportunities.
“I’m talking about Yahoo’s decision to stand pat and not try to bring out any value, and Dow and DuPont’s decision to give up their storied legacies and become one company in order to create value,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Dow Chemical and DuPont have tried for many years to make shareholders wealthy through cost cutting and innovation. Unfortunately there were endless headwinds standing in their way, as they make products that require the global economy to grow in order to generate earnings growth that shareholders demand.
The hands of Dow and DuPont were tied, as they cannot require car companies to make more cars so they could sell more products to them. They also don’t determine how much Kevlar is needed by the Army or how many homes are being built that will need their products. They were held hostage to these things, even as Cramer thinks they did a fantastic job at inventing new products to help growth.
“I, a big backer of Yahoo and still a user, was taken aback by how little enthusiasm either exec seemed to have about what the company is up to”
So rather than try to take share from one another or compete across countries and continents, the two companies decided to combine. In the end, these companies simply recognized that they couldn’t get any further, given the slowing worldwide economy, without joining forces.
Yahoo on the other hand was a totally different story. It had the world at its oyster. It was the first company for pretty much everything on the Internet at one point, and that all went away over the years. Yahoo was wise enough to invest in Alibaba, and that became a large portion of its value.
Earlier this year Yahoo expressed confidence that it would be able to monetize its value in Alibaba. Additionally, CEO Marissa Mayer was smart enough to not sell more of its stake in the company when she had a chance on its IPO.
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But Cramer was not enthused with the disposition of Mayer and Yahoo Chairman Maynard Webb when they appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Wednesday.
“I, a big backer of Yahoo and still a user, was taken aback by how little enthusiasm either exec seemed to have about what the company is up to,” Cramer said.
Cramer believes that there is still tremendous value to Yahoo besides Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. He did not feel the same sense of urgency from Yahoo’s executives that he felt from Dow and DuPont. Maybe it was just a bad day? Yahoo’s team seemed to be content that they have done everything they can to bring out value.
Ultimately it is the disposition of determined CEOs — like those of DuPont and Dow — that Cramer thinks investors want in this environment. Not complacency.
“They weren’t going to let up until they created all the value they could, and then some, even if it meant surrendering the independence of two of the oldest businesses in the country. And that, not complacency, is what we want from the people managing great American companies,” Cramer said.
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