Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Valuing Co.'s vs. CEOs (Final)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investing in stocks is about making money, or at least it should be. That's what Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Wednesday, as he reminded them that investing in a company is investing in the enterprise and not just in its CEO.
Cramer was responding to the news that billionaire investor Warren Buffett was diagnosed with prostate cancer, along with the precarious dip in the shares of his company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) . He said that for many investors, Berkshire is Buffett and vice versa, but that should not be the case. Berkshire has been the steward of many assets, said Cramer, and that won't change if Buffett were to leave. In fact, Cramer said there's a case to be made that Buffett's hands-off management style may be doing some of Berkshire's assets a disservice and would be better served under different eyes.
Cramer said separating a company from its CEO can be difficult. At Facebook, which is hoping to become publicly traded soon, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently made a $1 billion acquisition of photo-sharing app Instagram without consulting Facebook's board of directors. Does that make Cramer less-likely to want to get in on Facebook's IPO? That depends on one thing, he said, whether it will make money.
Cramer said the ultimate goal of investing is always to make money. So if the Facebook IPO is priced to make shareholders money, Cramer wants in, if not, then he doesn't. As for Berkshire Hathaway, Cramer said that the company still has great assets, assets that will perform well with or without Buffett at the helm.
Then there's the case of Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and its CEO Aubrey McClendon. Back in 2008, McClendon used margin to buy up shares of Chesapeake, an ill-timed investment that cost the company big time. Now it was announced that McClendon again borrowed money, this time for an unrelated acquisition. Cramer questioned whether this move was in the best interest of Chesapeake shareholders. If Chesapeake were making money, he said frankly, then he wouldn't care. But since Chesapeake has been struggling, he's deeply concerned.
If a company is making money, then the antics of its CEO don't really matter, Cramer concluded, but if a company isn't making money, then its CEO matters a whole lot more.