Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' CEO Chats: PPG and Eaton
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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Every night, Jim Cramer sits down with CEOs and executives on his "Mad Money" show to discuss their business, the economy, politics and more. Today we look back at his recent interviews with Chuck Bunch, chairman and CEO of PPG
These are excerpts from Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap, originally published on Jan. 23 and Feb. 4, 2014.
Executive Decision: Chuck Bunch
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Chuck Bunch, chairman and CEO of PPG, the specialty chemical maker that's seen its shares rise 358%, including reinvested dividends, since Cramer first got behind the company in June 2009.
Bunch said that despite today's headlines, he feels good about PPG's prospects in China. He said business remains good and the company expects a solid first quarter from the region.
In addition to China, Bunch is also bullish on America, saying that U.S. commercial construction is finally making a comeback, albeit a slow one. He said things are improving regionally, with the south being the strongest U.S. region at the moment.
Finally, there was also positive news from another troubled region of the globe, Europe, where Bunch noted that PPG saw an encouraging fourth quarter with no volume declines. He said the European auto business is starting to show signs of life, which is very encouraging.
With all of those positives, Bunch said PPG has plenty of cash on hand for acquisitions or returns of capital to shareholders in 2014. Cramer said that even with some weakness in China, PPG has a lot to like elsewhere in the world.
Executive Decision: Sandy Cutler
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Sandy Cutler, CEO of Eaton, the Action Alerts PLUS holding that's up 285%, including reinvested dividends, since Cramer first got behind the stock in November 2008. Shares of Eaton are $10 off their highs however, after the company posted mixed results.
Cutler pointed out that sales were up 28% for the quarter, with profits surging 63%. But he also admitted that gross margins were less than expected. Cutler explained Eaton didn't execute very well in its auto segment, and aerospace and electrical were also off 1 cent, totaling a miss of 7 cents a share on margins. Most of those issues are now behind the company, he added, as is the company's $13 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries, which has now closed.
Among the remaining challenges for Eaton, Cutler noted that utility spending on transmission will be flat in 2014 because many utilities continue to put their money into phasing out coal-fired generating facilities. Data centers are also expected to be flat for the year.