While CNBC’s Jim Cramer hasn’t exactly been a bull about major legislation passing through Congress, he can’t deny that President Donald Trump’s administration has been good for stocks.
“After eight years of democratic rule, businesses feel a lot more confident about an administration that wants to roll back every regulation in the book,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Whether that’s a good idea long term is debatable, but right now it’s led to a surge in hiring and the lowest unemployment rate since 2001.”
A higher employment rate paves the way for stocks like Cintas, the top supplier of uniforms and uniform rentals to U.S. businesses, to soar higher, Cramer said.
Shortly after the 2016 election, Cramer named Cintas “the ultimate Trump stock” for being positioned to surge if the administration pushed policies that urged companies to hire more workers.
Cramer said that made Cintas a “terrific” way to play job growth, and sure enough, since the beginning of the year, Cintas’ shares have rallied nearly 31 percent, outpacing the S&P 500’s 14 percent gain over the same time frame.
Uniform rentals account for 77 percent of Cintas’ sales, but the company also has a host of smaller offerings related to workplace safety like first aid and fire protection products — “all things that expanding businesses need to stock up on to comply with the workplace safety laws. Hence the Trump stock designation,” Cramer said.
But the stock hasn’t just been roaring because of Trump, the “Mad Money” host argued. Six years ago, the stock traded around $30; now, Cintas costs $151 a share.
Cramer also applauded Cintas’ management team. Unlike many public companies, most of Cintas’ executives have the majority of their net worth invested in the company’s stock, making their interests almost perfectly aligned with the shareholders’, Cramer said.
“At many public companies, management’s more motivated by salaries, bonuses, perks. Not that there’s anything wrong with a CEO getting paid to do his job, but it’s always better when the people in charge have a great deal of their wealth tied up in the actual common stock,” he said.
The uniform rental industry has also seen its fair share of consolidation, another reason for Cramer’s bullishness. Cintas’ $2.2 billion acquisition of G&K Services closed in March and is already bearing fruit: the combined company’s market share rose from 25 to 30 percent and the business got much more efficient, with more clients clustered in key endpoints.
Cintas’ earnings reports have been reflecting the deal’s payoff, beating Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines and delivering much higher-than-expected sales numbers last quarter.
The only problem Cramer could find about Cintas was its lofty valuation. The stock trades at 25 times next year’s earnings estimates, much higher than its closest competitor, Aramark, which sells for 17 times next year’s earnings.
But with its next-closest competitor, UniFirst, trading at 26 times next year’s estimates, and given Cintas’ fast growth and strong prospects, Cramer thinks the stock deserves to go even higher.
“Bottom line: while Cintas is a terrific Trump stock, the truth is that it’s simply a terrific stock, period. With or without the White House behind them, this company’s done amazing things, and regardless of what happens in Washington, I think the stock has more upside,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Plus, it pulled back a tad today. I’d like it even more on any additional weakness because Cintas is more levered to deregulation and optimism than it is [to] Washington and the pessimistic swamp that refuses to dry up and go away.”