Take Cramer’s scowling reaction to the transformational deal of AT&T spinning off its Time Warner media assets with Discovery (DISCA) to create an entertainment colossus.
He said AT&T should apologize to its shareholders for making such a “stupid” deal in the first place that was light years from “transformational” and now is forcing the company to cut its dividend in half.
“Why aren’t they apologizing to shareholders,” he scowls shaking his head remorsefully during one of his usual pre-market repartee sessions with straight man David Faber on CNBC.
Faber tried a few times unsuccessfully to point out AT&T is getting $43 billion, while its shareholders will get 71% of the new company, but all Cramer would comment on was the dividend cut and the need for an apology to shareholders.
Commentary about this merger dominated the previous day’s trading, which was mostly positive, while Cramer maintained it was the denouement of a “ridiculously stupid deal,” the $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner that closed about three years ago.
“To me it is impossible to talk about this deal with a straight face. If you go over all of the reasons . . . it’s about all sorts of gobbledegook about how AT&T’s strengths in direct and consumer distribution would merge with the creative talent of Time Warner,” said Cramer, shaking his head at how naïve and how widely off the mark could the company have been.
While fixated darkly on the dividend cut, Cramer fails to talk about the bright financial benefits the newly merged Discovery company will deliver so AT&T can now focus better on its core communications business while shareholders have a good shot at ultimately getting back that part of the generous dividend they lost from the new merger, of which they’ll own 71%.
But scowling plays better on television than straight talk and Cramer is a master, showman, albeit sometimes a tad shortsighted.
Besides an inveterate blogger, Tom Madden is an author of countless published articles and five books, including his latest, WORDSHINE MAN, available this summer on Amazon. He is the founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, an award-winning public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981 and has conducted remarkably successful media campaigns and crisis management for some of America’s largest companies and organizations.