Starbucks, however, was an entirely different story.
“The problem here is that I don’t think Ackman necessarily has anything to offer,” Cramer said, adding that his presentation offered “nothing new or revelatory: China should be getting better. U.S. can get better. All obvious stuff.”
In Cramer’s view, Starbucks’ business in China is already improving and the U.S. business won’t see a significant upturn until the fourth quarter. Moreover, the company’s aggressive buyback has been working, he said.
“I’ve been saying that Starbucks is turning,” he said. “But even after the stock’s 3 percent pullback today, I worry about Starbucks the stock. I don’t think this quarter will be all that great. So why not be patient?”
Reiterating his earlier call for investors to wait for Starbucks’s stock to decline from its inflated levels before buying in, Cramer acknowledged Ackman’s previous successes, most recently with Chipotle Mexican Grill.
“Admittedly, Ackman’s done well with the restaurant chains,” he said. “But here’s the thing: activists work best when management is doing a bad job. Starbucks has good management — I think CEO Kevin Johnson is slowly but surely righting the ship [and] doing it the right way. I hope he’s just not distracted by Ackman.”