Cramer Wants Microsoft Broken Up and 2 Other Hot Stocks to Watch

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current price $31.25

Appearing Friday on Squawk on the Street, Jim Cramer put out the idea that Microsoft is an unwieldy business and should be broken up. The analyst also said that the firm needs someone to save it, such as the Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally, to drive a corporate “miracle” and get it back on track. Cramer did dismiss chatter that Mulally would switch to Microsoft, but also said that in theory, Mulally would be a good thing for the company, remarking that, “I still think Alan wants to get to $3 to $4 earnings power for Ford before he’s done. He’s worked miracles at Boeing, he’s worked miracles at Ford — he could work miracles at Microsoft.”

Cramer then predicted that Microsoft would ultimately be broken into three pieces, explaining that, “It is too big, too unwieldy and it’s not getting anywhere. It’s time to break up Microsoft.” He added that Microsoft needs to do “something wild,” like spinning off the Xbox business that is “buried within” the company, or turning Nokia back into a pure cellphone company and using the proceeds to buy a company like Sprint. “You could go buy Netflix with Xbox.”

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Current price $496.84

On Friday, United States District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, who earlier found Apple liable for conspiring to fix e-book prices, has entered an injunction  to disallow the company from further antitrust violations. Cote said that Apple could not enter into agreements with five major American publishers that would impede its ability to lower e-book retail prices or to offer price discounts. Beyond that, the judge said that she would appoint an external monitor to review Apple’s antitrust compliance policies, procedures, and training for the next two years.

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MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ:MNKD): Current price $5.90

MannKind has been downgraded at BofA/Merrill Lynch from Neutral to Underperform. A survey of physicians found that the firm is seeing an increasingly cautious stance subsequent to Afrezza Ph. III results for use in Type 2 diabetes patients on oral therapies. BofA lowered its peak share estimate to 2 percent of the oral market compared to 4 percent previously and cut ManKinnd’s price target from $8 to $5.

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