All Around the Whirl: Whirlpool (WHR)
Cramer discussed Whirlpool's merger with Maytag, which involved a skillful legal maneuver past the Sherman Anti-Trust Act; the company presented the argument that the merged entity would not be a true monopoly, but would compete with its private-label brand, Kenmore. After the merger, Whirlpool claims 75% market share, is a global leader in home appliances, and has cut $250 million in costs. Cramer says that its time to pull the trigger on WHR.
Getting Tough: AllState (ALL)
Insurance looks strong right now, and Cramer likes this sector in general because the companies 'take care of their shareholders'. While he likes Prudential (PUK), MetLife (MET), and Manulife Financial (MFC), Cramer believes that AllState stands to gain the most from its new strategies. AllState suffered a terrible blow after Hurricane Katrina, and is now adopting tough policies such as cancelling coverage in high-risk coastal areas, including New York. To attract new customers, AllState has developed a forgiveness policy of not raising rates after the first accident, but the company has increased its rates to cover this "freebie." Cramer recommends this inexpensive, "best of breed" company.
A Sleeper: Sealy (ZZ):
While Cramer concedes that Sealy investors are now in the House of Pain, and admits that he was wrong when he said that Sealy would be the next hot IPO, he suggests buying it now at $12. The company has great potential to make money, because salespeople work on commission and are therefore incentivized to sell as much merchandise as possible. This high-end mattress company can only go higher, Cramer believes.
CEO Interview: Tim Wallace, Trinity Industries (TRN)
Tim Wallace reports that the barge business is good. Concerning trains, there are 700,000 railcars that need replacing within the next 10 to 15 years, and since ethanol is transported by rail, the popularity of the new fuel should increase TRN's earnings. Cramer asked Wallace about raw costs, and he responded that they always have an effect on margins, especially since the company is among the largest steel producers. However, TRN is able to make massive lump fuel purchases. Wallace also says that there is great potential demand for TRN's concrete highway barriers. Cramer gives Trinity two thumbs up.
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