Cheap Trick: Spectrum Brands (SPC), Prestige Brands (NYSE:PBH), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
Cramer has been recommending food and drug stocks in this unstable economy, however, it isn’t enough to invest in defensive plays; Cramer suggests looking for best-of-breed brands. While SPC and PBH are cheap, Cramer believes that you get what you pay for with these companies, especially SPC, which is down 85% since March 2005, because it has spread itself too thin with lawn-care products, fish and aquatic supplies, grooming services and batteries. He also questions the company’s use of expensive zinc for its batteries, which raises its raw costs. Cramer prefers PG, which has great brands and does not overspend. As for Prestige, for every one of its products, JNJ has a better brand, Cramer says, and he is also wary the company because its CEO recently left.
Cramer says that an investor should do real homework rather than believing everything printed in newspapers. He is standing by health stocks, in spite of a New York Times' story which said that the government could cut 20-30% of Medicare payments, because this is old news on Wall Street. Kenneth Weakley, commenting on this story three months ago, recommended JNJ and said that hospitals, rather than health stocks, would lose the most from the cuts. Cramer agrees with Weakly about JNJ and adds that he also likes STJ.
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