Cramer's Mad Money - Can High Gas Prices Cause a Double-Dip Recession? (2/24/11)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday February 24.


Being bullish in the current market fueled by rumors about the ever-changing headlines is like trench warfare, said Cramer. There is chatter that oil has topped, and Cramer hopes this is true, since high gas prices might cause a "double dip" recession, a term Cramer has not heard in a good while. The best investing strategy is to wait out the crisis rather than buying and selling on rumors. For those intent on buying, Cramer recommends gold stocks, oil plays and good stocks that have fallen 10-12%. He notes that Deckers (DECK) and (CRM) are solid companies whose stocks have been hammered lately.

CEO interview: Sam Thomas, Chart Industries (NASDAQ:GTLS)

Cramer was stumped when a viewer asked him about Chart Industries (GTLS) on the Lightning Round. After looking into the company, Cramer has concluded that Chart is one of the safest, smartest ways to speculate on natural gas. In fact, he doesn't really consider it a speculative play anymore, given its terrific quarter which saw a 4 cent earnings beat and a revenue rise of 29%. The company has recently won a $90 million processing order from the Middle East and has seen a 12% gain in its stock price since early February. Chart creates technology that converts gas into liquefied natural gas and makes tanks for storage.

When Cramer asked about progress in the demand for natural gas, Sam Thomas responded "It is coming, but it is not coming as quickly as it should. Pilot projects are taking some time to move forward, but the fastest growers are those that need the least infrastructure and use the greatest amount of fuel. Thomas says the company has worked hard identifying growth markets, and 60% of the company is international. Chart is a diversified industrial play and makes non-gas related acquisitions. "We identify a growth market where we can add to the technology. For instance, Chart recently has moved into the liquid oxygen space and technology used for oxygen therapy in the healthcare industry.

Thomas believes Washington is not ignoring natural gas, an energy alternative the government is well aware of, but is just moving too slowly. Cramer praised Chart Industries and confessed to viewers, "I should have known more about this one."

CEO interview: Tom Ward, SandRidge Energy (NYSE:SD)

With few sectors of the stock market working right now, Cramer is continuing to look into energy plays. SandRidge (SD) was a "visionary" company which in 2009 saw that the transition from natural gas to oil would be a good move. The company is now nearly 50/50 oil to natural gas, up from just 18% oil a year ago, and the company expects to derive 80% of its revenue from oil by next year. SandRidge was pounded after an acquistiion which The Street thought was too expensive, and for a while was a "short seller's paradise." Now the stock is up from its December low of $5 to $9. SandRidge beat earnings estimates by a penny, and saw a 15% rise in total production, a 155% rise in oil production and a 149% increase in proven reserves. While SandRidge has moved up significantly from its lows, Cramer thinks it has more room to run.

Tom Ward described the company's decision in 2009 to expand its oil business. When asked if he thinks oil will go higher, Tom Ward replied he wasn't sure, "but we are willing to hedge because we have such great returns." The company doesn't face the cost inflation its peers do, because it continues to drill in shallow conventional wells, a process that keeps expenses down. In fact, SandRidge's costs have not increased since 2009, and can make a profit of $100 per barrel. As a result, the company has plenty of cash for re-investing in projects and expects to raise $900 million in cash next year.

CEO interview: Steve Tanger, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (NYSE:SKT)

Cramer continued to look for new plays on the rise of oil, and thinks higher prices at the pump will fuel discount shopping. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT) is the only public REIT which is a pure play on outlet centers. It has a conservative balance sheet, and a diverse assortment of tenants. The company is continually divesting assets and reinvesting while paying off its debts. Funds from operations were up 33 cents with a 5.9% rise in revenues. Occupancy rate is an outstanding 98.4%, and the company's stock is up 25% since last March.

"In good times, people like a bargain. In tough times, people need a bargain," said Steve Tanger. The company is seeing new clients representing the hottest brands like UGG Boots and Crox. Retailers benefit from these outlet stores, because they can sell directly to the customer without having to pay the middleman. Tanger is moving into Canada and growing in Phoenix and Houston. The company has several sources of growth including organic growth, acquisitions, new development and growth in net income. High gas prices help the company, because the average American stops going abroad for vacations with the rise in fuel prices and drives to vacation spots where Tanger has its outlet stores.

Cramer called Tanger the best-performing retail REIT for the last ten years.

Range Resources (NYSE:RRC), Ultra Petroleum (UPL), Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK)

Cramer expects a transformation for natural gas stocks such as Range Resources (RRC), Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and Ultra Petroleum (UPL). While foreign interest in the fuel has been driving the sector, the crisis in Libya is making it more obvious that natural gas is the best way for America to achieve independence from foreign oil. Cramer would take advantage of the fact these stocks are still cheap and buy.


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