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Buy Back Stock, Get Taken Over: Cigna (NYSE:CI), Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC), United Stationers (NASDAQ:USTR)
Cramer observed an interesting fact about takeovers; out of 14 companies which bought back a minimum of 17% of their stock last year, four were taken over. Although four out of 14 may not be an impressive figure at first glance, Cramer comments finding a takeover is like winning the lottery. Companies who buy back stock agressively are keen to increase their own value; "Any company buying back 17% or more of its shares doesn't need to be public." Cramer devoted the program to discussing potential takeover targets with generous buybacks. He gave a passing mention to CI, which is repurchasing stock, although he has covered the company already, and SONC, which he did not discuss because he is concerned about consumer spending. His first featured stock was office products wholesaler USTR, which has a buyback level of 20% and is a "primo" takeover target. He adds the company has a "good margin expansion story" and is currently covered by only three analysts.
On the Brinks (NYSE:BCO)
Brinks bought back 21% of its stock in 2006, and Cramer comments companies like BCO don't "just shrink the float -- they devour it." One segment of the company produces armored cars and the other manufactures security alarms, and BCO could split itself in two or could be bought. Cramer notes BCO is paying off its debts as aggressively as it is buying back stock.
Related: Lon Juricic reports Pirate Capital's Thomas Hudson resigns from Cornell Board to focus on Brink's.
The Skinny on Weight Watchers (NYSE:WTW)
Cramer's favorite stock on Monday was WTW, not only because obesity is a hot issue, but because it has among the most "voracious" buybacks he has ever seen along with a generous cash flow. He adds WTW is a "tremendous" brand, has a good business model, strong licensing and online businesses, and a satisfying quarterly report. Cramer predicts if WTW doesn't get bought, it could take itself private; "takeover or no takeover, Weight Watchers is a buy," Cramer said.
CEO Interview: Peter Georgiopoulos, CEO and Chairman of General Maritime (GMR), Chairman of Genco Shipping & Trading (GNK), and Chairman of Aegean Marine Petroleum (NYSE:ANW)
When Cramer asked why Peter Georgiopoulos wears so many hats, he replied that while it would be simpler to consolidate the three companies, shareholders prefer to be invested in a specific market; "we think we'll get a better valuation for a pure play." Georgiopoulos notes GMR is up 40% since December and has a fixed $2 dividend in the works. Cramer said Georgiopoulos " is the guy I'm sticking with."
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