Cramer's Mad Money - The Biggest Thing Ever to Happen to Walgreen (2/17/10)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Wednesday, February 17

Editor's Note: Until February 26th, Jim Cramer will be broadcasting "Mad Money High Noon" which will air midday. There was no Lightning Round segment yesterday.

CEO Interview: Greg Wasson of Walgreen (WAG) and John Leonard of Duane Reade

Even though Greg Wasson was on Mad Money High Noon on Tuesday, Cramer invited him back on Wednesday to discuss the deal to buy Duane Reade for $1.1 billion. Cramer says this purchase "is the biggest news ever to happen" to Walgreen and Wasson says the deal is a "financial and strategic good move" into New York's largest drug store chain. John Leonard says Duane Reade has launched 1,400 new products and will continue to expand its offerings which can be picked up by Walgreen and vice-versa. While building in Manhattan is expensive and difficult, Wasson looks forward to expanding into all 5 boroughs and throughout the Tri-State area. Wasson called the merger "the best of both worlds," and "the best drugstore proposition in America."

Do We Have a Boom on Our Hands? Deere (NYSE:DE)

Cramer's comments change this question to a statement: "Do we have a boom on our hands! " U.S. industrial production and housing are better than expected and growth is from the bottom up. Deere (DE) gave a "terrific report" and Cramer thinks its move up in the morning was not just about earnings. The upturn is spanning across many sectors and is thanks to brilliant CEOs and government stimulus, which is celebrating its year anniversary. However, naysayers are still "radically underinvested," even though the current numbers "mean you can take the fabled double dip off the table."

Talking About the Tape: Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD), Huntington BancShares (NASDAQ:HBAN), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Whole Foods (WFMI), Wellpoint (WLP), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)

Cramer took a break to look at the tape on Wednesday morning and noticed a strong move in Gilead (GILD) which is developing a much hoped-for AIDS treatment. Cramer's number one speculative stock, Huntington BancShares (HBAN) was "really coming along." Cramer noted Citigroup's (C) quiet move up and thinks the stock will hit $5 by 2012. He noted a short squeeze beginning in Whole Foods (WFMI) and thinks Wellpoint's (WLP) buyback was a success.

CNBC's Bob Pisani commented that "people are feeling better about jobs and housing starts," but added the "darn currency markets are smacking everyone around." The euro "fell apart" on Wednesday on rumors of currency swaps causing problems in the European economies. Cramer noted Bank of America (BAC) was "very bullish" on housing and thinks Deere's numbers are also a good tell on the health of housing and roadbuilding, but Bob Pisani said he would like to see better domestic numbers from Deere.

Stimulus Anniversary: Special Guest Austan Goolsbee, Chief Economist on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board

Cramer admitted that while he was initially skeptical about the government stimulus program when it was initiated a year ago, it seems jobs are being created. "I think there is a gelling consensus," says Goolsbee, "that the impact of stimulus taken collectively has been in the 2 million job doesn't fill the hole...but it is 2 million people who would have been out there looking for jobs."

Goolsbee added that job creation is not possible without significant GDP growth. "Lack of growth is what drives the deficit up to oblivion." Cramer tried to get Goolsbee to comment on natural gas and its place in the energy agenda, but Goolsbee made a general statement about the President's commitment to clean energy.

CEO interview: Larry Nichols, Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN)

Cramer says Devon is like "what a tech stock was in the 1990s" and is a great growth name. Larry Nichols says the company has maximized reserves and production, and he commented on the drilling of 2,000 straight horizontal wells. "That's got to be a record."

The President is proposing a government subsidized nuclear power plant that will generate jobs but will be ready in a decade. Nichols says natural gas plants are operating only at 25% capacity and can be activated "right now." There is 100 years' worth of natural gas domestically, and if it isn't used, Cramer thinks it will be a top export. Nichols said partisan politics and the undue influence of other energy industries in Washington are responsible for the government neglect of natural gas, but he believes the facts will ultimately win in the end.


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