Cramer's Mad Money- Argy-Bargy Over Australia's Mining Tax (5/20/10)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday May 20.

CEO Interview: Don Voelte, Woodside Petroleum (OTCPK:WOPEY), BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), Rio Tinto (RTP)

Cramer asked Don Voelte about liquified natural gas and the Australia mining tax which is clobbering metals stocks. Voelte says demand in Asia for its natural gas has been strong and he expects continued strength. Concerning the mining tax, Voelte said "the magnitude of the tax was a shocker," but he doesn't think there is reason to be worried:

I think that there is a really good chance that there is a collaboration and negotiation. We have been able to change the government's mind many times in the past. Usually the government gets these things right, and BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RTP) and the other big miners have a lot of sway here. And I suspect that the tax, which is really poorly designed, it is more like an income tax, really not a profits tax at all. There are some really peculiar features to it. I think those will get changed over time and it will be okay. We normally tend to get these things right down here. Australia just loves to have the argument. They love to have what they call down here the argy-bargy.

Bulls Through the Meat Grinder: (NYSE:CRM), 3M (NYSE:MMM)

On Thursday the bulls went "right through the meat grinder" as the Dow fell 376 points and the S&P 500 shed 4%. The action was "absolutely brutal," commented Cramer with every S&P 500 stock, except for three, ending the day in the red. Yet there was no "whoosh," no spectacular sell-off that hints at a bottom where stocks can be bought. The market is "neither here nor there," and Cramer used the terms "Chinese water torture" and "No Man's Land" to describe the current situation.

The three leading sectors or "generals" of tech, oil and banks have been taken out and shot, and once-strong tech stocks (CRM) and 3M (MMM) are no longer safe from anxieties in Europe. "When will the selling stop?" people have been asking Cramer, who offered no clear answers, but said sticking with accidental high-yielders will, at best, minimize casualties. In the meantime, Cramer suggests investors play it safe and wait it out.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX)

Clorox boosted its dividend by 10%, and yet the stock is down. However, this isn't surprising on a day when only 3 stocks out of the entire S&P 500 were up. Cramer thinks Clorox may be a buy, because if it continues to drop, the yield will go higher. He emphasized that dividends are even more important in the current volatile environment perhaps than they were in 2008.

Clorox is "very defensive" and is a good stock for a bad environment because people are not going to stop buying trash bags and kitty litter. Clorox has great market share and 88% of its products are either the top or number two in each of their categories. In its latest quarter, Clorox beat estimates by 8 cents and gave positive guidance. Its purchase of Burt's Bees has been a success, and the company now has 23% market share. Clorox trades at a multiple of just 13 compared with Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) with a multiple of 15. If its Glad trashbag brand is bought, the stock could catch a significant upside.


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