Hard Work Pays Off
In a second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Bryan Jordan, chairman, president and CEO of First Horizon National (FHN), which Cramer called a terrific regional bank. Its stock is up 13% for the year.
Jordan said that First Horizon has worked hard over the past four years to refocus its efforts on its core banking and capital markets business. He said the bank is also controlling its costs as it continues to scale out of its national mortgage business which ceased operating in 2008. Overall, Jordan noted, 2011 was a strong year for First Horizon and he feels confident about the progress it has made.
When asked for more information on the costs associated with mortgages that ended in 2008, Jordan explained that the bank remains on the hook if there are any problems with the mortgages it wrote, even years later. He said those mortgages continue to be a problem, to the tune of $160 million in 2011, but the trends are improving as time marches forward.Finally, when asked what would spur more lending activity, Jordan said that a continued recovery in the economy along with improvements in unemployment would certainly do the trick. Cramer said that First Horizon is a bank that's doing everything right, and he predicted the stock moves 20% higher in 2012 as a result of their efforts.
Lightning RoundCramer was bullish on Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), American Express (AXP), American Tower (AMT), Trimble Navigation (TRMB) and Garmin (GRMN). Cramer was bearish on Alcoa (AA), Ctrip.com International (CTRP) and Sprint Nextel (S).
Tech ReboundIn his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer opined on three tech stocks that were once left for dead, but now appear to be springing back to life. He said that Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT) and IBM (IBM) all rallied today, each for their own reasons. Cramer said that Intel reported killer margins and is making believers out of investors who once downplayed the company's post-PC future. Microsoft, he said, is reinventing itself with Xbox and could go higher as the company gets its mojo back. Meanwhile, IBM has become a consistent delivery machine on the earnings front. All three, said Cramer, go higher. --Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C. To contact the writer of this article, click here: Scott Rutt. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC. Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his latest book by clicking here. For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, click here.
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