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Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Clear the Slate for Earnings Season


Sometimes unhealthy products can create healthy profits, Cramer told viewers, as he took a closer look at a tobacco industry  in the middle of a consolidation wave.

Cramer said the just today we learned that Reynolds America (RAI), the number-two cigarette maker, is looking to merge with Lorillard (LO), the number-three maker. That would give the combined company 42% market share in the U.S., just behind Altria (MO), with just over 50%.

Love them or hate them, Cramer said cigarettes are good business, and as we've seen with the airlines, semiconductors, beer and countless other industries, when there are fewer players, profits soar. In this case, just two companies will control over 90% of the market, Cramer noted, and that can only lead to higher prices and higher margins.

Cramer said profits in Lorillard may be capped for the moment, but he's recommending both Reynolds, Altria and Phillip Morris Int'l (PM).

Continuing with his "Vice Night" theme, Cramer also took a look at the gambling stocks, offering viewers a fresh ranking of his favorites.

Cramer said when it comes to gambling, it's all about China's Macau region, which has been struggling as of late as the sluggish Chinese economy and a crackdown on over-indulgent wealthy Chinese gamblers have weighed on the region. But Cramer said he thinks the downside has been overdone, which makes the casino stocks a buy.

Cramer's new favorite was MGM Resorts (MGM), which has the least Macau exposure of the group, but a fabulous position in good ol' Las Vegas. Second on the list was Las Vegas Sands (LVS), which has more Macau exposure, but less exposure to the big VIP spenders that are getting squeezed. With a 2.7% dividend, Cramer said this stock is a buy at 17 times earnings with its 20% growth rate.

Finally there's Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Cramer's former favorite that he now says he'd avoid, as it has the most exposure to both Macau and the VIPs. "There are better casinos to own," he said bluntly.

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