is the "logical takeout" for
, Jim Cramer said Thursday on
"Stop Trading!" segment.
Cramer said "now is the time to strike" for Merrill, which just reported a solid quarter and said its buy of mortgage servicing firm First Franklin is working out. Cramer said Countrywide, which he called "the last man standing" in the hard-hit subprime mortgage business, could fetch $45 a share in a deal, up from a recent $38.
Cramer wants to buy
ahead of Friday morning's earnings but might limit himself to buying call options.
Cramer also wants to wait for
to report its first-quarter earnings after the market closes Thursday before pulling the trigger.
At the time of publication, Cramer had no position in stocks mentioned.
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