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Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Dividend Play

Cramer countered today's gloomy headlines by focusing on Home Depot's dividend hike and earnings beat in the fourth quarter.
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) -- Companies are performing far better than the headlines would drive you to believe, Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show midday Tuesday.

Cramer said the consumer is feeling less confident, given a Republican upset in Massachusetts, a wave of


(TM) - Get Free Report

recalls and countless attacks by Washington on the banking sector, not to mention President Obama's relentless desire to keep pushing for a health care package no one really wants.

Cramer said all of this indecision only makes companies fire even more people, and does nothing to create jobs, which is what the country really needs.

Yet amongst all the chaos, Cramer said that companies continue to prosper, companies like

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Free Report

, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,

Action Alerts PLUS, which not only beat earnings estimates, but raised its dividend as an ultimate sign of confidence in its business.

To read the headlines, investors would think that everything is in despair, said Cramer. From continued foreclosures to weakness in the airlines, to a looming commercial mortgage crisis, things are just bad, according to the media.

"The tape tells a different story," said Cramer, who said Home Depot is not the exception but is becoming the rule, as companies from industrials to autos to retail continue to surprise Wall Street with their earnings beats.

"These news articles are infuriating," Cramer told viewers, but fortunately, he said, they knock down prices so investors can get in at great levels.

Sticking With Natural Gas

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Aubrey McClendon, chairman and CEO of

Chesapeake Energy

(CHK) - Get Free Report

, for another read on the state of the natural gas industry.

McClendon challenged allegations that the company is abandoning natural gas in favor of oil by saying that Chesapeake will always be a natural gas company. He said Chesapeake is simply shifting some of its resources from gas to oil, where the profits are greater at the moment.

McClendon explained that Chesapeake is applying the same unconventional drilling techniques used in the natural gas industry to unconventional oil reserves with great success. However, he noted that the country is still slowly moving away from oil towards cleaner-burning natural gas.

McClendon once again discounted reports that oil shale drilling for natural gas pollutes the environment and ground water. He said it's almost humorous to think that 8,000 feet of solid rock wouldn't adequately separate the gas from drinking water.

McClendon also once again championed natural gas as a way to meet the country's energy and environmental goals. He said that by eliminating just one-third of the coal fired plants that are over 35 years old would take us over one-third of the way toward our environmental goals, and would only take natural gas plants from 23% utilization to 50% utilization.

Cramer continued his support for McClendon and Chesapeake.

Wireless Future

In another interview, Cramer spoke with John Killian, vice president and CFO of


(VZ) - Get Free Report

, about the company's ability to pay its dividend and the future of its wireless network.

Killian defended the company's 5.6% dividend yield, saying cash flow, not earnings per share, is the metric to use to determine its financial health. He said that Verizon is very comfortable with its ability to pay and raise its dividend.

Regarding its wireless network, Killian noted that Verizon spends over $7 billion annually to upgrade and expand its network, and that a ramp in capital expenditures is not needed to support the coming wave of data hungry devices.

Killian said that Verizon is always looking to engineer its network ahead of demand, and not behind it. He said that the company is rolling out the next generation of high speed, high capacity data, called LTE, beginning this year and he feels that Verizon is better positioned than anyone to prosper in the new, wireless future.

Market Pulse

In this segment, Cramer said that hard disk maker ,


(STX) - Get Free Report

has more momentum that rival

Western Digital

(WDC) - Get Free Report

. He said that networking giant


(CSCO) - Get Free Report

seems to be stuck in the mud, despite a coming strong quarter.

Cramer also told viewers that he thinks

(AMZN) - Get Free Report

is headed toward $110 a share, but

Joy Global


may be headed lower.

-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington D.C.

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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Home Depot.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

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