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Editor's note: The following is a recap of "Mad Money" that aired on Feb. 21, 2006. It was rebroadcast on April 17.
Jim Cramer spent the "Mad Money" show telling viewers why they should invest in companies that "pillage the earth" of its natural resources.
Cramer said that while the strength in minerals, base metals, and in commodities in general has come from a strong U.S. economy, that isn't the full story. Industrialization in what he calls the BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- is also contributing to growth in this sector.
That industrialization is taking form in the growth and consumption of metals. If you want to build buildings, machinery or roads, you need raw materials, like iron and nickel and copper and rock, he said. Prices for raw materials have been increasing, and they could still go higher.
"Not one of the BRIC countries is finished. In fact, they're just getting started," Cramer said.
A caller asked Cramer if, when trying to make "mad money" off of commodities, it was better to invest in a native country -- like China or India -- or in a western country doing business abroad?
Investors should stick with the companies that make their living out of mining and "we don't care about those host countries at all." The reason? "Because the financials of those host countries are suspect," Cramer said.
The Magnificent Six
Cramer then went on to share his six stock picks for making money off of the "bull market in minerals and their forceful extraction from the earth."
For Cramer, buying "best-of-breed" companies is still the way to go because in a bull market they should make you the most money. They have good balance sheets and good management.
Cramer's first pick was
, the Melbourne, Australia-based company is the "Mad Max of mineral stocks." Cramer said. BHP is the second-largest producer of copper in the world, the third-largest producer of nickel, fourth in uranium and fifth in aluminum and also mines zinc. BHP is the No.1 seaborne supplier of coking coal and manganese.
A caller later asked if BHP - as the world's fourth-largest uranium producer -- was really positioned for the future in nuclear energy. Cramer conceded that
was a better pure uranium play and that he still likes
for nuclear power.
His second pick was
It's the lowest-cost copper producer in the world and "Cramer likes companies that can keep their cost down."
Most of their operations are in Indonesia where labor and land are cheap, "and bribing public officials is even less expensive," Cramer said. The New Orleans-based company will be big in gold and copper for years to come, and he recommended them as a buy.
Don't worry about the company getting its copper in Indonesia, even if it is not considered a developed or stable nation, Cramer said. Freeport is one of the biggest tax payers and employers in Indonesia -- the government can even be considered as an extension of the company." It also awards a nice dividend of 2.4% and because the company generates so much cash, they are inclined to pay special dividends.
As for copper in general, Cramer told a caller that he liked
( PD), but that
( PCU) was the best copper play.
( RTP) was Cramer's third pick, calling it the "metal supermarket to the world." Cramer said its precious metals operations were OK, but this stock merits attention because of the ongoing industrial bull market.
He said all of these companies should benefit from higher prices because the BRIC companies will create more demand.
Cramer said any concerns about these companies' environmental practices or ethics should not bother investors, Cramer said. Individual investors will not stop the companies from strip mining. These companies are big and powerful and they get what they want.
"My point is that you can never let your politics interfere with your investing," Cramer said,
Another caller asked Cramer about consolidation in the industry. He said he could see Phelps Dodge and
as consolidators, and that
( FAL) and Southern Copper could be targets in the industry.
Cramer then moved on to the mineral-extraction picks. His first was
, which makes refrigeration equipment, and has a shipbuilding and maintenance business. But the main business to care about, Cramer said, is their "superior" mobile cranes.
In addition to benefiting from mineral extraction, Manitowoc should also benefit from the highway bill and rebuilding the Gulf Coast, Cramer said.
Cramer's second extraction pick wasn't a "best-of-breed" but was still underappreciated:
The company makes heavy trucks and construction equipment and Cramer likes them for their hydraulic excavators and surface trucks for mining. Cramer suggested investos buy the stock on any weakness.
A caller asked if there were any high-tech plays in the minerals sector. Cramer pointed her to
( JOYG), which was a little more of a proprietary company.
Last, but certainly not least, was Cramer's selection of
, his "best of breed" for the mining equipment sector. "They make the best mining trucks in the world," Cramer said.
Furthermore, Caterpillar's construction equipment business should benefit from the highway bill. Also, it broke its union in the 1990s, so it's not saddled with pension and health care costs that are facing other industrials.
Caterpillar, Cramer said, "quite frankly is the best, and "you never need to apologize for buying the best."
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long ABB and BHP Billiton.
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