has given investors reason to cheer, but we're yawning instead, said Jim Cramer on his
"RealMoney" radio show Thursday.
"The company I think is doing the best for you...is probably the company you least want to hear is doing the best. I'm talking about
," Cramer said of the Altria unit.
Why aren't investors excited? Morals, Cramer believes.
"No one knows your portfolio. You can take that 4% yield Philip Morris pays and go fund antismoking clinics all over the nation.
"But don't let your politics stand in the way of your money because then you won't make as much," he said.
That said, the company has just entered China -- what Cramer calls the new Marlboro country -- with a deal to manufacture and sell Marlboro cigarettes in a market that has long barred foreign countries from getting in on lucrative markets that are dominated by state-run companies.
"A growth story is born," Cramer said, because Altria's tobacco company now has access to a market where 60% of men smoke and where there are an estimated 350 million smokers.
It will also curb piracy problems for the company and give it the leading edge in the world's largest consumer and producer of tobacco.
, owner of KFC, saw its stock soar after it moved into China, as did
, Cramer said.
It's also important because in another six months, Cramer said Altria will break into three companies:
, Philip Morris Domestic and Philip Morris International.
Kraft will be a good growth food company that's a little cheaper than
with a better dividend; and Philip Morris Domestic will be one of highest yielding stocks around.
But Philip Morris International will be all about growth. So you can pick it up by buying Altria now at $76, said Cramer, or wait for the company to dissolve and for the shares to rise above $100.
Thursday's "Cramer on Demand" stock, the company that got the most listener mail, was
, a stock that Cramer said he has been wrong about.
According to Cramer, bulls say the stock is very cheap at 17 times earnings, and it does have a boatload of cash. But bears say that it's not growing and that a big chunk of the earnings gains are from share buybacks.
So, Cramer he went with the bears on Cisco, saying there are faster-growing stocks such as
If you believe in a broader tech rally in 2006, then it will be because of business spending on technology, which could boost Cisco, Cramer said.
But the wait-and-things-will-get-better strategy has not worked, and it's time to bail, he added.
Callers managed to drum up stocks that stumped Cramer, including
CV Technologies is a small-but-growing Canadian company that develops natural health products. The caller told Cramer that even though it's a natural therapeutics maker, it's going to go through the Food and Drug Administration approval process to improve the credibility of its products, which are used by many NHL teams.
Cardiotech is a synthetic bypass graft developer that makes products that purportedly heal wounds.
Cramer also didn't know the wireless infrastructure company
Village Bank and Trust
didn't stump Cramer, he said that the caller's generous clue helped him a little too much.
He called the Virginia-based bank "dirt cheap" and a good buy that sells for less than twice book.
Cramer was well-acquainted with
, a company in the erectile dysfunction business.
He said that while it has hammered out some agreements to do more erectile-dysfunction work, the whole group has really slowed. Cramer said to sell the stock.
He also knew saddle maker
, but didn't recommend the stock.
Cramer also told listeners that the
is getting ready for another run higher; and that it's just resting after a terrific November and October.
"Don't lose heart," he said. "Just accept that we're not in 1998, 1999, 2000. Stocks don't do that kind of thing anymore."
The show took a more serious turn when a caller asked Cramer about retirement money.
Once again he distinguished between "mad money," which is used to augment income and enhance the here and now, and retirement savings, saying that the two forms of revenue must be handled in vastly different manners.
Cramer said to get a professional or rely on mutual funds for retirement accounts, calling those who handle retirement accounts themselves risk-takers.
He also said that while there is market time with mad money, retirement savings need to build over time; and that if high-quality stocks have been chosen the account will be fine.
The final word about retirement: "Be incredibly conservative."
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Altria.
James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
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