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No Fawlty Towers
There's a new sheriff in town among the cell-phone plays, and that's Crown Castle International ( CCI), said Jim Cramer on his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday. Crown Castle owns and leases cell-phone towers. But, the company also has a key technology in the coming "sea change" of live video over cell phones, said Cramer. This "extra edge" distinguishes CCI from its cell-phone tower competitors, he said. Although no one can be sure how popular video over cell phones will be, even if it flops, CCI is well positioned in the current cell-phone-tower-leasing bull market, said Cramer. Cramer believes that Verizon ( VZ) will begin offering live video via cell phones in 2006 using Crown Castle's technology. Nokia ( NOK) may also use Crown Castle's technology, he said. Finally, Broadcom ( BRCM), a key player in video over cell phones, is aligned with Crown Castle, as well, said Cramer. Cramer is still bullish on cell-phone tower plays Global Signal ( GSL) and American Tower ( AMT) as well as handset maker, Motorola ( MOT), cell-phone "innards" maker Skyworks Solutions ( SWKS) and cell-phone chipmaker Qualcomm ( QCOM). But, "I just like CCI better than any of them at these prices," he said.
Cramer is bullish on Koor Industries ( KOR), the largest Israeli conglomerate, after recent news that Kuwait may end its decades-long embargo against Israel. If that happens, said Cramer, not only will Koor benefit from Kuwaiti demand for Koor's products such as telecom equipment, but it may also benefit from Kuwaiti oil companies investing in Israeli stocks. Even if the embargo doesn't end, said Cramer, Koor will be OK because the Israeli economy is "really steaming," he said. In response to a question about Israeli pharmaceutical company, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ( TEVA), Cramer said he prefers Koor as a way to play Israel because Koor has exposure to the entire Israeli economy, whereas Teva only has exposure to drugs.