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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Geography is driving the stock market, Jim Cramer said on "Mad Money" Thursday, offering viewers a quick lesson. Cramer pointed to the U.S. on a map, noted that we have 310 million people, then to Europe, which has 739 million people, and finally to China, with 1.3 billion people. Why does any of that matter to the markets? Because many companies made big bets on both Europe and China, and those bets aren't paying off. Meanwhile, those companies that bet on the U.S. are profiting handsomely as the U.S. continues to recover and grow while the rest of the world remains stagnant at best. Cramer took a few minutes to praise some of the companies that exemplify this trend, including Verizon ( VZ), a stock he called one of the best domestic stocks out there. He also called out Union Pacific ( UNP), which is benefitting from the Bakken shale and saw its shares up 4% today. Also on the list, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP), our country's largest pipeline operator. Cramer said earnings at Sherwin-Williams ( SHW) were nothing less than "stunning," while tech companies in the oil patch, like Core Laboratories ( CLB) saw its shares rocket by $10 today. Finally, Cramer praised Pepsico ( PEP) and PPG ( PPG) two stocks that have what it takes to make money even overseas. It's all about execution, Cramer concluded, and all these companies have it.
Executive Decision: Richard KinderIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Richard Kinder, chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP), a stock that's just off its all-time highs but still yields a hefty 5.7%. Cramer said Kinder is, hands down, the best-run company in the business. Kinder said natural gas remains the "fuel of the future" thanks to it being cheap, abundant and, most important, domestic. He said with over a 100-year supply of natural gas, America will clearly be the leader in production, which is why Kinder Morgan already has 70,000 miles of natural gas pipelines. But even with the nation's largest pipeline network, Kinder said America needs a significant investment in additional infrastructure. He said Kinder Morgan can't lay pipes fast enough, which is why it's also invested in other modes of transportation, including five pipe to rail facilities.
When asked about a possible pipeline to California, Kinder said the company is working on a $2 billion project to bring gas from the Permian Basin to California, but the success of that project will depend on whether producers and refiners get on board and sign on to use the capacity. He said Kinder Morgan always plays it conservative, so it won't talk about the project until the throughput is there. Overall, Kinder said he sees opportunity all over America, from the Marcellus and Utica in the Northeast to the Bakken out West to the Permian and Eagle Ford in Texas. Cramer said Kinder Morgan Energy Partners remains his favorite company in this group and he commends Kinder for never selling a single share and only taking $1 a year in salary.
Executive Decision: Indra NooyiIn a second exclusive "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again sat down with Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of Pepsico, which today delivered a seven-cents-a-share earnings beat on higher-than-expected revenue. Shares of Pepsico are up 19% so far this year. Nooyi said that Pepsico is a great American company gone global. In order to stay that way, the company needed to transform itself, which is what they've been working hard at doing over the past few years. She said the world has gone from being centered on the West to more globally centric, while at the same time, moving from youthful to aging and from fun products to more products that are good for you. That's why Pepsico has reduced salt, fat and sugars from all its products and invested in growth to build a sustainable company for the future. Nooyi said that at $67 billion in sales, Pepsico is the right size to make an impact in every country and doesn't see the need to expand through acquisitions. Instead, she said that Pepsico is full of internal activists that are constantly working to create more shareholder value from within. When asked about the epic battle of Coca-Cola ( KO) versus Pepsico, Nooyi said that battle ended a long time ago and Pepsi now competes on a portfolio versus portfolio basis with a number of companies, which helps to keep her job "fun."
Cramer said Pepsico remains a terrific turnaround story and Nooyi a terrific global CEO.