France’s Green Giant
Web Editor, "Mad Money"
If Nicolas Sarkozy wins the presidential election in France next week, capitalists should rejoice, Cramer say. Sarko, as he’s known to friends and enemies alike, is just the type of market-friendly politician investors like to see in office. But even if he doesn’t win, Cramer’s next pick could still make Home Gamers some serious money.
Veolia Environment is a play on water, waste management and transportation. Cramer says VE is really a play on privatization because these sectors have traditionally been handled by the state throughout a lot of Europe. The company has water and wastewater treatment operations in 57 countries serving 108 million people worldwide. That’s about 36% of sales and half its profits.
VE’s also the second-largest waste management company in the world, operating in 35 countries and serving 50 million people. Veolia is actually innovating in this space. It converts some of the 53 million tons of waste into energy, and landfill gas has been recognized as a renewable source of energy. VE is the largest provider of energy management services, too.
Cramer thinks that Veolia could become a major player in the carbon emissions market as well. The Europeans have a system of carbon-emissions trading, in which during 2005 they racked up 30 billion euros of credits.
Switching gears, but still with France in mind, Cramer recommended Taser as a possible play on a Sarko election victory. The presidential hopeful has said that he’d like to put a Taser in all of France’s 100,000 police cars. That’d be a great jump for a company with only 187,000 products in the field. Now, Cramer admits that this pick is speculative – and not for the faint of heart – but a Sarko win could be a win for TAZR.
Bottom Line: Vive la France, vive la Veolia Environment. Cramer likes the company no matter who wins the French election, but it could be better for capitalists if it's Sarkozy.
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