Expect No Relief in 2009: Illinois Tool Works CEO

Don’t expect a manufacturing sector recovery until at least the first half of 2010, Illinois Tool Works CEO David Speer told Mad Money Thursday.

With the trouble in housing and autos, appliance markets struggling, the overall industrial industry at 30+-year lows and Europe doing even worse, it will be “some time before… we’re going to clear the tunnel,” Speer said.

But that doesn’t mean ITW can’t be owned, the CEO pointed out. This company has a history of performing well during downturns and emerging later as a stronger competitor. Speer said his focus would remain the same: introducing new products, increasing market share and acquiring other companies all as a way to accelerate growth and provide long-term cash flow once the recession has past.

Illinois Tool Works should benefit from Obama’s stimulus plan, too, as long as it contains the infrastructure spending Wall Street’s expecting. ITW supplies the commercial construction industry, industrial-packaging businesses and other key markets that stand to gain the most. Though, again, Speer said the actual effects of the stimulus probably won’t show up until 2010 or even 2011, but they should have a “reasonably significant impact” at that time.

Cramer put ITW in the same category as Eaton and Caterpillar , as quintessential American manufacturing companies that should be bought right here.

Jim's charitable trust owns Eaton.

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website? madcap@cnbc.com

Contact Mad Money

  • Showtimes

    Monday - Friday 6p ET
    Saturday 8a, 1p, 7p SYD
    Sunday 12a, 1a, 8a, 7p SYD
    New Zealand
    Saturday 10a, 3p, 9p NZ
    Sunday 2a, 3a, 10a, 9p NZ
  • Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

Mad Money Features

  • Grab the latest CNBC gear from the NBCUniversal Store!

  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Cramer formulates his investment advice. "Inside the Madness" is a column, which features e-mails and more with Cramer and his researcher Nicole Urken.

  • You’ve always wanted to hit the “Hallelujah!” button. Here’s your chance.

Mad Money Moments