The number of US smokers aged 18 and over climbed to 20.6% in 2008 from 19.8% in 2007, said The Wall Street Journal, citing a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey. Cramer recommended Altria a pure play on the trend.
Altria , which also pays a 7% dividend yield, trades at just 10 times earnings, largely because people assume that smokers’ ranks are shrinking. With that theory proved wrong, investors have the chance to get the Marlboro Man’s parent on the cheap.
“I don’t think the multiple should be as compressed,” Cramer said, “given the fact that the market could be growing again for tobacco.”
Investors who want get gauge the real estate recovery should watch Whirlpool and Masco , Cramer said, calling them “the real signs for housing.” These companies’ products both furnish new homes and help to upgrade existing houses. Thanks to the federal first-time homebuyer tax credit and other initiatives, he said, “There is just a definitive move to make your house better.”
Cabinet maker Fortune Brands usually trades with both Whirlpool and Masco, which were up Friday. But FO was in negative territory with less than hour to go before the closing bell.
“It should not be lagging,” Cramer said. “It should be going higher today.”
Cramer's charitable trust owns Altria.
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