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Cramer’s Stocking Stuffer: Home Depot

Europe may be on the verge of a disastrous credit crunch, but that doesn’t mean it has poisoned everything, “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer said Monday. There are still companies out there you can count on, like Home Depot.

The home improvement retailer just boosted its dividend by 16 percent two weeks ago, bringing the yield up to 3.1 percent. And that yield is big enough to price a nice cushion of support if the stock gets slammed as a result of a market-wide sell-off.

“This is the kind of stock you can own, in part because if Europe does cause us to crash, Home Depot won't fall as hard as the rest of the market ... and it will bounce back much harder,” Cramer said.

Home Depot’s most recent quarterly results, reported on November 15, prove that concerns over the housing market haven’t hurt the company. It delivered a 2 cent earnings beat off a 58 cent basis courtesy of stronger-than-expected revenues.

Best of all, HD raised its earnings guidance for the 2012 fiscal year. And in addition to that 16 percent dividend boost, the company raised its payout ratio from 40 percent of the earnings per share to 50 percent, which sets the stage for several years of potential dividend boosts in the future.

Home Depot is also a classic turnaround story. Over the last few years, CEO Frank Blake has been aggressively restructuring the company by doing things like cutting costs and increasing productivity.

Trading at 13.7 times earnings, Cramer thinks the stock is a bargain. Just remember to stay cautious and take your time buying on the way down.

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