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“Market Madness” Sweet 16: Midwest Division

As March Madness continues, the "Halftime Report" is hosting its own "Market Madness" stock tournament.

On Wednesday the experts on the desk deliberated within the Midwest division in our "Sweet 16"; containing Procter & Gamble, Boeing, Berkshire Hathaway and Walgreens.

In the first match-up between Procter & Gamble and Boeing, our experts took to the skies – leaving Procter & Gamble grounded.


"Boeing has a large backlog of orders to last them through the next six years," Jim Lebenthal, of Lebenthal Asset Management, said. He also noted that several airplane programs were seeing consistent margin expansion.

Pete Najarian, of Najarian Family Advisors, explained his positive view of the stock as being tied to international demand for Boeing planes.

"The growth at Boeing continues and if international demand can hold up, although questionable, it should be a really strong catalyst going forward."

Josh Brown, Ritholtz Wealth Management, disagreed and was the lone vote on the board for Procter & Gamble.

When Berkshire Hathaway and Walgreens Boots Alliance went head-to-head – our experts kicked the boots to the curb in favor of the Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate.


Pete Najarian took the opposite end of the court and cast his vote in favor of Walgreens – acknowledging difficulties for Berkshire.

"It's tough to bet against Buffett but, right now, his financial exposure is a weight holding down Berkshire Hathaway," Najarian said. "So right now I'd go with Walgreens."

Jim Lebenthal and Josh Brown paired up to close this Midwestern corporate showdown with the deciding votes in favor of Berkshire – effectively setting the stage for the "Elite 8".

Lebenthal highlighted an attractive valuation as the reasoning behind his decision; saying, "Berkshire is a very diversified conglomerate that trades meaningfully below fair value of its constituent companies."