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Cramer Remix: Why an AT&T-Time Warner combo would be worth buying

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer discussed the potential Time Warner and AT&T tie-up in a special Veterans Day show at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
  • Cramer also spoke to the CEO of Johnson & Johnson about the role of government in big pharma.
  • In the lightning round, Cramer felt good about one popular consumer goods stock's long-term prospects.

The increasingly complicated deal talks between AT&T, Time Warner and the Department of Justice didn't stop CNBC's Jim Cramer from being bullish on the potential merger.

"The combined companies actually have better cash flow than if you break them up," the "Mad Money" host said during a special Veterans Day show at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. "But [in] either case, AT&T represents a bedrock institution that has a lot of cash flow. I've been recommending it. It's got a 5 percent yield. I think it can go higher."

Cramer added that, if AT&T were to merge with Time Warner, the combined entity's dividend would be safer than if they remained separate companies.

"I want the deal to go through because I think the combined companies would be terrific, but I'm not against it, particularly for income," Cramer said.

Leadership characteristics

Jim Cramer on the campus of West Point on Nov. 9th, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Jim Cramer on the campus of West Point on Nov. 9th, 2017.

Cramer has noticed that some folks on Wall Street find it difficult to reconcile how veterans relate to the world of business.

"I think there is some commonality, because leading an enterprise these days is all about the same processes that cadets learn here," the "Mad Money" host said at West Point.

"No wonder veterans do so well in business," he continued. "A winning strategy is a winning strategy — doesn't matter whether you're talking about the military or the private sector."

On a difficult day for the major averages, which slid on reports of a Senate Republican proposal to push tax reform back to 2019, Cramer thought it was important to note some key traits often taught to the military that have helped executives lead their companies through hard times.

Johnson & Johnson CEO on tax reform

Alex Gorsky on Mad Money.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Alex Gorsky on Mad Money.

The government must collaborate with businesses if it wants to solve some of society's most pressing problems, Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC on Thursday.

"It takes all of us working together," Gorsky, a West Point graduate, told Cramer. "If we're going to solve issues like health care, if we're going to take on issues about how do we grow our economy, how do we create more high-paying jobs, that requires industry and the government working together."

Gorsky also spoke to tax reform, which The Washington Post reported on Thursday was facing competing bills from Senate and House Republicans.

Cramer's top cybersecurity picks

Mark McLaughlin, president and CEO of Palo Alto Networks.
Mary Catherine Wellons | CNBC
Mark McLaughlin, president and CEO of Palo Alto Networks.

Cramer knows that the cybersecurity industry isn't going anywhere but up anytime soon.

"Cybersecurity is, unfortunately, a secular growth business, meaning that long term, hackers and digital terrorists [are] going to keep trying to steal our data and mess up our systems," he said. "That's why I think it's worth circling back to the companies that combat this stuff, especially since the whole cohort pulled back today, so it's a good opportunity. When a secular growth group pulls back, you need to use the weakness to dip your toe in the water."

Cramer started with Mimecast, a cloud-based data security company that came public less than two years ago. With shares up 72 percent so far in 2017, Mimecast specializes in protecting employees' email accounts at large companies.

Emails may not sound like the most exciting medium for mitigating cyberattacks, but it's anything but stale: in September, Mimecast's CEO told Cramer that hackers are increasingly realizing that humans, not computers, are the "weakest links" when it comes to breaches.

Hiring veterans

Finally, in honor of the special Veterans Day program, Cramer highlighted why some of the world's top companies have made the pledge to hire more veterans.

"Allow me to put this in money-making terms: If you're running a business, people with military backgrounds make fabulous employees — disciplined, smart, highly trained, think on their feet, able to handle high-pressure situations. But beyond that, what I've seen in my long history as an investor and in interviewing CEOs is that veterans make great executives," the "Mad Money" host said.

From Verizon to Hilton Worldwide to Amazon, Boeing and the major banks, scores of companies have vowed to add more veterans to their ranks, and Cramer said that they deserve accolades and respect for their commitments.

"We do not spend enough time talking about leadership in this business, but it's a huge component of what makes companies successful, which is why some of the best chief executives I've ever had the good fortune to meet were veterans," Cramer concluded.

Lightning Round: KO's not fizzling out long term

In Cramer's lightning round, he zoomed through his take on some cadets' favorite stocks:

Coca-Cola: "For long term, yes. For long term, they've got a good CEO. He's doing a lot. My problem with Coca-Cola is that my kids would say, 'Dad, it's so bad for you, I'm not going to have it.' They need to diversify and get something else going, but I think this new man at Coca-Cola is doing a good job."

CVS Health: "I think this one is dramatically oversold. I think people are too worried about Amazon. I think it's a well-run company. If they make an acquisition that is in managed care, the stock is going to go higher. I like CVS."

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