The Best On Balance


Are stocks with lots of cash and low debt your best bet as economic trouble looms?

Cash on the books is so important, says Karen Finerman, because I think investors should select companies that have the financial strength not only to survive but thrive in this tough environment.

Following are the companies Finerman thinks are good vs. those that are not good.

Balance Sheet Breakdown

Office Depot (ODP) - Good
Net Debt $450mln -- Sales: $15.5 Bln

Office Max (OMX) - Not Good
Net Debt $1.7bln -- Sales: $9.1bln

M.D.C. Holdings (MDC)Good
Net Debt $270 Mln -- Sales: $2.5 Bln

Lennar (LEN)Not Good
Net Debt $2.4bln -- Sales: $12.2bln

Really Cash Rich Companies

American Eagle (AEO)Really Good
Net cash $650mln

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK)Really Good
Net cash $120bln


Berkshire Hathaway (BRK)Really Good
Net cash $120bln

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Trader disclosure: On Jan 23, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (INTC), (YHOO); Najarian Owns (BIIB), (C), (CSCO), (EBAY), (MCD), (MSFT); Najarian Owns (AAPL) Calls, (COP) Calls, (NSC) Calls, (WM) Calls, (YHOO) Calls, (YRCW) Calls; Finerman Owns (GS), (M); Finerman's Firm Owns (MO), (ODP), (TSO), (YHOO), (AEO), (CROX), (HD), (WMT); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (FLS); Finerman's Firm Is Short (SPY), (MDY), (IJR), (IWM), (SPG); Finerman's Firm Is Short (LEH) And Owns (LEH) Puts