CVS Stands to Benefit From Walgreen Dispute

Cramer is concerned that Europe's mounting debt crisis could send the U.S. into a recession. By the same token, he's concerned about investors who won't be in the market when the debt problems are solved and stocks rebound. He recommends investors not only high-yielding stocks, but defensive stocks, too.

Take CVS Caremark , for example. Cramer thinks the drug store operator and pharmacy benefit manager is as recession resistant as it gets.

"CVS is exactly the kind of secure, consistent company that will work even if Europe sends us into a recession, even if Washington continues to falter," Cramer said, adding the Woonsocket, R.I.-based company could also soon get business from rival Walgreen .

Walgreen is currently disputing the terms of its contract with Express Scripts , the U.S.'s largest pharmacy benefit manager. Walgreen wants to charge more than Express Scripts is willing to pay, Cramer said. If both parties can't come to terms by end-year, 90 million prescriptions will need to be filled elsewhere. Cramer thinks CVS stands to benefit given it's the U.S.'s second-largest pharmacy chain with 38 percent of its stores overlapping with Walgreen.

Given these events, Cramer has warmed up to CVS, even though the stock is less than 2 points off its 52-week high. The stock currently sells at 11.8 times forward earnings with a 10.5 percent long-term growth rate, but Cramer thinks it could get a higher multiple after its analyst day on December 20.


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