Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q), the fourth-largest U.S. telephone company, was recommended today by CNBC host Jim Cramer on his ``Mad Money'' television program because it could gain from a U.S. government contract.
Among telecommunications companies vying for the $20 billion contract, Qwest has the most to gain, said Cramer, a market commentator and former hedge-fund manager. AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) also are bidding for the contract, which could grow to $68 billion and is the biggest U.S. telecommunications contract ever.
Investors looking to ``profit from the scarcity of water'' should examine Pico Holdings Inc., said Cramer, adding that it's a ``small, speculative stock.''
Cramer recommended investors buy shares of Countrywide Financial Corp., the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, because it stands to gain from struggles in the subprime lending market. In an interview with Cramer, Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo said many of the company's competitors aren't likely to survive.
Cramer recommended buying or holding FedEx Corp. (FDX), Flow International Corp. (FLOW), XTO Energy Inc., Dean Foods Co. (DF), Clearwire Corp. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. in response to questions during the show's ``Lightning Round'' segment.
Cramer suggested viewers sell or avoid shares of Usana Health Sciences Inc. (USNA), People's Bank, Garmin Ltd. (GRMN), Applebee's International Inc., Mosaic Co., Blockbuster Inc., GSI Commerce Inc. and Nokia Oyj. (NOK1V)
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