Investors should buy shares of high- interest loan providers such as Advance America Cash Advance Centers Inc. and Cash America International Inc. because of problems in the subprime-mortgage lending market, CNBC host Jim Cramer said today on his ``Mad Money'' television program.
Advance America, a provider of payday cash advances, had 2,600 centers in 36 states in 2005 and will continue to grow, Cramer said. Cash America is the world's largest operator of pawnshops.
Cramer said the companies are likely to get more business from ``subprime'' borrowers, a term applied to people with low credit ratings and high debt burdens. They're often among the first to default when the economy weakens and interest rates increase.
``Even though the rates are high, taking out one of these loans is better than bouncing a check or being late on a credit card or missing a utility bill,'' Cramer said.
Cramer also said investors should buy shares of Chemed Corp., the operator of Roto-Rooter plumbing service and a hospice provider. Last week's stock market decline ``held back the stock's momentum'' after the company announced strong fourth-quarter earnings last month, Cramer said.
During the show's ``Lightening Round'' segment, Cramer recommended viewers buy shares of Saks Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp., Transocean Inc., Halliburton Co., Logitech International SA, Dean Foods Co., Genzyme Corp., Walter Industries Inc., Baxter International Inc., MasterCard Inc., Emerson Electric Co., Vail Resorts Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group.
Cramer recommended viewers sell or avoid shares of RF Micro Devices Inc., Acorda Therapeutics Inc., Research In Motion Ltd., ExpressJet Holdings Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Pioneer Drilling Co. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.
In the show's ``Sell Block'' segment, Cramer recommended viewers sell Melco International Development Ltd., IPG Photonic Corp. and Fortress Investment Group LLC because the shares have declined since their initial public offerings.
Cramer recommended AT&T Inc. as a long-term investment. In an interview with Cramer, AT&T Chief Financial Officer Rick Lindner said the company is able to increase its dividend regularly because of growth opportunities such as its recent iPhone deal with Apple Inc.
In response to viewer questions, Cramer recommended buying Ezcorp Inc., Service Corp. and UnitedHealth Group Inc, while selling Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc.
Cramer said he owns Halliburton and UnitedHealth for his charitable trust.