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Some comments by Jim Cramer's about Jarden last week on his Mad Money show on CNBC can't go without a response.

Jarden (JAH: news, chart, profile) is a rollup of consumer brand names like Ball canning jars, Diamond matches and Sunbeam appliances.

I've previously made the point here and on Mad Money, where I'm scheduled to appear Thursday, that most of the company's earnings growth is coming from acquisition-related costs savings and that, in the end, Jarden is hitching itself to what historically has been a bad and difficult business: small appliances.

Cramer's take was that Jarden is battling with two other companies, Applica (APN: news, chart, profile) and Salton (SFP: news, chart, profile) , for shelf space. However, he says, because both are on the financial ropes, Wal-Mart (WMT: news, chart, profile) , Target (TGT: news, chart, profile) or Sears-Kmart (SHLD: news, chart, profile) are unlikely to give them orders for this Christmas over fear they won't be delivered. As a result, he says, Jarden will win by default.


But this much is clear from walking through my local, relatively new-but-dirty-and-disheveled Wal-Mart: Salton already has a weak presence at the chain. But Applica is well represented, through its Black & Decker brand. Ditto for Hamilton Beach/Procter-Silex.

Furthermore -- and this is a point lost on many people -- Wal-Mart is the exclusive licensee of the General Electric brand of small appliances, which are given strong placement on the Wal-Mart shelves. Holmes Group, which is owned by Jarden, is among the manufacturers that helps design and manufacture GE products for Wal-Mart. (That's a plus.) But who is to say that Wal-Mart won't seek lower prices by threatening to take or taking that business to independent factories? (That would be a minus.)


In other words: Come this Christmas, it'll be business as usual -- whatever that is -- for Jarden and it's competitors, assuming they have the products customers want. And that's assuming the economy holds and gas prices don't take too big a chunk out of the budget for don't-need-to-have housewares.
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