Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' CEO Chats: H&R Block, Finish Line

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Jim Cramer often sits down with CEOs on his "Mad Money" show. Today we look back at his interviews with Glenn Lyons, chairman and CEO of Finish Line and Bill Cobb, president and CEO of H&R Block .

This is an excerpt from Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Is the Downturn Serious?, originally published on Jan. 13, 2014.

Executive Decision: Bill Cobb

As tax season approaches, Cramer sat down with Bill Cobb, president and CEO of H&R Block , in his "Executive Decision" segment to discuss the company and the many new changes in this year's tax laws.

Cobb said Obamacare represents the biggest change in the tax code in 20 years. He said the law is complicated and what taxpayers may think is a subsidy is actually an advance tax credit that can be confusing.

Cobb said H&R Block is once again focused on tax preparation, helping individuals and small businesses navigate an increasingly difficult tax code. "We're good at this," Cobb continued.

H&R Block is also innovating in its space, offering its Emerald Card, a debit card on which customers can receive their refunds, then reload and use it afterwards. Cobb said the company issued 2.5 million cards last year alone.

Cobb also touted its "My H&R Block" online service, which lets customers upload receipts and eliminate the proverbial "shoebox full of receipts."

Cramer once again recommended H&R Block's stock as a winner in its industry.



Executive Decision: Glenn Lyons

For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Glenn Lyons, chairman and CEO of Finish Line, a stock that's seen a 50% return in 2013, thanks in part to its most recent four-cents-a-share earnings beat on a 22.9% rise in revenue and a 7.1% increase in same-store sales.

Lyons said the sneaker business isn't as challenged, as some other parts of retail are right now, partly because kids, teens and young adults will always need new sneakers and partly because there are ton of new, innovative products driving them into stores. Finish Line is about both fashion and performance, he noted.

When asked about declining traffic at the malls, Lyons said the trend has been occurring for years, which is why Finish Line is looking for opportunities outside of its traditional mall locations as well as trying to increase productivity at all its locations. Finish Line has a partnership with Macy's M, for instance, that is ongoing and performing very well, said Lyons.

Finally, when asked about the importance of Nike NKE, Lyons said that Nike represents 70% of Finish Line sales, but only half of the company's 1,000 SKUs. He said there are plenty of opportunities for other brands to come in and take share.