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TheStreet Open House

Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: A New Swing on Graphite

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Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Friday that he's on fire when it comes to the composite materials.

At the beginning of the year, he said that Allegheny Technologies (ATI) was his stock of the year for 2006 , and it's up 128% since he recommended it in December .

Zoltek (ZOLT), another composite stock that he likes, is up 180% since he said it was a buy in January .

Bragging aside, Cramer said that he's got the next composite play, and it's German company SGL Carbon (SGG).

SGL is not just a carbon company, he said, noting that it also makes graphite-based products. The company is paying fines to the European Union for having a virtual monopoly in graphite electrodes, but Cramer said that it's still good to be a monopoly because the company is able to raise its prices.

Titanium and graphite are both light and tough, so SGL is selling to the aerospace sector, the defense industry, and it makes brakes for race cars, he said.

It's in all the good businesses, and it has been able to raise prices, he said. Plus, he said that it's the cheapest of the composite stocks because the others have moved up so much.

However, he warned that SGL has the worst balance sheet he's ever seen and that it's neck-deep in debt. Even so, "the stock is smoking." It was up against tough comparisons vs. the same quarter a year ago, but it still managed to blow away the numbers.

Sales were up 10.9%, and its earnings beat consensus estimates by 18%.

Banking on Brazilian Build

"Just like many people did in the late '40s, we're going from Germany, where I recommended SGL, to Latin America," Cramer said.

But he said to look at Brazil rather than Argentina, and he likes Banco Itau (ITU). The bank just bought back Bank of America's (BAC) Brazilian business, making it the No. 1 bank in the country.

He said it's time to think about buying the stock because we are in the midst of "the great Latin American bull market ... the most improbable bull market in the world."

When U.S. interest rates go up, we're supposed to get a cold and Latin America is supposed to get pneumonia, he said. And when governments are unstable anywhere on the continent, all the Latin American stocks should go down. But Brazil has boomed despite months of rate hikes in the U.S.

He pointed out that Brazil is lowering its rates and is energy self-sufficient, both good reasons for it to grow.

He likes Banco Itau because it is involved in wealth management and credit cards. "A few years ago, Brazil had neither wealth nor credit cards," he said. But now the country is on fire, and it has a lot of both.

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