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TheStreet Open House

Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: America Between Rock, Hard Place

Ascena has a track record of delivering on its acquisitions, said Cramer. Twelve months after Ascena's last two acquisitions, shares were up 97% and 145% and Cramer said he expects similar gains again this time.

The key to Ascena's success is managing expectations, said Cramer, something not seen at J.C. Penney (JCP). Ascena takes things slow, he said, under-promising and overdelivering. Ascena is one company that knows how to revitalize retail brands and give customers exactly what they're looking for.

Cramer said he would be a buyer of Ascena at current levels.

Executive Decision

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again spoke with Patrick Doyle, president and CEO of Domino's Pizza (DPZ), a stock that's risen 220% since Cramer first got behind the company's remarkable turnaround in Jan 2010, but also one that seems to have stalled recently, down 21% in the past two months.

Doyle said Domino's, which now has 9,000 locations in 60 countries, passed a milestone last month when it booked $1 billion in online orders over the past year. He said that 30% of all orders are now coming in online, which provides customers with a better experience and reduces Domino's labor costs in the process.

Doyle also mentioned that 7% of all U.S. orders are now coming via mobile through the company's apps on both Apple's (AAPL) iOS and Google's (GOOG) Android platforms. Doyle added that Facebook (FB) is "working great for us," as the company continues to push into social channels.

When asked about the company's earnings per share miss this quarter, Doyle explained that expectations got a little ahead of themselves, but revenue actually met company forecasts. Doyle noted that Domino's now has more stores and revenue stemming from outside the U.S., so international sales, especially those in China and India, will be drivers for the company.

Cramer said in an environment with commodity costs falling, the Domino's story remains in tact and the stock has fallen farther than it should have.

Lightning Round

Here's what Cramer had to say about caller's stocks during the "Lightning Round":

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A): "Yes, that stock is a buy here."

United Rentals (URI): "Because the economy is stalled I can't push this one as hard as I'd like. We need construction in this country for that stock to work."

Heckmann (HEK): "It's a very speculative stock. I want to stick with it for the long term."

Equity Residential (EQR): "Don't sell that one. They're in the sweet spot. You've got a winner there."

Duke Energy (DUK): "Duke is a king. I like it. Buy, buy, buy."

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B): "I think it's a terrific stock but you need to hold it for the long term."

'Mea Culpa'

In the Thursday "Sell Block" segment, Cramer issued a big "mea culpa" for his March 21 recommendation of Men's Warehouse (MW), a stock that's now down 25% since that recommendation. Cramer said simply, "I blew it," but vowed to teach and learn from his mistakes.

Cramer said that when investment theses go awry, it's natural to go into denial. But in the case of Men's Warehouse, the company's three-cents-a-share earnings miss coupled with weaker revenue and same-store sales leaves little to deny. "Management clearly blew it," said Cramer, "but so did I." That's why Cramer said it's better to accept one's losses.

So where did Cramer go wrong? He said that he recommended Men's Warehouse on the premise that an increase in hiring would mean more demand for men's suits, but also that the company was taking share from smaller mom-and-pop retailers. Thus when hiring began to decline and rivals like Joseph A. Bank (JOSB) reported weaker sales, that should have been the tip-off to sell Men's Warehouse.

Likewise, Cramer said he should have realized that much of the share gain from smaller stores had already passed. There simply aren't a lot of competitors left, the share gain has largely already happened. Cramer said that taking market share is not a big enough driver to undo a slowing economy, which is why he should have recommended selling Men's Warehouse ahead of the quarter.

Men's Warehouse is now in the penalty box for one quarter, said Cramer, and the company must prove it can execute before investors should consider buying back in. He said that companies like Cintas (CTAS), which rents uniforms, are also in jeopardy because they rely on employment to grow.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that in just a month's time earnings season will once again be upon us, a time when beating analyst expectations can send a stock soaring, while missing them can be devastating.

That's why Cramer said investors should use the current strength in the markets to trim their positions in tech and the banks and move into safer, domestic security plays that offer dividend protection. He said earnings are likely to be bad given a slowing Europe, which is why stocks like Pepsico (PEP), American Electric Power (AEP) and ConEd (ED), with their great yields and limited exposure to Europe, make the most sense.

Don't be misled by these macro moves higher, Cramer concluded. They're often wrong and very misleading when the earnings start coming in.

--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

To contact the writer of this article, click here: Scott Rutt.

To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/scottrutt.

To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, TheStreet.com or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor TheStreet.com, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on TheStreet.com. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.

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