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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- You're only as good as your most recent quarter, Jim Cramer reminded "Mad Money" viewers Monday as he opined on the results from Apple (AAPL), a stock he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS.
Cramer said that Wall Street has a notoriously short memory. Despite Apple making fortunes for investors in years past and having an ungodly large amount of cash on hand to prove it, when the company's gross margins turned south last year Wall Street abandoned the stock, sending its price plummeting to a low of $385. Back then, expectations were too high, so high that even a quality operator such as Apple was unable to achieve them.
Fast forward to today, when Apple was able to post $8.26 a share in earnings, a full 32 cents a share more than expectations. Revenue rose 4.2% and gross margins expanded to 37%. Apple's holiday lineup looks even better and the company raised its revenue estimates for the rest of the year.Cramer said he'd still be a buyer of Apple, even at today's levels, given the strength of its balance sheet and its products for the holiday season. He was also bullish on the consumer staple stocks including Hershey (HSY) and Clorox (CLX), which are benefiting from a falling dollar and input costs.
Cramer's 10-Point PlanThe markets will always have an appetite for growth, Cramer told viewers, but how should investors choose which growth stock to add to their portfolio? Cramer unveiled his 10-point plan for choosing the best growth stocks. His method is simple: 10 criteria, each with a possible 10 points, for a total score up to 100. Cramer's candidates for this exercise are two specialty retailers that blew away the estimates, Tractor Supply (TSCO) and Lumber Liquidators (LL). 1. Multiyear growth. Cramer said while both companies have years of expansion, Liquidators has more room to expand. He gave seven points to Tractor Supply and 10 to Liquidators. 2. Total addressable market. Both companies have huge opportunities ahead. Eight points Tractor, nine points Liquidators. 3. Competitiveness. Cramer said both companies are incredibly competitive in their respective industries. Nine points a piece.
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