Utilities are a "growth story" that Jim Cramer is "afraid to bet against," he said Wednesday on

CNBC's

"Stop Trading!" segment.

Cramer and his co-host noted that the Dow Jones Utility index is up 150% over the past four years, barely lagging behind the much-discussed climb in the Shanghai Composite over that period. Cramer, who has brushed off China bubble talk in the past, said February's

TXU

( TXU) buyout "changed the equation" for the group and named

Exelon

(EXC) - Get Exelon Corporation Report

and

Dominion

(D) - Get Dominion Energy Inc Report

as strong players in a group that remains "undervalued."

Cramer also sees plenty of candidates for the continuing private-equity takeout boom. He named as "natural targets"

Total System

(TSS) - Get Total System Services, Inc. Report

and its parent

Synovus

(SNV) - Get Synovus Financial Corp. Report

, noting the involvement of Third Point Capital and Daniel Loeb; insurers

TheStreet Recommends

Aon

( AOC) and

Marsh McLennan

(MMC) - Get Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) Report

, the latter of which Cramer called a "headless horseman" for the poor performance of CEO Michael Cherkasky;

Ross Stores

(ROST) - Get Ross Stores, Inc. Report

; and

Cheesecake Factory

(CAKE) - Get Cheesecake Factory Incorporated Report

, which ranks as a favorite of value investor Bob Olstein.

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for

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clicking here.

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