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NEW YORK (
) -- "The time to buy tech is when they're the most hated," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Monday. And that time, he emphasized, is decisively now.
Cramer said he had to go all the way back to 2003, at the end of the dot com bubble, to find a time when tech stocks have been as hated as they are right now. He said other than a few standouts like
, tech stocks are trading at historically low multiples.
Cramer said the risk reward for these stocks is now just too compelling to ignore. He noted that
, whose CEO appeared on "Mad Money" on Friday, trades at a P/E less than 10, despite its 16% growth rate. To put things in perspective, Cramer said "boring"
trades at a multiple 50% higher.
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Cramer said a tech company's growth rate has always been the yardstick by which its earnings were measured, with investors willing to pay P/E's that are twice level of the growth rate. Yet in today's market,
, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, trades at a P/E of 15, despite its 15% growth rate.
And the list goes on:
, another stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, which has a 11 P/E 11% growth rate,
10 P/E 14% growth rate, and
11 P/E and 11% growth.
Cramer noted that only
, another stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, trades at a premium to his growth, with a multiple of 14.
Cramer said even the much loved
, another Action Alerts Plus name, only trades at 19 times earnings despite its conservative 18% growth rate, and that's before subtracting the $53 per share on cash the company has on hand.
"Investors are panicked," said Cramer, and that's the best time to buy tech.
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Larry Nichols, co-founder and executive chairman of
, which sold its Gulf of Mexico oil rigs last year in order to expand into natural gas.
Nichols said the timing of those transactions, in light of the
Gulf disaster, was indeed lucky, but even before the accident, Devon saw the risk reward from the Gulf as just not being worth the investment.
Nichols said that he's surprised that the price of natural gas, which broke $5 today, has been so high this early in the season with so many companies drilling. He said the prices points to strong demand, and the expectation of natural gas replacing coal-fired power plants.
When asked about the prospects for natural gas in Washington, Nichols said that natural gas is the only fuel that doesn't need subsidies or mandates. He said it just needs Washington to get out of its way and let the fuel compete on a level playing field.
Nichols noted that in the past, the natural gas industry didn't have the resources to provide long-term contracts, but today, it does. He said that if large companies or utilities wanted a 10- or 20-year contract for gas, they could provide it, thereby lessening the price volatility of the fuel for everyone.
Finally, when asked about the recent natural gas well explosion in Pennsylvania, Nichols said that there will be accidents in any human endeavor, but they're very rare, given the tens of thousands of wells that have been drilled over the years. He said in the case of the Pennsylvania accident, no one was injured, nothing was damaged, and the situation was brought under control quickly. "Basically, nothing happened," he said.
Cramer told viewers they need to immunize themselves against the next big downturn by adding companies to their portfolio that not only have dividends, but also raise them.
Cramer said dividend increases always tell the truth, as evidence by his Feb 8th basket of five dividend raisers that included
. This basket has risen 16% since then, while the
has only risen by 3%.
Since history has a tendency to repeat itself, Cramer said he looked at the seven companies that recently raised their dividends to pick another set of winners.
Cramer said he's a fan of
, which raised its dividend by 5% at the beginning of what's likely a multi-year construction cycle. He also gave a nod to
, which raised its dividend by 9%. FedEx, he said, trades at 14 times earnings despite its 14% long-term growth rate.
Cramer also noted
National Fuel Gas
, which also boosted its dividend and has cheap holdings in the Marcellus shale.
But Cramer's highest praise went to
Del Monte Foods
( DLM), which boosted its dividend by a whopping 80%, and retailer
, which delivered a 47% hike to its dividend. Cramer said both of these companies are strong performers, and their dividend boosts are signs of strength and of good things to come.
In the "Mad Mail" viewer feedback segment, Cramer told a viewer that'd he'd be a buyer of
, and a seller of
Cramer told a second viewer that
has big exposure to the Euro and has seen a challenge to one of its drugs, but the company is a "screaming buy" down here.
Cramer told a final viewer that
will not be a play on cars in China, but the eventual IPO of General Motors will be.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
China Digital TV
-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long EMC, Intel, Apple, Cisco.
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."
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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.