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NEW YORK (
) -- Last month's laggards are leading again, Jim Cramer told his
TV show viewers on Thursday, adding that investors haven't missed a thing. He said after resting to recharge, the home builders, financials, technology and the oil stocks are once again ready to roar.
Cramer said there's no better evidence that the bottom in housing is approaching than
breaking out almost 10% in today's trading. That also bodes well for the bank stocks, added Cramer, who recommended a group of stocks he's been buying for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS. Those banks included
Cramer added that even
is a buy, as the company is a whole lot better than it used to be. That's why Cramer owns shares of AIG in his trust as well, along with
. Cramer added that if he wasn't such a believer in diversification, he'd buy
The tech stocks are also rallying, said Cramer, as seen with
, which saw a 19-point move to the upside today, and
, which had a 13% move.
blowout quarter anyone?
In the oil patch, Cramer said he's still bullish on
. He remained a fan of all of the oil shale players except for those levered to natural gas. Cramer was also a fan of
, two more Action Alerts PLUS holdings.
All of these stocks are ready to roar, said Cramer, which makes the old adage of "sell in May and go away" not applicable for 2012.
For a closer read on the technology sector, Cramer once again spoke with Rick Hamada, CEO of
, in the "Executive Decision" segment. Avnet just posted a 4-cent-a-share earnings beat on inline revenue.
Hamada cited some challenges at Avnet. He said his company's component business is in the midst of a sizable inventory adjustment, while its IT services business is seeing modest growth. So while both businesses were running according to expectations, the company's year-over-year revenue growth was essentially flat.
Turning to specific sectors, Hamada said that servers and storage remain a strong business at Avnet. Other areas such as analog parts and micro controllers are also growing. Hamada also noted that the flooding in Thailand is still disrupting the supply of disk drives worldwide, which is in part to blame for the inventory corrections in other areas.
When asked about innovation and how that plays into Avnet's business, Hamada explained that every advance in making chips smaller or more powerful, while not a game changer immediately, creates new possibilities and eventually flows down into the larger tech arena.
Finally, when asked about the company's plans for its cash flow, Hamada said that Avnet's strategy remains to focus on organic growth first, increased liquidity second and finally to return money to its shareholders, something that was music to Cramer's ears.
Cramer says the technology sector continues to roar higher and he remains a believer in Avnet.
In a second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer welcomed back Jack Hartung, CFO of
Chipotle Mexican Grill
, the restaurant chain that just delivered a 4-cent-a-share earnings beat on higher-than-expected revenue and a 12% increase in same-store sales.
Hartung started off by explaining that of the 12% increase Chipotle saw in same-store sales, only about 4% came from price increases, with the rest stemming from loyal customers coming back more often and telling their friends. He said that Chipotle has many loyal fans that are helping promote the brand via social media, leaving the company to focus mainly on educating them about Chipotle's food with integrity and its "people" culture.
Hartung touted Chipotle's people culture as one of its many strengths, adding that 98% of the company's managers come from crew members. The entire company is built on hiring and developing future leaders, said Hartung.
Turning to Chipotle's second restaurant concept, Shophouse Asian Kitchen, Hartung cautioned against expecting a rapid expansion of the chain. Instead, he said that the company is focused on introducing the brand to customers and developing its team members. Shophouse is preparing to open a second location in Washington, DC, added Hartung, but beyond that, growth will take time.
Hartung had similar sentiments for investors and analysts, saying that instead of focusing on short-term issues like the pace of growth or the food prices of the day, focus on Chipotle's bright future and its culture of delivering great food and a great experience to its customers.
Cramer agreed, saying that the future does indeed look bright for Chipotle and investors should stop worrying about short-term issues.
In a third "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Maurice Taylor, chairman and CEO of
, a manufacturer of wheels and tires for big machinery. Titan just delivered a 52-cent-a-share earnings beat with a strong outlook.
Taylor painted a bullish picture for Titan, saying that his company is firing on all cylinders, thanks to renewed strength in American manufacturing. He said companies like
are back where they should be, competing on the global stage.
That explains why Titan is hiring hundreds of new employees. Taylor explained that there is no school at which to learn how to build a tire, so Titan must train all of its employees, a process that can take up to one year. But once that employee is trained, however, Taylor noted that efficiency goes up, which is how Titan can deliver on its bottom line. Titan is currently hiring in Illinois, Ohio, Iowa and Tennessee.
Another factor going in Titan's favor, natural gas. Taylor said Titan is stockpiling natural gas at its record lows and that price is certainly helping the company's profitability.
Cramer called Titan a dominant player in its industry and urged investors to listen to the company's most recent conference call to learn more about its incredible business.
The Costco Craze
In his closing segment, Cramer sat down with
colleague Carl Quintanilla to discuss his latest documentary, "The Costco Craze: Inside the Warehouse Giant."
is a long-time Cramer fav and a holding at Action Alerts PLUS.
Quintanilla discussed some of the controversy surrounding Costco's lavish pay and benefits package for its employees. Costco currently enjoys one of the lowest turnover rates in retail, just 5% for employees that stay over one year, thanks in part to the company's pay package. Quintanilla said there doesn't appear to be any evidence that Costco's compensation is hurting its bottom line.
Quintanilla also discussed Costco's recent $5 membership fee hike, a decision he said the company agonized over for a long time, but in the end proved to be the right decision for the company.
Cramer said investors interested in Costco must tune into "The Costco Craze," which will be airing tonight on CNBC.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on
Digital Domain Media
Clean Energy Fuels
El Paso Pipeline Partners
Cramer was bearish on
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS was long USB, JPM, STI, AIG, AXP, SLB, ESV and COST.
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.