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NEW YORK (
) -- The dogs will remain dogs, but the thoroughbreds are still worth betting on. That was Jim Cramer's assessment of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
going into 2013.
Cramer told his
viewers Thursday that 2013 should be a lot better than 2012 for the Dow, and he gave a quick assessment of all the Dow stocks to show why.
Starting from the best performers in 2012, Cramer said that
Bank Of America
remains cheap, despite its 108% gain last year. Bigger gains will come, he said, as the housing recovery continues.
continues to take market share, which makes that stock a winner as well.
Cramer said that
can extend its 32% rally last year thanks to strong attendance at its parks and strong entertainment properties. And while he's not as bullish on
, Cramer expects all three to still have a good 2013.
Cramer was also bullish on
, a stock he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, along with
, all stocks he said should be able to at least match last year's slow-growth performance.
His only bearish call in the slow-growth group, Wal-Mart, in the face of a weaker U.S. consumer going into 2013.
will allow investors to sleep at night, while
should see its shares rise in 2013. Meanwhile,
needs a big catalyst to match its 8.6% performance last year and Cramer doesn't see one.
will likely play catchup this year, while
will do poorly without job creation.
Then there were the dogs of the Dow, the under-performers. Cramer was bullish on
Johnson & Johnson
, another Action Alerts PLUS name, and felt that
should be able to beat its 3.6% gain in 2012, as should
given the aerospace cycle. His only worry is
, a stock he said is "hard to love."
Cramer was lukewarm on
, but gave Chevron, an Action Alerts PLUS name, the edge. He was bearish on
and said he doesn't trust
Cramer made an exception for
, calling that dog of the Dow undervalued, but rounded out the group by saying that
will likely remain flat in 2013 and the worst performer,
could only save the averages by being booted from them, even with it's 44% loss for 2012.
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Charif Souki, chairman and CEO of
, a company that plans to export U.S.-born natural gas to the rest of the world. Shares of Cheniere are up 147% since Cramer first spoke with Souki in June 2011, and 18% since his last visit in September.
Souki said it takes a lot of time and money to follow the rules and get approval to build an export terminal in the U.S., but that's what Cheniere has been able to do and why it will be the first to have an export terminal online in mid to late 2015, a full year ahead of schedule.
He said that while he expects others to follow in Cheniere's footsteps, his company's Louisiana facility will certainly be the first and will enjoy many years of successes.
Souki also expressed how urgent the need is to do something with our natural gas. He said gas is produced as a byproduct of producing more oil and, to date, the industry is simply "flaring," or burning off, more gas than it uses just to get rid of it. He said the practice is wasteful and bad for the environment, but it's being done more and more as our country struggles to do something with its energy policies.
Souki also confirmed that Cheniere is not in need of additional equity to complete its facility and thus won't be diluting shareholders with more equity offerings anytime soon. That news left Cramer speechless, as he said there are few companies he follows that have such an excellent story to tell.
A Deal That Sticks
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman, president and CEO of
, on the heels of the company's acquisition of Skippy peanut butter. Shares of Hormel are up 14% since Cramer recommended it in May 2012 and are flirting with their 52-week highs.
Ettinger said Hormel is emerging as a leader in the sandwich market and the company now has a strong presence three of the top four sandwich categories. He said Skippy will enhance Hormel's business model and he's confident in their projections for both growth and margins.
When asked how Hormel will be able to run Skippy better than giant
, Ettinger said Hormel excels in niche areas and has proven it can hold its own against bigger competitors. Skippy also fits well into Hormel's international strategy, particularly in China.
Skippy also gives Hormel a bigger footprint into the healthy eating category, noted Ettinger, and fits into Hormel's plans to build a broad portfolio of brands that span multiple categories and channels. Ettinger said the Skippy deal was not a strain on his company's balance sheet and the company remains committed to its dividend and its long history of paying one.
Cramer called the Skippy deal "transformative" for Hormel.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on
Whole Foods Markets
Cramer was bearish on
The Geo Group
Am I Diversified?
In the "Am I Diversified?" segment, Cramer spoke with callers and responded to tweets sent via Twitter to
to see if investors' portfolios have what it takes for today's markets.
The first portfolio included:
Cramer said that he's not a fan of McDonald's or Pandora and would add an industrial and a health-care or drug stock to complete this portfolio.
The second portfolio's top holdings included:
Cramer advised selling Neustar and adding a health-care stock in order to diversify this portfolio.
The third portfolio had:
SPDR Gold Shares
as its top five stocks.
Cramer said this portfolio has too much energy with Valero and Cheniere so he once again advised selling Valero in favor of a health-care stock.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that while most retail stocks are cheap, only a few are worth buying.
remains outstanding, while both
delivered stronger than expected results.
remains a favorite after the company's brilliant acquisition, but the dollar stores, like
, are getting squeezed hard.
"Don't bottom-fish," warned Cramer, as retail remains as dicey an investment as ever.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, CAT, CVX, DD, GE, IBM, KEY, KO, SBUX, UTX and WFC.
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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