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In this game you need to be ruthless, so take a look at debt collection, Jim Cramer said Thursday on his "Mad Money" TV show.

There have been plenty of stories about how a rash of new bankruptcy filings hit right before the new bankruptcy laws went into effect, Cramer said, and that's good news for

Portfolio Recovery Associates

(PRAA) - Get PRA Group, Inc. Report


While the company doesn't actually repossess your car, it's the new face of the repo man in a metaphorical sense, he said. And it likes to buy debt from credit card companies for pennies on the dollar and then collect.

The company also focuses on homeowners because they are likely to stop paying credit card debt before they stop paying their mortgages, he said.

Portfolio Recovery had 29% earnings growth last year, and it has a proprietary computer system that allows it to determine what debt is worth going after and what debt portfolios it should forget about, according to Cramer.

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He told a caller that people falling into debt is a long-term story, so the stock will probably stay a strong play.

He told another caller that while debt collectors will profit from all the new bankruptcies, credit cards won't make money off of the trend. For example, he said,

Capital One Financial

(COF) - Get Capital One Financial Corporation Report

had an okay quarter but not a blowout. However, he was reluctant to recommend selling the company because it's cheap.

Varian on the Vanguard

"I don't want to sound morbid and I don't want to sound offensive, but here could be a lot of money in curing cancer," Cramer said.

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TheStreet Recommends

That's why he's bullish on

Varian Medical Systems

(VAR) - Get Varian Medical Systems, Inc. Report


Everyone is focusing on drug treatments, but Cramer likes this radiation play.

Usually, the cure is as harmful as the disease, he said, but Varian has a machine that could change that, the Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) system.

He said the company was the best of breed in instruments for treating cancer with its SmartBeam Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, or IMRT system, even before it started working on the newer IGRT system.

The company may have as much as 70% of the market in the U.S. and perhaps 60% globally, he said, calling it a dominant player on the rise.

As far as growth is concerned, the new system will cost $2 million a machine, vs. $1 million for the old IMRT system.

And IGRT is accessible through Medicare reimbursement effective the first of this year.

Even though Varian CEO Richard M. Levy is retiring in February, the company's long product cycle should trump any bumps that could be caused by a change in management, said Cramer.

An AMR Armistice

In his weekly go-round with senior


columnist Herb Greenberg, the two agreed that viewers should stay away from




Greenberg said based on AMR's numbers, it's probably going to lose money and furthermore the company has a lot of debt.

While Cramer likes to "pimp stocks all over the world," Greenberg had some words of caution for investors looking to buy on overseas exchanges.

Most importantly, he said, you should only buy companies that you can easily research, which can be difficult with some overseas companies.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Finally, Cramer wrapped up the show with a hearing aid play that is not based in the U.S.


trades on the Milan Stock Exchange, which is where he suggested picking it up since its American depository receipts (ADRs) trade on the pink sheets in the U.S.

It is also a billion-dollar company that has grown mainly through acquisitions, he said.

While this can often indicate that a company's management doesn't think its business has much organic growth left, Cramer said the story is different with Amplifon because it has been acquiring companies that fit in with its core business.

It bought National Hearing Centers in 2003, a hearing aid retailer whose centers are mostly located in Wal-Mart stores, Cramer said, meaning that Amplifon has a relationship with the biggest retailer on earth.

It also bought Miracle-Ear, a premier name in hearing aids, he added.

He warned viewers that the company has a low trading volume, so they need to be careful not to buy too much and bid up the stock.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on:


(SYY) - Get Sysco Corporation Report



(CX) - Get CEMEX SAB de CV Report


Lexar Media

( LEXR),

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Micron Technology, Inc. Report


Ultra Petroleum



Advance Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Report





El Paso

( EP),

Radiant Systems

( RADS),

Click Commerce

( CKCM),





( KRY)and


(COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report


Cramer was bearish on:

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report



(IBM) - Get International Business Machines Corporation Report


International Game Technology

(IGT) - Get International Game Technology PLC Report


Lions Gate Entertainment




(AA) - Get Alcoa Corporation Report


General Maritime






Nektar Therapeutics

(NKTR) - Get Nektar Therapeutics Report


LSI Logic

(LSI) - Get Life Storage, Inc. Report


NovaStar Financial

( NFI).

For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, click here


Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his latest book by

clicking here


Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of 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, 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 is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

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 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, 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.