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NEW YORK (
) -- "We've hit a bit of rough seas, but we'll tough it out" Jim Cramer told the viewers of his
TV show Tuesday.
He said despite President Obama's warning to the nation last night, stocks remain the safest place to park your money until the current storm passes.
Cramer said it's obvious by today's action that the investing public feels that Congress will come in under the wire and do the right thing. Cramer, however, is less optimistic. He put only 50/50 odds that Congress will get a debt ceiling deal passed by the Aug. 2 deadline. Instead, he said, Congress is more likely to come to a deal after the Social Security checks stop going out a few days later.
During that period, stocks will go down, said Cramer. But they're still a far safer place to invest than Treasury bonds. He said the banks will likely be hurt most in a default situation because they hold a lot of Treasuries, but other high fliers, like
, a stock which Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, aren't likely to see a big hit.
Cramer also recommended that investors take out an insurance policy of sorts, by owning gold. He once again recommended owning gold bullion or the
SPDR Gold Shares
ETF, or even select gold mining stocks as a hedge against any short-term weakness in stocks.
But again, Cramer said that any weakness in stocks will likely only be temporary, as a debt deal, even after a default, will likely come quickly. This short-term weakness is not a reason to dump stocks entirely as an asset class, he said.
Conservative Strategy Clicks
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Kevin Burke, chairman, president and CEO of
, a conservative utility stock that's up 28% since Cramer recommended it in May 2010, but also one that's up 127% when factoring in reinvested dividends.
Burke characterized ConEd as a conservative investment even amongst the already conservative utility industry. He said if ConEd's customers use more electricity and the company profits exceed targets, the company will lower rates to compensate. Burke said ConEd is one of the few companies that tell its customers to use less of its services and use it wisely.
When asked about ConEd's electrical grid, Burke said the company has invested over $8 billion in the past few years and even with record temperatures the grid is holding up just fine. He said that ConEd has also invested a lot in security over the past 10 years. Originally the company focused on physical security of sensitive infrastructure, but lately ConEd has focused on cyber security as well.
Turning to other eco initiatives, Burke noted that all of ConEd's trucks now run on biodiesel, which helps to clean the air in and around New York City.
Finally, when asked about what could make ConEd make less money, Burke said that only a population shrinkage or a deep recession would be enough to affect the company's bottom line. Cramer continued his recommendation of ConEd.
Rising Online Pizza Orders
In a second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Patrick Doyle, president and CEO of
, the best performing restaurant stock so far this year with an amazing 71% return. Domino's just delivered a four-cent-a-share earnings beat on better-than-expected sales and a 4.8% increase in same store sales.
Doyle said that Domino's strategy is to make great pizza and keep their customers happy. He said the key metric in evaluating the stock is the company's retention ratio, the number of customers that keep coming back. Doyle said that keeping the customers you have means they come back more often, and that's far less expensive than finding new ones.
Domino's is also focused on the quality of their pizza. Doyle said that even if Domino's could cut costs on their ingredients, it's not going to do it. He said the pizza is perfect and it's not messing with it.
Among the other drivers for this global pizza powerhouse was the company's highly-effective advertising campaigns. Doyle said that the company's advertising has been terrific and word of mouth is taking those ad dollars even further. Also helping the bottom line, Domino's new iPhone app, which allows for ordering right from your phone. Domino's now gets 25% of all its orders online.
Finally, when asked about the company's low market cap, Doyle said that the markets are only valuing Domino's at $175,000 per location, and given how much cash the company generates from each location, that valuation is far too low. He said that Domino's drives a lot more value than that.
Cramer agreed, saying that even with Domino's terrific run so far this year, the stock still has a lot of room to run.
As predicted, the stock of oil service giant
pulled back after the company reported earnings last week. And Cramer said that means now is the time to buy.
Cramer explained that the stock of Core Labs has demonstrated a predictable pattern as of late: the company's shares sell off after the company reports, only to rebound higher over the coming quarter. He said on average, Core Labs has fallen between 4% and 6% on four of the past five quarters, and last week's quarter was no exception.
Cramer said that the oil service group is on fire, with most companies at or near their 52-week highs. That makes Core Labs, whose services are greatly in demand, all the more valuable now that shares are some 10 points off their highs.
So why do Core shares fall after the quarter? Cramer said it's because the stock gets priced for perfection and company management has a history of lowball guidance. But that doesn't mean the company can't deliver, as the worldwide drilling boom continues both domestically and internationally.
Cramer said that Core Labs trades at just 23 times earnings at the moment, but the company has a 21% growth rate. Given that Core Labs has far lower capital investment needs that others in the oil service patch, Core Labs is the most attractive stock of the bunch, he said.
Cramer was bullish on
Tempur Pedic International
He was bearish on
Kodiak Oil & Gas
Netflix a Buy
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer opined on the battleground that is
Cramer said the question is not whether or not to sell Netflix, it's whether the dip in the company's share price is a buying opportunity. He said Netflix management has delivered time and time again, and it's unlikely that the company just shot itself in the foot by raising prices. Subscribers will not be leaving in droves because of a few dollars, he said.
Then there's the issue of Netflix' valuation. Compared to
, Netflix is cheap. And compared to the forthcoming Groupon, Netflix is extremely cheap. Given that the company just expanded into Latin America and will be conquering Europe soon, Cramer said Netflix is still a buy.
Cramer said that high growth conquers all. That's why shares of
are joining those of Apple,
Chipotle Mexican Grill
, all of which are heading higher on news of accelerating growth.
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple.
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.