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NEW YORK (
) -- "There's a bull market in agriculture," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his
TV show Thursday, "and it's not too late to buy."
He said the recently announced Russian ban on grain exports due to drought conditions will spark a multi-quarter move for ag stocks.
Cramer said the Russian news today, along with already increased demand for food from China and Canada, is all great news for the ag stocks, and even though some have already shot higher, he'd still be a buyer.
Cramer said for the high risk crowd, he'd recommend fertilizer giant
, which delivered a 19-cent-a-share earnings beat and noted on its conference call that an inflection point, where demand will outstrip supply, is here.
For the medium risk crowd, Cramer once again recommended
, a stock up 6% since his last recommendation on July 28.
Finally, for conservative investors, Cramer said he still likes seed makers
, both of which are also up nearly 6% since July 28.
Cramer said perhaps the only losers from the grain shortage will be
, two companies whose profits will be hit by higher grain prices. Also on the "don't buy" list is
Archer Daniels Midland
, a stock Cramer said is guilty until proven innocent until it posts some positive quarterly results.
"The ag bull market is here to stay," said Cramer, and investors need to do some homework and get in now.
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Jeff Gardner, president and CEO of
, a regional telco provider Cramer has been behind since June 5, 2008.
Gardner said Windstream is in great shape, and its dividend is more safe now than it was just a few years ago. He said investors need to pay more attention to Windstream's cash flow per share, which has been rising, and less attention on other metrics which don't truly depict the company's health.
Gardner said while the larger telcos are losing 10% of their land lines, Windstream is only losing 3% of their lines thanks to smart bundling of other services. He said the company is transforming into a next-generation telco, and the growth opportunities are in broadband and business services, two areas where Windstream has great prospects.
When asked about future acquisitions, Gardner said Windstream still has lots of room for acquisitions, and all four of the company's deals in 2010 have been accretive to earnings. He said the balance sheet is strong and there are still opportunities out there.
Cramer continued his support of Windstream.
LED Lighting Plays
When it comes to cutting energy costs, the LED lighting business is in the sweet spot, Cramer told viewers, as he recommended three great ways to play the coming death of the incandescent light bulb.
Cramer reminded viewers that in 2007, Congress passed a law increasing energy efficiency in light bulbs starting in 2012. With over 5 billion bulbs in the U.S. alone, this means a huge opportunity for more energy efficient technology.
Cramer said the strongest player is
, a maker of the chips needed to control LED bulbs. Many investors have been selling Cree, citing increased competition, but Cramer said those sellers are dead wrong since the competition is coming from LED screens, which is only 25% of Cree's business. Lighting, he said, accounts for 50% of Cree's business, and is growing.
Cree is already up 117% from its lows, and trades at 25 times earnings, but Cramer said the stock is still cheap given its 22% growth rate and future prospects.
Speculative investors may also want to consider
, a maker of high voltage semiconductors for consumer and industrial electronics, said Cramer. Power Integrations has exposure to the LED market. Also on the list is
, a small player, but one with growing exposure to the group.
Cramer spoke with Keith Jackson, president and CEO of
, a stock that's down 11% since Cramer added it to his mobile Internet index this time last year.
Jackson said there's no doubt in his mind that the growth rate for the semiconductor business is slowing from where it was. He said investors need to come to terms with these slower rates, but that does not mean that the growth cycle is over.
When asked for more specifics, Jackson said that automotive, industrial and wired communications are still strong, as is the insatiable demand for smartphones. However, he said most other consumer markets are more "skittish" and volatile, with suppliers keeping very lean inventory levels.
Cramer said with growth rates slowing, he'd be worried if ON Semi's stock was at its high near $10 a share; but he added with shares trading at just $6, he's not as worried.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
ATP Oil & Gas
( ATPG) and
PAA Natural Gas Storage
-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was not long on any stock mentioned.
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