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NEW YORK (
) -- "If good investing wasn't risky, everyone would be rich," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Monday, as he defended his call last Thursday to buy the financial stocks as Washington moves towards adopting financial reforms.
Cramer said he's taken a lot of criticism for his gutsy call, but he's standing by his position. He said in order to take advantage of this market, investors need to take some risks. Taking risks is not being reckless, while not taking risks is reckless, he argued.
Cramer said his call on the banks was based on history and experience, both of which told him that the rhetoric and uncertainty surrounding the financials has simply taken these stocks so low that the downside is minimal. He said that it's his view that any pending legislation will be benign and not have substantial impacts on the banks' earnings.
"We've been here before," Cramer recounted, as he recalled his October 2009 call to buy the health care stocks ahead of the then pending health care reforms. Then too, said Cramer, the dislike of these stocks was palpable.
But in the case of
, and dozens others, Cramer said his then "risky" recommendation proved to be the right call.
Cramer said history has repeated this pattern, whether it was tobacco legislation in the 1990s, attacks on the drug companies, credit card companies or healthcare stocks. Cramer said each time the correct call has been to buy on weakness, buy at the bottom, and reap the rewards.
"Don't be misled by the headlines," he said, adding sometimes investing means taking risks.
Hot Earnings Sectors
Looking to make a profit from this quarters' earnings season? Cramer kicked off a week-long series of the five sectors with the biggest earnings beats this quarter.
Cramer said his first sector which delivered huge upside surprises was travel and leisure. He said this group has been dead on arrival for quite some time, and just about everyone on Wall Street thought it would never recover. That was, until this quarters' earnings.
Cramer said companies like
Royal Caribbean Cruises
delivered spectacular earnings. The company posted a one-cent a share profit, while Wall Street was looking for a five-cent-a-share loss. Royal Caribbean saw revenue increase by 12.1%, while costs per passenger fell by 2.2%.
Cramer also noted
, an online bookings services that delivered a 15 cent a share profit, an eight- cent beat, on stronger revenue that was up 24% from year-ago levels.
But Cramer gave top honors to
, which posted 13-cents-a-share in earnings, a full 11 cents higher that forecasts. Cramer last recommended Starwood on March 1, and has seen the shares rise 41%. He the run is far from over.
Cramer said Starwood has years of growth ahead of it, thanks in part to its international expansion and crippled financing preventing competitors from building new hotels. He said the company's growth in the emerging markets of China and India are also impressive.
Cramer also gave a final nod to
, which he blessed as a trade ahead of the company's earnings this week.
When it comes to footwear giant
, Cramer said it's time to "just do it" and buy the stock. He said while other footwear makers have seen their stocks soars, Nike shares are up just 5% since Cramer began highlighting the group. But he said that's about to change.
Cramer said Nike is scheduled to have an analysts day this Wednesday, the company's first in three years. Historically, Nike's stock has shot up 1% on its analyst days, and 3% shortly thereafter, but this year, Cramer noted, the company has a terrific story to tell.
Nike reported $1.01 a share in earnings when it reported on March 17, a full 12 cents a share over analyst estimates. The company's trimmed costs by 3%, thanks in part to lower commodity costs, and inventories are down a full 12% from year ago levels. All of this, combined with expanding gross margins , huge online sales, and an aggressive expansion strategy make Nike a real winner, said Cramer.
Cramer said Nike's key metric is its future orders, a system that allows retailers to lock in prices months ahead of taking delivery. According to Cramer, Nike's future orders have signaled that a turn in its business has arrived.
Cramer said Nike is also an international story, with 65% of the company's sales coming from outside of the U.S., and orders up 9% in China alone. Nike expects to expand in China from 300 to some 500 cities in the coming quarters.
Cramer said given the bullishness of the other footwear makers, and the fact that Nike still has 10 analysts with hold ratings on its shares, the time to buy Nike is now.
He said he'd be a buyer ahead of the analyst day, but wouldn't chase the stock if it trades too high before the meeting. In that case, he said, wait for some weakness before pulling the trigger.
Cramer followed up on
, which is up 31% since Cramer last recommend it on Sept 17. He said the stock is still worth owning, especially for its growth and 6.5% dividend yield.
Cramer told another viewer that he's still bullish on
, despite the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Finally, Cramer told a viewer that he's also still bullish on chip designer
and would be a buyer of that stock as well.
Cramer was bullish on
RF Micro Devices
He was bearish on
-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was not long any stock mentioned.
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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