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Though he's no Angelina Jolie, Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers on Thursday that they need to adopt some orphans.
Orphan stocks, that is, meaning public companies that Wall Street has decided to ignore.
"Perfection is anathema in moneymaking. ... Perfect stocks are massively overcovered by analysts," he said, referring to names such as
Here Comes the Sun
It's hard to make money in the big guys because you can't get an edge, he said, adding that they're in the spotlight of "too much money, too many analysts and too much information."
That's where the orphans come in, he said -- unknown stocks with no sponsorship that have the potential to be the next Ciscos and Dells once they get support.
If you pick well, Cramer said that "the sun will come out tomorrow," but that some orphans are "out and out dangerous," even if they're sweet on the surface.
To distinguish between orphan and already adopted, and good from bad, Cramer said to start with companies covered by two analysts or fewer. Plus, the company can't be worth more than $2 billion. He prefers plays that are worth $1 billion or less.
These stocks are "absolutely more risky," he warned, "but going to the orphans is risky business."
He also said to look for companies in "the provinces" rather than in large cities, since this increases the likelihood that they'll be unknown.
A good kid is often identified by insider buying, he added, while a "problem child" is a company full of executives lining their pockets with options.
You want the people at the top to be in it with you and own stocks, he said.
The company should also not have a lot of baggage in the form of debt, he said, and should have organic growth that's paying for itself.
To show that his orphan thesis is more than a frivolous musical starring a singing and dancing Albert Finney, Cramer gave viewers five ex-orphans that made investors a lot of money if they got in before Wall Street adopted them.
The first was
. Two years ago, it was a $10 stock, and the company was worth $400 million he said.
The company makes products for noninvasive surgery that "gets people out of the hospital faster," and it was only a matter of time before it caught Wall Street's eye, he said, adding that it's now a $4 billion company.
It's hard to remember this far back, but just five short years ago,
( WFMI) was another orphan, Cramer said. It was worth $1.7 billion with 117 stores, and now it's worth over $9 billion and has 175 stores.
"That is a great adoption story," he said, adding that Wall Street can't get enough of the stock.
, which Cramer owns for his charitable trust
Action Alerts PLUS, was his third adoptee.
The company invented the idea that banking can be like retail, and the stock has soared, he said.
was a company no one cared about when it was spun off from
It went on an acquisition binge, consolidated its assets and is now worth over $11 billion, he said.
Women's clothing retailer
was his last rags-to-riches story. He said that in five years, the company has multiplied its store count 3 1/3 times, the stock value has soared and Wall Street has taken notice.
Cramer said why viewers must adopt an orphan, citing examples of orphans that sat up straight, looked smart and didn't put strychnine in the well. Finally, he told investors about five abandoned stocks they could make their very own.
But before he would cough up the plays, Cramer reminded viewers that they have to do their homework before they buy any of these stocks. Moreover, he told viewers to study up and email him at madmoney@cnbc, to tell him the stock they like best and why.
The winning orphan will be announced on the Friday, June 2 show.
The first stock was
, which makes explosion-bonding metals that are used in hot sectors, such as the oil patch and defense.
It's a $320 million company covered by a single analyst that initiated coverage with a buy. It has a 6% debt-to-capital ratio, which means "it shouldn't go belly up," Cramer said.
He said that
rents, leases and sells test and measuring gear used for certain kinds of high-speed Internet. It's a $421 million company with no debt, and only one analyst covers the stock.
Cramer said that its earnings grew at about 90% last year, that they may be flat this year and should bounce back to 28% next year. "Make of that what you will," he said.
collects information on the traffic flow of Internet applications and monitors the performance of the underlying network; and Cramer said it is the only company that offers this service.
There's one analyst that has rated the stock a buy and put an $11 price target on it. The shares currently trade at more than $8.
Cramer said it has no debt and has delivered positive sequential revenue growth for the last 11 quarters.
is a drilling and construction company that has its hand in the water, minerals and energy businesses. The analyst who covers it says it's a buy because anything with exposure to water "should be steaming," Cramer said.
is an oil and gas exploration and production company in the U.S. and Gabon.
Cramer said that it had an interesting conference call and that the idea of an orphan in the oil and drilling space makes him drool.
Hunt Ramsbottom, president and chief executive of
, joined Cramer to discuss the company's move toward a commercial phase, where it will be able to start making money.
The alternative-energy developer will begin work at a facility in Illinois, Ramsbottom said. Moreover, his company has been tapped by the state of Mississippi to develop clean-energy alternatives for the area.
Rentech was asked to work with the state after last year's hurricanes and has received a "tremendous amount of momentum with state and federal government," he added.
Cramer pointed out that the company's equity offering on April 18 is doing well and that shareholders seem to be happy, but asked if we should be concerned about insider selling at the company.
Ramsbottom said that these sellers have been with the company for 20 years and are getting ready to retire. He doesn't believe that the selling is indicative of anything more at the company.
To view Cramer's interview with Ramsbottom, please click here
Cramer was bullish on
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners
Bank of America
World Wrestling Entertainment
Cramer was bearish on
For more of Cramer's insights during the most recent Lightning Round, click here.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Sears Holdings, Nabors Industries, Commerce Bancorp and Microsoft.
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