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NEW YORK (
) -- When all else fails, try investing the old-fashioned way, Jim Cramer told his
TV show viewers on Thursday. He said 2012 is no longer about global economic crises, it's about buying stock in the companies you love.
Cramer said there are still problems in Europe, as evidenced by recent European government bond auctions, and still concerns over Iran, North Korea and others. But Cramer said he's no longer sweating the details of every story that hits the news wires. Why? Because the big-money players, those who would sell on every bit of negative news, are simply no longer a part of this market.
Those big-money naysayers have been replaced, said Cramer, by good old-fashioned individual investors sometimes buying just one share in companies they love. It's a time-tested strategy, he said, buying into the companies that make the products you love or buying into the stores at which you love to shop. If you hold onto those stocks for a period of time, and things don't take a dramatic turn for the worse, you make money.
And that's what 2012 is proving to be all about, said Cramer. As long as American companies are doing well and China appears to be having a soft landing for its economy, "that's like having a pair of kings." In poker, he noted, a pair of kings is often all you need to win.
Sara Lee in Sweet Spot
When companies break up, investors win, Cramer reminded viewers, as he highlighted yet another corporate breakup story,
. He said that shares of Sara Lee should follow in the footsteps of
, two other breakup stocks, and head markedly higher.
Sara Lee announced its breakup plans way back in January 2011, detailing plans to spin off its coffee and tea businesses while retaining its packaged foods businesses, which include everything from Sara Lee deserts to Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farms meat products.
Why should investors care? Well for starters, Sara Lee is offering a $3-a-share special dividend to shareholders when the breakup occurs. Additionally, recent analysis of Sara Lee's various components values the stock 22% higher than where it trades today. Sara Lee plans to update shareholders on its progress at an investors meeting on June 5.
Cramer said there's a lot to like at Sara Lee. The coffee and tea division is benefiting from falling coffee prices, which are boosting margins, while its Senseo one-cup coffee makers are enjoying a 33 million unit install base. The company's remaining meats and packaged foods business is also very well run and seeing an uptick in growth. Cramer said Sara Lee is also poised to be able to raise its dividend once the spin-off is complete.
Investing in Sara Lee will be a slow climb, said Cramer, which is why he would use recent weakness in the stock to get in at attractive prices. Shares of Sara Lee are just 70 cents off their 52-week high and the break up is set to occur in July.
Continuing with his week-long series of great American growth stocks, Cramer turned the spotlight onto
. It is not only a health care company that treats eye problems and migraines, but it is also a leader in medical aesthetics, including Botox and great implants.
Like all of his growth recommendations, Cramer said that Allergan has multiple years of growth ahead of it as it capitalizes on both aging baby boomers and the increasing desire to look younger. Allergan's end markets are huge, while its "pipeline in a product" concept ensures new applications for its already existing products. Cramer said that Allergan is also highly competitive in every arena in which it enters and the company pays a tiny dividend.
International expansion is already 40% of company sales, said Cramer, and the company has a strong management team and balance sheet that includes $2.6 billion in cash. Allergan is not hostage to ailing economies, nor are input costs much of a factor for its continued growth.
That only leaves valuation, a metric where Cramer said Allergan also shines. Shares trade for just 19 times earnings and the company has a 14% long-term growth rate. Cramer called Allergan valuation more than reasonable, especially given the company's growth prospects.
Giving investors another great American growth stock, Cramer also highlighted
, another stock just off its 52-week high.
Celgene has one of the fastest growth rates in its sector, said Cramer, and also huge market potential as a host of new products and new applications for existing products are chugging toward FDA approval. Patent protections will help keep Celgene competitive, while internationally, the company is a powerhouse.
Cramer said that while Celgene is unlikely to offer a dividend anytime soon, the company has done a few well-timed stock buybacks to reward shareholders. Celgene sports a rock-solid balance sheet, said Cramer, and also has a world-class management team with a history of excellent execution.
Is the stock expensive? Cramer said that Celgene trades at just 13.8 times next year's earnings, despite the company's 24% growth rate. Shares become even cheaper, noted Cramer, when using the earnings potential in 2014 and beyond. Shares of Celgene are already up 55% since Cramer first recommended them in November 2009.
Finally, Cramer said that treatments for cancers and other conditions are not held hostage to global economies, and since the company manufactures pills and medicines, input costs are not a factor. Putting it all altogether, Cramer said it's easy to see why Celgene is worthy of a spot on his favorite growth stock list for 2012.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer told investors to follow the clues the markets are leaving for them. He said when
announces sales that are double what analysts are expecting and
pre-announces strong earnings, followed by
announcing sales up by 20%, the clues lead to only one place.
Cramer said that the tailwinds are all lining up for a great quarter at
, and he would be a buyer of the stock, even up near its 52-week high.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on
SPDR Gold Shares
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Cramer was bearish on
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in stocks 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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