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"This is the year of natural gas," Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Tuesday.
As oil and coal gets more expensive, people are turning to natural gas to meet their increasing energy needs, he said.
Cramer Interviews CSX Corp. CEO
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El Paso Energy
( EP), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, as his new favorite natural gas company. El Paso owns and operates the largest natural gas pipeline in the U.S. and has one of the largest exploration and production operations in the country.
Cramer said that El Paso's two businesses -- exploration and production on one hand and pipeline on the other -- have made the company confusing to many investors and have been keeping its share price down. But he said there has been talk of the company splitting its two businesses and unleashing its hidden value.
The stock has been largely overlooked because it has risen only 3% this year compared with an average of 30% for its peers.
Regardless of whether the company splits or stays together, Cramer says both businesses are "on fire." El Paso's exploration and production business grew earnings at 92% year over year in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile the company also plans on investing $4 billion to expand its pipeline network.
Cramer cited strong insider buying as yet another reason to own the stock.
Bottom line: "El Paso is the cheapest natural gas play out there," he said.
Natural Gas Drilling Boom
Cramer continued on his natural gas theme and once again recommended
, the largest land driller of natural gas here in the U.S.
Cramer once again welcomed Gene Isenberg, chairman and CEO of Nabors, to the show to discuss what he calls "the year of natural gas."
Isenberg, who once said told viewers of Cramer's show that it wasn't time to buy his stock, now said the fundamentals of his industry have changed in his company's favor. He cited the rising cost of oil and coal as one of the driving forces behind people once again turning to the more affordable and cleaner burning natural gas.
Isenberg also predicted increased drilling both here in the U.S. and in the oil shale fields of Canada. He stopped short of predicting a shortage of drilling rigs, but he did say that he expects strong demand for all available rigs in the coming years.
Cramer reiterated his buy on Nabors.
An Energy Conservation Play
as his next featured environmental stock for "green week." Itron manufactures electricity and water meters to help monitor and conserve utilities, which makes it the perfect "green" play, according to Cramer.
Itron is No. 1 in its industry, commanding a 50% market share. "Itron controls its own destiny," said Cramer.
The company is well-positioned, doing most of its business overseas and is not tied to the ailing U.S. economy and falling dollar.
Cramer also said Itron should benefit from an upcoming product upgrade cycle. He said he was drawn to the company for its valuation as well. The company trades at just 22 times its earnings, but has a 24% long-term growth rate.
"Itron may not be flamboyantly green," said Cramer, "but it's a cheap stock in a great business."
Environnmentally Friendly Rail
In honor of Earth Day, Cramer welcomed Michael Ward, Chairman, President and CEO of
to the show to discuss his company's environmental side.
Ward explained that railroads are the most environmentally friendly form of transportation. He said his company saved over 900,000 gallons of fuel by using new technologies in their trains. He said the use of his railroad is the equivalent of taking one million cars off the road each year.
On the business side, Ward said his company is still seeing export strength in coal, fertilizers and ethanol, which he said is more than offsetting weakness in housing and other sectors.
He remains focused on creating shareholder value, after having recently announced an increase in the company's dividend and stock repurchase program.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
Briggs & Stratton
Cramer was bullish on
Cramer was bearish on
International Coal Group
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long El Paso.
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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