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Did you miss last night's "Mad Money" on CNBC? If so, here are Jim Cramer's top takeaways for today's trading.
Darden Restaurants (DRI) - Get Report : After Darden, purveyors of the Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse chains, pulled out an impressive quarter, sending shares up a quick 11%, is it still time to buy?
Cramer said there's no doubt the turnaround at Darden has been impressive. The company installed a new board of directors and a new CEO, sold off its ailing Red Lobster franchise, bought back a ton of its own debt, converted its land holdings into a REIT and implemented countless other restructuring efforts.
The company also now has earnings growth, something it lacked for years. Darden raised its 2016 outlook, announced a stock buyback for 6% of its outstanding shares and sports a 3.1% dividend.
But with all of these positives going in its favor, Cramer asked, what's next? The activist investors who helped spur on these changes are already taking a victory lap, will they be heading for the exits soon? And what about higher labor costs going into 2016 and the possibility of higher gasoline prices crimping sales?
Cramer said at 19 times earnings, he likes Darden only on a sizable pullback because shares represent all of the positives but only a few of the potential negatives going into the new year.
After a string of high-profile disasters, including a ship running aground, an Ebola scare and an engine fire that left passengers adrift for days, Carnival has not only turned around its business, but also its reputation.
Fuel is the biggest expense for a cruise line. Thanks to a 45% reduction in fuel costs, Carnival is enjoying smooth sailing, Cramer noted. The company has also instituted a stock buyback as a sign of confidence and still sports a 2.2% dividend yield while trading at just 16 times earnings.
Cramer said he's a buyer of Carnival right here, as lower fuel costs and the ability to raise prices for guests make for business nirvana.
Biogen Idec (BIIB) - Get Report , Celgene (CELG) - Get Report , Gilead Sciences (GILD) - Get Report and Regeneron (REGN) - Get Report : With the biotech sector outperforming the broader markets and posting 12% gains for the year, Cramer took some time to review his "four horsemen" of biotech as we get ready to enter the new year.
Cramer said Biogen Idec remains a favorite now that the company is addressing its cost issues by laying off 11% of its workforce. He said this stock, which he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, is a good value at 16 times earnings.
Cramer was also bullish on Celgene, which soared 10% Wednesday on news the company settled a patent dispute. Likewise with Gilead Sciences, which is up 9% for the year but still trades at just 8.5 times earnings.
Finally, Cramer gave the nod to Regeneron, which is the most expensive of the group at 35 times earnings but still represents great value.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in BIIB.