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Total Immersion

Jim Cramer is bullish on Total ( TOT), "one of the worst-performing oil stocks out there," because of the company's new attitude toward growth, he said Thursday on his "Mad Money" TV show.

The company, which is headquartered in France, is now so committed to growth, it plans to build a nuclear power plant in Alberta, Canada, just to mine and refine its oil sands there.

It's very expensive to extract oil from oil sands, and it only makes sense when oil is above $40 a barrel, said Cramer. But, "that's where we are, and that's where we're staying" -- Total plans to capitalize on it, he said.

With its stock ending the regular session Thursday at $134.42, Total is "undervalued," said Cramer, and it deserves to be up double the 30% gain it has seen this year.

Cramer sees Total going to $150 and "maybe a whole lot further."

He also mentioned that he liked ConocoPhillips ( COP), Petro-Canada ( PCZ), which also has oil sands, and EnCana ( ECA), which has coal-bed methane.

Cramer recommended doing a 'mon back* on oil and gas stocks if they go down post Hurricane Rita.

Exhale and Contract

Good things happen to good companies, which is why it's important to own best-of-breed stocks, said Cramer. In the oil-service sector, that means owning Halliburton ( HAL), which announced today that its subsidiary KBR had received a large construction contract for a gas-to-liquids facility from a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell ( RD).

Despite the contract win, Halliburton's stock closed the regular session down $1.05 to $65.20.

Cramer said Halliburton's stock would move back up once analysts figure out how beneficial the contract will be, and raise their earnings estimates.

Don't wait for that to happen, he said. Get in before that. Even at $65, the stock is a "huge buy," Cramer said.

Cramer is also bullish on equipment makers that supply such construction contracts as Ingersoll-Rand ( IR) and Caterpillar ( CAT).

Commenting on Sears Holdings ( SHLD), Cramer said Sears director Steve Mnuchin purchased 265,000 shares of Sears Tuesday and Wednesday on the open market, thus reinforcing Cramer's long-term bullish view on the stock.

Biloxi Blues

"MarketWatch" senior columnist Herb Greenberg joined Cramer to talk about the "excuse game" many companies have played with the hurricanes in the Gulf.

Greenberg mentioned Avon ( AVP), Apollo Group ( APOL), McCormick ( MKC), Estee Lauder ( EL) and Tempur-Pedic ( TPX) as all having trotted out the hurricane excuses.

Which companies are telling the truth? asked Cramer.

One company Greenberg believes "deserves a pass" is Isle of Capri Casinos ( ISLE), which is located in Biloxi, Miss., and had to close some of its casinos.

Greenberg also said Belo ( BLC) and Landry's Restaurants ( LNY) might also deserve passes because of the hurricanes but added, "You never know if that becomes a scapegoat."

Cramer also asked Greenberg about a "curious" conversation Greenberg had with Flanders' ( FLDR) CEO Steven Clark.

Greenberg, who has written negatively on Flanders, said Clark became angry with him in the middle of an interview and cut the interview short, accusing Greenberg of misidentifying himself as an official with the Nasdaq rather than a reporter from "MarketWatch."

Cramer said of the situation, "There are question marks when you play with the Flanders," adding that he thinks Greenberg is right to be cautious on the company.

Ascending Order

Cramer said that Cendant ( CD) is "too hated" right now and that if the company breaks itself up, "I think it can make you a lot of money."

Cendent is a "hodge podge" of businesses that don't fit together, Cramer said, and Wall Street wants pure plays. Cendant is undervalued because Wall Street has a difficult time valuing "hybrids."

Cramer said a Citigroup research report Thursday put Cendant's value at as high as $28 if the company splits itself up, recapitalizes and buys back stock.

Even if Cendant doesn't split up, said Cramer, he doesn't see much downside. "I'm making this stock 1 down and 10 up," he said. Cendant ended the regular trading session at $20.43.

Commenting on news after the close, Cramer said Alcoa ( AA) "may be the worst big-cap company I've every seen," and Linens 'n Things ( LIN) was "disappointing." He would sell both stocks.

Lightning Round

Bullish

Cramer was bullish on Varian Medical Systems ( VAR), Banco Bradesco ( BBD), United Parcel Service ( UPS), Dresser-Rand Group ( DRC), Exelon ( EXC), Natural Gas Services ( NGS), UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), Caremark Rx ( CMX), Commerce Bancorp ( CBH), Psychiatric Solutions ( PSYS), Southwestern Energy ( SWN), Sunoco ( SUN), Skyworks Solutions ( SWKS), PepsiCo ( PEP), Abbott Laboratories ( ABT), Federal Realty Investment Trust ( FRT) and Apple Computer ( AAPL).

Bearish

Cramer was bearish on Pep Boys -- Manny, Moe & Jack ( PBY), TiVo ( TIVO), FedEx ( FDX), H.J. Heinz ( HNZ), OraSure Technologies ( OSUR), Champion Enterprises ( CHB), Panacos Pharmaceuticals ( PANC), Ventana Medical Systems ( VMSI), Simon Property ( SPG) and Avon.

*For all you home-gamers, a 'mon-back opportunity means Cramer would back up the figurative truck and load up on a stock.
1. Pigs Get Slaughtered 2. It's OK to Pay the Taxes
3. Don't Buy All at Once 4. Buy Damaged Stocks
5. Diversify to Control Risk 6. Do Your Homework
7. Don't Panic 8. Buy Best-of-Breed
9. Defend Some Stocks 10. Don't Bet on Bad Stocks
11. Own Fewer Names 12. Cash Is for Winners
13. No Regrets 14. Expect Corrections
15. Know Bonds 16. Don't Subsidize Losers
17. No Room for Hope 18. Be Flexible
19. Quit When Execs Do 20. Patience Is a Virtue
21. Be a TV Critic 22. When to Wait 30 Days
23. Beware the Hype 24. Explain Your Picks
25. Find the Bull Market

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Halliburton, EnCana, Commerce Bancorp, Cendant, UnitedHealth Group and Sears Holdings.

James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for ActionAlertsPLUS. While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by clicking here. Listen to Cramer's RealMoney Radio show on your computer; just click here. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" at 6 p.m. ET weeknights on CNBC. Click here to order Cramer's latest book, "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click here to get his second book, "You Got Screwed!" and click here to order Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict."

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