'RealMoney' Radio Recap: Shaw Group Redemption

When you hear there is more money coming to the Southeast to repair hurricane damage, it means money for Shaw Group ( SGR), Jim Cramer told "RealMoney" radio show listeners on Wednesday.

The start of the 2006 hurricane season is only three months away, and more money is being asked for in order to repair bridges, to strengthen levees and rebuild what needs rebuilding in the region, Cramer said.

The reason he believes Shaw Group will get these contracts is because it's based in Baton Rouge, La.

He also said the stock has been sinking like a stone because people believed there was no more rebuilding money going to Katrina-related repairs, creating a buying opportunity in a company that could move higher as it wins these new contracts.

Buy American, Buy Toyota

The best American car company out there isn't even American, Cramer told listeners. He said that it's Toyota ( TM), and that it could make you a lot of money.

"Toyota is a great American car company," Cramer said, pointing out it is the automaker that will hire the most American workers in the next three years.

And Fortune magazine called the Japanese-based company one of the best American companies.

The Big Three automakers -- Ford ( F), GM ( GM) and DaimlerChrysler ( DCX) -- have dropped their rebates and incentives, replacing them with lower prices, he said.

"When I hear that the incentives are being cut back, I start to think who will sell more cars," Cramer said. And he believes that Toyota will fill the void.

The Next Enron?

"As you do your homework on a stock you may buy, have you ever thought that the whole company is corrupt?" Cramer asked listeners.

Take a look at Enron, he said. "You'll hear about all sorts of bad things that were happening at Enron," he said, adding that he knew before the collapse that something was wrong at the energy trading company.

It had all the appearances of a pyramid scheme," he said.

The warning signs to look for, a la Enron, include taking down too much debt. Enron borrowed more than they had, he said.

Silencing critics is another sign, which he said Enron did to him. "If you have conviction about your business ... who cares what the Cramers say," he said.

Insiders unloading is another clue, he said, as is an earnings report that is impossible to understand.

Every quarter looked like a blowout quarter at Enron, but the company couldn't -- and wouldn't -- say how it was making money.

Cramer said that Take-Two Interactive ( TTWO) fits that pattern.

One of the company's executives recently quit and sent a note to the board that said the company has no idea what it's doing, he said, showing that there is panic among executives on top of its big financial losses.

And best of all, the stock is up $1.50, so investors are "in great shape to ring the register" and get out before real cracks show up in the story.

Profiting From Ports

In the showdown over the Dubai Ports deal, Cramer said there will be a surefire winner if it goes through.

No matter who runs the port system, there will be a massive "spend-a-thon" to make sure that the surveillance and security remains in U.S. hands, he said, which will translate into money for Flir Systems ( FLIR), a company that makes infrared technology that enables users to see-through metal cargo holds.

Bar-code company Symbol Technologies ( SBL) will also get business if the deal goes through, but this is not a stock to own, he said.

Cramer, who once owned the stock for his charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS, believes that Symbol is one of the worst-run companies in the world.

There will be a bar code on every ship and government money will flow in, but "some companies can't execute and Symbol is one of them," he said.

Homework Bound

Cramer gave listeners his guidelines for picking stocks, saying that he does "buy and homework," not "buy and hold."

He said that you need a manageable number of stocks, because he recommends an hour per week per stock dedicated to learning about each choice. So he said that five is a good number.

If you can't do that homework, he said to just go for a good mutual fund. But if you do pick stocks, he said to use resources including the company's Web site, the site he started -- TheStreet.com -- and Yahoo! Finance.

He also said that the stocks must be diversified. "We're fallible," he said, and spreading the risk into many different baskets will help minimize any disasters.

He said he would own an oil, drug, banking and tech player, as well as a fifth pick of your choice -- "even a speculative one."

In his ActionAlerts Plus portfolio, his oil pick is Occidental ( OXY) because it's inexpensive. He owns biotech company Cephalon ( CEPH), Commerce Bancorp ( CBH) and Qualcomm ( QCOM) for tech.

As for a fifth choice, he said to look around at what is in your realm of experiences. Maybe you like a certain restaurant, like Olive Garden, he said. Then you could invest in the company that owns it, Darden ( DRI). You'll know when business is slowing because there won't be a long line anymore.

You have to do the homework even if you pick stocks that he recommends, Cramer said, because you need to have conviction in what you're investing in.

Plus, he said that once a stock is out of the bag and everyone knows the story, there's not a lot of sense in investing in it. For example, he said, Google ( GOOG) has become "a total battleground." So, move on and find something that's more simple, he said.

"Instead of buying Google, pick up some Yahoo! ( YHOO)," he said, noting that he owns Yahoo! for his charitable trust. "Google is up 170 points from its 52-week low ... Yahoo! is sitting at its 52-week low."

As for stocks he needs us out of, he said it's time to ring the register on True Religion Apparel ( TRLG). The company only makes denim under its brand, True Religion, but he has heard from his sources that jeans are out and a more formal apparel look is in.

The stock has doubled and it's time to go, Cramer said.

Finding an Edge

Cramer told a caller that TiVo ( TIVO) is up from its 52-week low, but down only a couple dollars from its high, putting it in a "no man's land."

It could go up a couple or down a couple of points after it reports this afternoon, he said, adding that he can't get behind a stock where there's no edge. Plus, he said that he believes its core business is not that great.

He said that even though OptionsXpress ( OXPS) is coming down quite a bit, it just boosted its dividend and got top ratings in Barron's for its service and the personal experiences that users had.

He added that the fact that the NYSE ( NYX) has gone public has put pressure on the stock, and that this dip could be seen as a buying opportunity.

A caller asked about two stocks Cramer had previously been bullish on, Myogen ( MYOG) and ZymoGenetics ( ZGEN).

They are biotech companies so they're very speculative, he said. Myogen disappointed a lot of people when it did not get a takeover bid, he said, adding that the stock has been on a major tear and is now experiencing a pause.

He would still buy, but would not be aggressive about buying, and he would wait for more hot money to come out of the stock before "pulling the trigger."

Cramer said ZymoGenetics, whose products are marketed by Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), has "good bloodlines," and that he likes that its products are not dependent on the strength of the economy.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Commerce Bancorp, Cephalon, Occidental Petroleum, Qualcomm and Yahoo!

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 Action Alerts PLUS. 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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