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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "The time to buy tech is when they're the most hated," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Monday. And that time, he emphasized, is decisively now. Cramer said he had to go all the way back to 2003, at the end of the dot com bubble, to find a time when tech stocks have been as hated as they are right now. He said other than a few standouts like Salesforce.com ( CRM), tech stocks are trading at historically low multiples. Cramer said the risk reward for these stocks is now just too compelling to ignore. He noted that Marvell Technologies ( MRVL), whose CEO appeared on "Mad Money" on Friday, trades at a P/E less than 10, despite its 16% growth rate. To put things in perspective, Cramer said "boring" DuPont ( DD - Get Report) trades at a multiple 50% higher.
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Opportune TimingIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Larry Nichols, co-founder and executive chairman of Devon Energy ( DVN), which sold its Gulf of Mexico oil rigs last year in order to expand into natural gas. Nichols said the timing of those transactions, in light of the BP ( BP - Get Report) Gulf disaster, was indeed lucky, but even before the accident, Devon saw the risk reward from the Gulf as just not being worth the investment. Nichols said that he's surprised that the price of natural gas, which broke $5 today, has been so high this early in the season with so many companies drilling. He said the prices points to strong demand, and the expectation of natural gas replacing coal-fired power plants. When asked about the prospects for natural gas in Washington, Nichols said that natural gas is the only fuel that doesn't need subsidies or mandates. He said it just needs Washington to get out of its way and let the fuel compete on a level playing field. Nichols noted that in the past, the natural gas industry didn't have the resources to provide long-term contracts, but today, it does. He said that if large companies or utilities wanted a 10- or 20-year contract for gas, they could provide it, thereby lessening the price volatility of the fuel for everyone. Finally, when asked about the recent natural gas well explosion in Pennsylvania, Nichols said that there will be accidents in any human endeavor, but they're very rare, given the tens of thousands of wells that have been drilled over the years. He said in the case of the Pennsylvania accident, no one was injured, nothing was damaged, and the situation was brought under control quickly. "Basically, nothing happened," he said.
Dividend KingsCramer told viewers they need to immunize themselves against the next big downturn by adding companies to their portfolio that not only have dividends, but also raise them. Cramer said dividend increases always tell the truth, as evidence by his Feb 8th basket of five dividend raisers that included Hasbro ( HAS), Ross Stores ( ROST) and Wyndham Resorts ( WYN). This basket has risen 16% since then, while the S&P 500 has only risen by 3%. Since history has a tendency to repeat itself, Cramer said he looked at the seven companies that recently raised their dividends to pick another set of winners. Cramer said he's a fan of Caterpillar ( CAT), which raised its dividend by 5% at the beginning of what's likely a multi-year construction cycle. He also gave a nod to FedEx ( FDX), which raised its dividend by 9%. FedEx, he said, trades at 14 times earnings despite its 14% long-term growth rate. Cramer also noted National Fuel Gas ( NFG), which also boosted its dividend and has cheap holdings in the Marcellus shale. But Cramer's highest praise went to Del Monte Foods ( DLM), which boosted its dividend by a whopping 80%, and retailer Target ( TGT), which delivered a 47% hike to its dividend. Cramer said both of these companies are strong performers, and their dividend boosts are signs of strength and of good things to come.