Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: In Praise of CEOs (Final)

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "How the markets can rise above the doom and gloom and give us great days like today," Jim Cramer asked the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday.

The answer: leadership. Cramer said he's celebrating CEOs, the men and women who run great multi-national companies that continue to reinvent themselves and generate profits for their shareholders.

Cramer said there's a long list of great companies that are profiting from constant innovation, companies like 3M ( MMM), which has long left its "Minnesota Mining" roots and now derives a full one-third of its profits from products that didn't exist three years ago.

Then there are companies like Caterpillar ( CAT), said Cramer. Caterpillar transformed itself from a domestic tractor maker to the international leader in construction machinery.

And the list continues, said Cramer, from companies like UPS ( UPS), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS , which grew from packages into logistics, VF Corp ( VFC), which evolved from jeans to sportswear, and yes, of course there's Apple ( AAPL), another Action Alerts Plus name.

Cramer said Apple, under Steve Jobs, transformed itself from a personal computer maker into the greatest, and most profitable, cell phone company in the world. The company's iPod continues to evolve, and new products, like the iPad, are just the latest signs of constant innovation.

Leadership makes the difference, said Cramer, and that's why he wants to celebrate the great CEOs of the world.

Sell Block

"When a company you own gets a takeover bid, you sell," Cramer told viewers at the beginning of his Thursday "Sell Block" segment. But he said sometimes there are exceptions to the rule.

Take Quest Communications ( Q), a stock which Cramer last recommended on March 16 and which is up 16% since that call. On April 22, Quest received a takeover bid from CenturyLink ( CTL). Cramer said based on current prices, Quest shares will top out at $5.91 a share when the deal closes, making its upside limited.

"Quest is a sell, said Cramer, as he recommended AT&T ( T) and Vodaphone ( VOD), two stocks with more profits and higher growth.

The exception to the "sell-on-takeovers" rule is Airgas ( ARG), said Cramer, a company in a hostile fight with Air Products ( APD). Airgas rejected Air Products latest bid just yesterday, after the company delivered its second best quarterly results ever on margins that are near record levels.

Cramer said Airgas has a history of creating value, and Airgas could trade as high as $80 a share, just on its own merits. He advised shareholders to vote against the merger.

In other Sell Block news, Cramer told shareholders that the 16-point drop in Netflix ( NFLX) was an overreaction, and he would not sell the stock. "The story is still intact," he said. The quarter was good, but not good enough.

And finally, following up on two IPOs from last week, Cramer said Greendot ( GDOT) got the big spike he forecast, but now is the time to ring the register. And Ameresco ( AMRC), he said, jumped pm;u 2.5% on its IPO, as predicted, but the company is still a keeper.

Realistic Talks

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again spoke with Dan DiMicco, chairman and CEO of Nucor ( NUE), a stock which Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS . Shares on Nucor are down 21% from its highs as the company reported a three-cent a share earnings beat and cautious guidance.

DiMicco led off by saying not to confuse realism with a lack of optimism. He said he believes strongly in America, and its people, but his company has a track record of speaking realistically, even if that involves a lousy market.

DiMicco said that Nucor is performing well in that lousy market, with a strong increased in profit margins and a slight boost in total shipments. He also said the company has a strong cash position and is adding to its growth platform for the future.

Turning towards Washington, DiMicco was less optimistic, saying that Washington has been "doing it wrong" for two years and is not creating the jobs the economy needs for a meaningful recovery. He said as a leader in a major industry, he feels the responsibility to speak up politically, and he has been doing so. "Our leaders are not creating jobs," he said, "and that's unfortunate for the millions that want to get back to work."

DiMicco noted that at Nucor, the company has a no layoff policy, and during the tough times they scale back hours, but never lay off. "Our people share in the gain, and they share in the pain," he said, but on the positive side, Nucor can ramp up quicker and doesn't incur hiring or training costs when things get going again.

Cramer continued his praise and support for both DiMicco and Nucor.

Signs of a Turnaround

Cramer spoke with Richard Kinder, chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP), which has enjoyed a 64% return since Cramer first recommended it in April of 2007. During the same period, he noted, the S&P 500 fell 21%.

Kinder said his company had a good quarter, with all of its products holding up very well in this difficult environment. He said Kinder Morgan is seeing the beginning of a turnaround in airline fuels and hope the trend continues.

Kinder also said his job is to produce cash and distribute it to his shareholders. That's why he's excited about a new project to build a 240-mile pipeline through Ohio, to connect the company's existing pipeline to the Marcellus shale region in Pennsylvania.

When asked about whether Kinder Morgan would take the utility side of its business public and compete with the existing master limited partnership, Kinder said the company has no made a decision, but if it were to happen, the new entity would be a corporation, and would not compete with the existing MLP.

Finally, Kinder said he hopes the administration will put emphasis on natural gas before the country becomes an exporter of its most abundant fuel. He said it would be a shame to export the clean-burning natural gas while importing foreign oil.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on Devon Energy ( DVN), NVIDIA ( NVDA), ( CRM) and VMware ( VMW).

He was bearish on Rackspace Hosting ( RAX).

-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington D.C.

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his latest book by clicking here.

For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, click here .
At the time of publication, Cramer was long UPS, Apple, Nucor.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of 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, 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 is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.

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