NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --"It was terrific that we bounced off the lows today, but we're not out of the woods yet," Jim Cramer warned the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Tuesday, as he encouraged them to stay defensive and stick with high-yielding stocks and a healthy portion of gold. Cramer said there were a few bright spots in today's action, with stocks like Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), along with Amazon.com ( AMZN), Chipotle Mexican Grill ( CMG) and Apple ( AAPL), a stock which Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
To Performing Stocks"The market may be horrible, but there are still fantastic opportunities," Cramer reminded viewers as he examined the top performing stocks since the market lows of 2009. He said stocks like these should remind investors that when solid companies fall out of favor, they can still deliver remarkable returns. While the S&P 500 has risen 76% since the lows of 2009, auto parts maker Dana ( DAN) has returned 5,200%, which puts it at No. 4 on Cramer's list of top performers. Cramer said Dana proves the power of turnaround and how even a company that declares bankruptcy can make a comeback. Third on Cramer's list was Jazz Pharmaceuticals ( JAZZ), up 6,642% from it's lows. Cramer said a $310 investment back then would have be worth $20,900 today, as orphan drug makers like Jazz, BioMarin Pharamaceuticals ( BMRN) and Pharmasset ( VRUS) have virtual monopolies on their markets. Coming in as runner-up was Pier 1 Imports ( PIR), up an astounding 7,173% from its 2009 lows. A $75 investment back then would be worth $5,455 today, said Cramer, as Pier 1 proves that executing on a substantial improvement plan can make all the difference. Finally, topping the list was Dollar Thrifty Automotive ( DTG), which delivered an 8,326% return over the past two and a half years. Cramer said Dollar Thrifty teaches us about how scarcity can create a huge premium when it comes to takeovers. Cramer said Zipcar ( ZIP), down some 27% from its recent IPO, is also an attractive play in this space. Of all of these big winners, Cramer said Pier 1 would be the one to own today, as the company is still executing on its turnaround plans and has yet to realize its full value.
Stellar Stocks"You can still find individual stocks worth owning," said Cramer, as he continued looking back at history, this time towards stocks that have outperformed over the past five years after the markets have remained flat. In the fourth position was travel destination Priceline.com ( PCLN), which rose 1,475% over the past five years. Cramer said Priceline is simply a better way to save money and the company now dominates its industry. Coming in third was Questcor Pharmaceuticals ( QCOR), another orphan drug maker. Questcor has delivered a 1,576% return over five years, meaning investors could have turned an $835 investment into $10,000, even after selling half their shares as the stock doubled. In second place, China's Baidu ( BIDU), was up 1,698%. Cramer said buying 500 shares of Baidu for $3,900 would have netted $34,688 after selling half your shares after they initially doubled. He said Baidu has been the only Chinese stock worth investing in, and still is. Finally, getting top honors was Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR), whose Keurig coffee brewers have revolutionized coffee making at home. Shares of Green Mountain are up 3,585% over the past five years. A $1,400 investment would be worth $25,750, after selling half on the first double. Cramer said the Keurig is as important as the microwave or cell phone and this company is not done growing.