Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Back in the Game (Final)

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(Story updated to add Cramer's Lightning Round picks, "Am I Diversified?" segment and concluding remarks.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Your eyes are not deceiving you: Economic activity is picking up.

That's what Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Wednesday. Cramer said it's alright to buy into stocks, as long as investors follow some basic rules.

Making money on companies that you know and love is not a new concept, Cramer told viewers. Before the financial panic made everyone skeptical of just about everything, that's how a lot of money was made, he recalled.

So with long lines appearing again at establishments like Panera Bread ( PNRA), Starbucks ( SBUX) and Apple ( AAPL), which he also owns for his Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, is now the time to buy in?

Cramer said the time is right to get into stocks, as long as investors understand that this method of investing will make some money and lose some money depending on how its done. If you love a company's product and just run out and buy the stock, that's not investing, said Cramer. Investing is doing the homework, finding out if the company has earnings, and whether those earnings are on an upswing, he explained.

If earnings are on the rise, Cramer said investors must next look at the timing. Is it still early in the move, or have you missed the move? "Don't be late to the party," he said, which is why he always recommends buying in stages instead of all at once.

Buy some now, and if the stock pulls back, buy some more. If shares don't pull back, well then you're still in the black and have money ready for the next big market sell-off, he said.

"The retail investor is coming back," Cramer concluded, and it's time to buy American companies with great earnings when the timing is right.

Scrambling for Growth

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Tim Main, president and CEO of Jabil Circuit ( JBL), which just delivered a one-cent-a-share earnings beat with stronger-than-expected revenues which rose 8%. Shares of Jabil are 37% higher since Cramer last spoke with Main this past September.

Main once again painted a bullish picture for Jabil, saying that electronics makers that once relied on the U.S. and Europe for growth must now access global markets, and that's where Jabil provides the most amount of value. He said that Jabil is helping thousands of companies manage their supply chains and grow their businesses.

When asked whether growth is slowing in the enterprise markets, Main said that with government spending falling from last year's levels, enterprise spending has also gotten "choppy." He said momentum should build as 2012 unfolds as Jabil still has solid customer satisfaction and strong margins.

Another plus for Jabil has been customer diversification. Main said after the dot-com collapse, Jabil learned that diversifying its customer base was the only way to protect itself and its investors. That's why Jabil now provides components for not only consumer electronics but also health care, industrial and materials applications. Jabil is also seeing growth in its clean technology businesses, as more and more companies are looking to spend less on energy.

Gaining Market Share

Who benefits from the demise of mom-and-pop men's clothing stores and the consolidation in women's shoe business? According to Cramer, it's Men's Warehouse ( MW) and DSW ( DSW), two purveyors of luxury items at value prices.

Cramer said that Men's Warehouse has been taking market share for years, expanding its reach from 16% of men's suits to 22% today along with nearly one-third of the tuxedo market. Using its massive scale as leverage with its suppliers, Men's Warehouse has also upped its game with buy one, get one offers that have been driving up same-store sales by 7%. The company is still expanding its 1049 store base in the low single digits as well as ramping up their ecommerce operations.

Meanwhile in women's shoes, DSW is offering designer shoes at discount prices at all of its 328 locations. Cramer said DSW has a "winning formula" as it plans to open between 35 and 40 new locations in 2012. DSW last reported a stellar quarter with a three-cent-a-share earnings beat on strong revenue and a 5.6% increase in same store sales.

Cramer said it's no wonder both of these great retailers are just off their 52-week highs.

Am I Diversified?

Cramer spoke with callers to see if their portfolios have what it takes for today's markets. The first caller's portfolio included Phillip Morris ( PM), Duke Energy ( DUK), Starbucks ( SBUX), Intel ( INTC) and Eli Lilly ( LLY).

Cramer said this caller knows how to play the game.

The second caller's top holdings included Verizon ( VZ), AT&T ( T), IBM ( IBM), Pfizer ( PFE) and Xerox ( XRX).

Cramer identified two pair in this portfolio. He said IBM and Xerox were too similar and recommended selling Xerox. He also said that AT&T and Verizon can't live in the same portfolio and recommended selling Verizon. He said this portfolio needs an oil stock and a retailer.

The third caller had IBM ( IBM), Abbott Labs ( ABT), John Deere ( DE), DuPont ( DD) and Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF).

Cramer said "bingo" as this portfolio was diversified.

The fourth caller's top stocks were Bank of America ( BAC), ConocoPhillips ( COP), CVS Caremark ( CVS), Hatteras Financial ( HTS) and Microsoft ( MSFT).

Cramer identified two financials in Bank of America and Hatteras and recommended selling Hatteras in favor of a drug stock such as Abbott Labs from the previous portfolio.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on Spectrum Pharmaceuticals ( SPPI), Hormel Foods ( HRL), Zynga ( ZNGA), Mosaic ( MOS), Deere & Company ( DE), Potash ( POT), Boeing ( BA), Jacobs Engineering ( JEC) and Fluor ( FLR).

Cramer was bearish on World Wrestling Entertainment ( WWE), Electronic Arts ( EA), Teva Pharmaceutical ( TEVA) and Esterline Technologies ( ESL).

America Asserting Muscle

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer once again reiterated that "the times are changing," as America is once again asserting its muscle on the global stage. He said that while the U.S. markets were held captive by the European markets last year, U.S. banks are now flush with cash, ready to take share from their ailing rivals in Europe.

In other industries, companies like Caterpillar ( CAT) are taking share from Japanese rivals, while in aerospace Boeing ( BA), an Action Alerts PLUS holding, is once again beating its European competition.

Cramer said if America gets the political will to use U.S. natural gas rather than foreign oil, our country could once again enter a lengthy period of growth and prosperity.

Cramer remained bullish on Jabil Circuit.

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

To contact the writer of this article, click here: Scott Rutt.

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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple, Boeing.

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

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