Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Still Bullish After Selloff (Final)

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Complacency was the word of the day on Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" TV show Monday, as he told viewers that 2012 is shaping up to be markedly different than 2011, which means the word complacency takes on a whole new meaning.

Cramer responded to critics who have been complaining that he's been too bullish on the markets and is too confident that stocks are heading higher. The critics want Cramer to recommend selling everything, ahead of the old adage "sell in May and go away," starting with today's selloff.

But Cramer reminded viewers that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has plunged more than 250 points 67 times over the past few years, and today was not one of them. The markets have plunged more than 2% a total of 101 times over the past few years, and today was not one of them. Things are simply better now, added Cramer, which is why being complacent, thinking things are still the same as they were in 2011, is the reckless strategy.

Cramer said if investors truly feel that the Federal Reserve controls stock prices, by all means, sell. But, he said, that decision will keep investors out of stocks like Apple ( AAPL), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS , and others like Starbucks ( SBUX) and Las Vegas Sands ( LVS), all of which are markedly higher.

Cramer said, in his view, if the Fed stops stimulating the economy, then that means things are getting better, and if not, they'll still continue to assist the markets. In either case, investors win.

There's a lot to like in these markets, said Cramer, which is why a more positive outlook is the prudent one, one that can capitalize on the market's 20% move so far this year.

Great American Growth Companies

"The era of anti-investing is over," Cramer proclaimed to viewers, as he kicked off a week-long series featuring great American growth companies. He said the era of mindlessly trading sectors or ETFs based on meaningless metrics like "risk on" is over. Once again, investors want solid companies with solid growth.

So what should investors be looking for in a growth stock? Cramer identified 10 characteristics.

1. A clear growth plan. Can the company provide visibility on from where its earnings will be coming?

2. A market for products. Are the company's markets big enough to provide growth?

3. Competition. Can the company dominate its industry?

4. Capital for shareholders. Can the company reward its shareholders?

5. International expansion. What are the company's prospects overseas?

6. Balance sheet. Does the company have a rock-solid balance sheet to fuel its growth?

7. Valuation. Is the stock expensive based on the earnings it currently has?

8. Strong management. Is the leadership team strong enough to power the growth?

9. Secular growth. Does the company need economic expansion in order to win?

10. Margin growth. Is the company susceptible to higher input costs?

Taking into account all of these metrics, of course, Apple tops this list. He said Apple is still in the early innings with many of its products, yet the company has solid plans and all of the resources it needs to execute them. Apple is also not held hostage to global economic whims nor higher costs.

Rock Star Starbucks

As an encore for growth investors, Cramer also highlighted another spectacular growth stock, Starbucks ( SBUX). He put the company through the same criteria as he did for Apple.

Does Starbucks have a growth plan? You bet. In addition to restaurants, Starbucks is expanding into the single-serve coffee market as well as internationally. The company's end markets are certainly big enough to support its growth, said Cramer, and Starbucks has become a fierce competitor around the globe.

Starbucks returns capital to shareholders via its dividend, noted Cramer, especially after boosting its dividend by 31% last year. Starbucks has the international growth, he said, as well as best-in-show management, with Howard Schultz at the helm. Shares of Starbucks are not expensive, trading at 25 times earnings with a 19% growth rate. That's higher than its lows, but still less than the 40 times earnings multiple Starbucks once received.

Cramer said that Starbucks also has a solid balance sheet, doesn't need a strong economy to grow and is able to pass on its costs to customers. All told, Cramer said that Starbucks, while more expensive than Apple, can still deliver excellent growth and excellent returns for shareholders.

CBS Watch

When analysts disagree, investors win, Cramer told viewers as he dove into the stock of television icon CBS ( CBS). The stock received an upgrade last week, along with a $40 price target, which is 22% higher than today. It also received a downgrade from a different firm today.

Cramer said CBS is a classic case of an industry analysis (the downgrade) versus micro analysis (the upgrade). The industry analysis paints with a broad brush, lumping CBS in with others like Time Warner ( TWX), Viacom ( VIAB) and Walt Disney ( DIS). The micro analysis looks at CBS and only CBS.

Cramer said the industry analysis is an illogical approach, because not all companies deserve to be lumped together. CBS is a great stock, he noted, as is Time Warner, while others like Viacom are more risky and levered to advertising rates.

But in the case of CBS, Cramer said that the company is dominant in the ratings and is finding new ways to make money off of its existing content. He said these annuity streams are becoming more and more valuable as content expands further and further beyond broadcast and onto phones, tablets and laptops everywhere. CBS also resisted the urge to partner up in joint ventures, meaning that 100% of the profits from its shows stay with the company.

Cramer said shares of CBS simply shouldn't be selling for as little a price as they're fetching.

What the Heck

In his "What the Heck" segment, Cramer answered the question of how Sherwin-Williams ( SHW) was able to get its shares on the 52-week high list and deliver a 25% gain so far in 2012.

His answer? People are putting money back into their homes now that those homes are finally done going down in value. Cramer said that home owners aren't stupid and they won't invest in a declining asset, but now that spring is here and home prices are slowly building, home-improvement stocks like Sherwin make perfect sense.

No wonder the company had same-store sales increase by 20% and was able to preannounce gigantic earnings, Cramer concluded.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on MGM Resorts ( MGM),
Las Vegas Sands ( LVS),
Delphi Automotive ( DLPH),
Caesars Entertainment ( CZR)
and Priceline.com ( PCLN).

Cramer was bearish on Conns ( CONN),
Manitowoc ( MTW),
Cloud Peak Energy ( CLD)
and Portfolio Recovery Associates ( PRAA).

--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's Action Alerts PLUS was long aapl.

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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