Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Living Large

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There are two kinds of companies, Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers Thursday -- those busy living and those busy dying.

This was clearly on display Thursday with PPG ( PPG) announcing that it's selling its low-growth commodity chemicals business to focus on its higher-growth specialty chemicals. Shares of PPG rose 7.5% to a new high on the news. That's a company that's living, said Cramer.

Also on the "living large" list, apparel maker VF Corp ( VFC), whose shares soared 10 points as the company's acquisition of Timberland last year is starting to bear fruit. Even Walgreens ( WAG) decided to end its spat with Express Scripts ( ESRX), sending its shares up 11.5%.

Cramer said while he still prefers CVS Caremark ( CVS), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS , he commended Walgreens for taking action.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley ( MS) and Goldman Sachs ( GS) seem happy with the status quo, said Cramer. Those companies are "busy dying," he said, while Wells Fargo ( WFC) is actively soliciting new business and hitting a new 52-week high.

Kraft ( KFT) and Abbott Labs ( ABT) are breaking themselves up to unlock value. Those companies are living. But Procter & Gamble ( PG) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) are still pondering the idea. Clearly not living.

Cramer said for investors, the choice of which companies deserve their investments should be an easy one.

Executive Decision

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Nick Pinchuk, chairman and CEO of toolmaker Snap-on ( SNA), which surprised Wall Street Thursday with a seven-cents-a-share earnings beat on 5% organic growth. That news was enough to send shares of Snap-on up 9.6% to a new high.

Pinchuk said the newspapers are wrong and small business is doing well in America. He said at the lower levels, people are confident and cash-rich and only in the boardroom does it seem like everyone is worried about the economy. That's why Snap-on's tool business is going "gangbusters," he said.

After focusing almost exclusively on auto mechanics, Pinchuk said Snap-on is realizing its brand resonates well with technicians in aerospace, aviation, power generation and the oil and gas business. Those industries are producing double-digit growth for the company.

Basically the entire planet is the company's bright spot. Pinchuk said sales remain strong in Asia and yes, even in Europe. He was especially enthusiastic about China since, unlike America where there are 300 million cars on average 11 year old, China has 60 million cars, most of which are brand new. That means the coming boom in auto repair has yet to begin and Snap-on is positioning itself to become a dominant player.

Cramer once again praised Snap-on for proving that quality products can indeed be made in America. He continued his recommendation of the stock.

Know Your IPO

In the "Know Your IPO" segment, Cramer followed up on a few recent initial public offerings to separate the good from the bad and the ugly. He said Thursday's IPO of dollar store chain Five Below ( FIVE) rallied as expected, giving investors a 53% gain. But they must now keep their discipline and take profits.

So what of other recent IPOs? Cramer said Synacor ( SYNC) and Supernus Pharmaceuticals ( SUPN) have both been winners and investors need to take a victory lap and take profits. Synacor is up 160% since its IPO, while Supernus has delivered a 197% gain.

In the loser's corner, Cramer singled out Ignite Restaurant Group ( IRG), which announced "accounting irregularities," and WageWorks ( WAGE), a stock that's now "priced for perfection." Cramer said both of these stocks need to be sold with prejudice.

Finally, Cramer noted Merrimack Pharmaceuticals ( MACK), a recent IPO that's still worth buying. He said that while speculative, Merrimack concentrates on orphan drugs that often receive special treatment at the Food and Drug Administration. The company is also partnering with Sanofi-Aventis ( SNY) on a breast cancer treatment that could be a $1.3 billion opportunity.

Investing in Merrimack is playing FDA approval roulette, noted Cramer, but the stock is cheap enough that the company only needs one of its drugs to win in order to rewards shareholders. He said there's no catalyst for the stock, so there's no hurry to get in now.

Lightning Round

Here's what Cramer had to say about callers' stocks during the "Lightning Round":

American Capital Agency ( AGNC): "They keep doing equity offerings, but they're working so I'll stick with it."

Anadarko Petroleum ( APC): "The stock is going down but they're doing everything right. I'm not abandoning it."

Lockheed Martin ( LMT): "Everyone is worried about the fiscal cliff but I'm not worried. I've got a 4.5% yield and a lot of upside. Buy, buy, buy."

Banco Santander ( SAN): "I'm worried about them. Spain is a disaster. They're the best bank in Spain but they're in Spain so I can't recommend them."

Morgan Stanley: "There's nothing there for me. I like Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase ( JPM). "

Softness Seen

In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Moshe Gavrielov, president and CEO of Xilinx ( XLNX), makers of programmable logic chips. Shares of Xilinx are currently trading at just 11 times 2013 earnings with a 12% growth rate after backing out the company's $9.33 a share of cash.

Gavrielov was bullish on Xilinx' future prospects. He said while the company is seeing a "little softness" at the moment, the medium- to long-term trends support the growth he's forecast. Gavrielov said the purchasing cycles in technology are fairly short, so customers can afford to wait until the last minute, which is what they appear to be doing.

Gavrielov said the wireless industry is one that appears to be soft at the moment but will likely rebound in the fourth quarter. He said Xilinx' new 28-nanometer chips are the platform to drive growth over the next few quarters and the company is in a strong position to compete. After spending time and money in R&D, Gavrielov said the excitement is growing as those new, smaller chips begin selling.

Cramer agreed with Gavrielov's analysis and said he, too, is excited about the company's growth prospects, especially given its insanely cheap valuation.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said there are three drivers in today's markets, three things that can be bought into weakness.

First is autos. Cramer said auto builds remain strong, but they're being obscured by weakness in Europe. Second is housing. Cramer said he'd pounce on any of the homebuilders on any weakness.

Finally, there's aerospace, as evidenced by the strong earnings at Textron ( TXT) and the bullish comments from Honeywell's ( HON) CEO on Wednesday's "Mad Money."

Cramer said all of these trends are working and he's a buyer.

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

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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in ABT, CVS, JPM and KFT.

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."

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