Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Focus on the Positive

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Why dwell on the negatives in the market when there are so many reasons to love stocks? Jim Cramer asked on "Mad Money" Monday.

Even billionaire Warren Buffett confirmed in an interview today that stocks are the best investments out there while government bonds remain the worst, Cramer said..

He added that what smart investors like Buffett see in stocks is the incredible value being created by companies taking control of their own destinies. That was certainly the case for Hess ( HES), which announced Monday it is spinning off its refining business and going "all in" on its Bakken shale assets. Cramer noted that activist investors at Hess want even more and calling for the company to sell itself entirely, making it a win-win situation for investors.

Other activist investors have been shaking value out of companies such as Transocean ( RIG) while multiple hedge funds continue to battle it out over Herbalife ( HLF).

Meanwhile, companies such as Yahoo! ( YHOO) are hitting 52-week highs while CEOs like Marissa Mayer are taking action and turning things around in record time. There's also plenty of merger activity bringing out value, said Cramer, and while today's acquisition of Ferro ( FOE) may be a small deal, it's still one in a now-steady stream of deals rewarding shareholders almost daily.

Cramer said the only bear market seems to be in Apple ( AAPL), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS. He said Apple should use the weakness in its stock and buy back $1 billion worth of shares every week if it really wants to show the world how undervalued those shares really are.

For all these reasons, Cramer said he just can't focus on sideshows like Italy or the government sequester. There are just too many positive things happening to ignore.

Top of the Chart

Investors who still believe in the promise of natural gas for vehicles, whether they be cars or locomotives, need to keep investing in Chart Industries ( GTLS), Cramer told viewers.

While other natural gas stocks have been stumbling, like natural gas engine maker Westport Innovations ( WPRT), down 35% as its 12-liter engines have been delayed, or Clean Energy Fuels ( CLNE), down 32%, Cramer said Chart Industries continues to thrive.

Chart provides the equipment needed to cool natural gas into a liquid form that can be stored or exported, which means its equipment is needed for a host of applications. Cramer said 25% of the company's sales comes from the equipment needed for export, while another 15% comes from equipment used in the initial processing and separation of natural gas as it is first pumped out of the ground.

Chart also has a big opportunity in China because the Chinese are planning to ramp up usage of natural gas from 4% to 10% of total energy by 2020.

Chart last delivered a five-cent-a-share earnings beat on a strong 38% rise in revenue with orders up 19%. That led to a 7% pop in the stock and helped Chart power to nearly double since Cramer first got behind the name in February 2011. Cramer said that Chart remains inexpensive, even at these levels, trading at just 23 times 2013 earnings with a 26% growth rate.

Cautionary Tales

Few things are more damaging to a portfolio than a company cutting its dividend, Cramer told viewers. While this market may be forgiving about many things, mercy is rarely shown when a company cuts its dividend.

Such was the case with Atlantic Power ( AT), a $10 stock that was yielding over 10% when Cramer was asked about it during the "Lightning Round" on Feb. 26. At the time, Cramer said that Atlantic's 10% was a red flag because most utilities only yield around 4%. Two days later, Atlantic Power cut its dividend by 65%, sending shares lower by 40%.

Cramer said investors could have seen this dividend cut coming by simply looking at the company's financials. Prior to the cut, Atlantic Power's payout ratio -- the amount of its earnings going to its dividend -- was 100%, meaning that every penny the company earned was flowing directly to its dividend. In a case like that, Cramer said either the earnings must increase or the payout must be cut. There are no other options.

Atlantic Power follows another high-profile, yet easily predicted dividend cut from regional telco CenturyLink ( CTL), which cut its dividend by 26% on Feb. 14, sending its shares lower by 23%.

Cramer said the moral of these cautionary tales is to never trust management unless the company has earnings to back up its claims. In both cases, company management gave no indication the dividend was in trouble until it was.

In some rare cases, management does provide a heads-up, as Excelon ( EXC) did for most of last year. But for the vast majority of cases, the shareholders are the last ones to know unless they're doing their homework.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Yahoo! ( YHOO), American Water Works ( AWK), Aqua America ( WTR) and US Airways Group ( LCC).

Cramer was bearish on BlackBerry ( BBRY), Level 3 Communications ( LVLT) and Titan International ( TWI).

Executive Decision: Nick Schorsch

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Nick Schorsch, chairman and CEO of American Realty Capital Partners ( ARCP), a REIT that's raised its dividend in the past five consecutive quarters.

Schorsch has a positive story to tell -- his properties are not only 100% leased at the moment but his company has 0% of those tenants renewing their leases over the next 12 months and only 1% of their leases renewing in the next three years. Additionally, he noted that 79% of all American Capital's tenants are investment grade.

Being a REIT is all about size, Schorsch continued, which is why his company is looking forward to being added to some prominent ETFs and indices such as the Russell 2000 in the coming year. He said that size matters a lot and far more investors will be investing in American Capital once it's a part of these key investment vehicles.

When asked how the economy affects his company, Schorsch said American Capital is built to be durable in any economy. He said the company doesn't have tenants in the volatile electronics or bookseller space, for instance, and sticks with more stable clients including the federal government and FedEx ( FDX).

Finally, when asked about acquisitions, Schorsch said he's projecting $1 billion in new acquisitions this year, which should translate to a 16% earnings per share growth year over year. He said that goal should be easily attained.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said that despite the best efforts of Washington to keep our economy down, even a completely dysfunctional government isn't enough to stop the good things happening across our nation.

Whether it's a resurgence in auto sales after a depression-like slump, or rising retail sales or the boom in housing and oil and gas, good things seem to be happening, noted Cramer -- even though no one in Washington other than Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke seems to be working towards job creation.

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

To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt

Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in 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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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 TheStreet.com. 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 TheStreet.com, 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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