Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Stocks Are Where It's At

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you care about making money, stocks are still the only place to be, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Monday, after another up day on Wall Street. Cramer said the bears are beginning to come out in droves, proclaiming that the top has arrived, but that simply isn't the case.

With the markets up 24% for the year, Cramer said, history remains on investors' side. Historically, markets that are up more than 20% going into November have only added to their gains. Stocks have been a great place to be since the lows of March 2009. Add to that a steaming hot IPO market, and the effectively nonexistent yield from all other forms of investments and it's easy to see why stocks remain the place to be.

There are no real alternatives to stocks, Cramer continued, and with the S&P 500 trading at just 14.7 times forward earnings, stocks really aren't that expensive either. Some sectors, like biotech, continue to rally with names like Celgene ( CELG), Gilead Sciences ( GILD) and Regeneron ( REGN) continuing to shine.

Yes, there are some stocks, like the newly minted Twitter ( TWTR), that ARE wildly expensive, but that doesn't apply to the market at large. The analysts who are calling for a top in the market are those who never had any conviction in the rally to begin with, Cramer said, but in reality, stocks remain the only game in town.

Executive Decision: Dave Melcher

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Dave Melcher, president and CEO of Exelis ( XLS), the defense contractor that's seen its shares rise 66% since Cramer last checked in back in September 2012. Despite the ongoing sequester, shares of Exelis still offer a 2.6% yield.

Melcher started off commenting on Veterans Day, noting that veterans are the fabric of America and offer many talents to the companies who hire them. Nearly 10% of Exelis' workforce are veterans, he said, adding that hiring vets is just "the right thing to do."

Turning to the business of Exelis, Melcher said that while his company can't control the top line given the continued budgets cuts, it does have control of the bottom line, which is why it has been cutting costs and reducing head counts where to bolster earnings.

Exelis has many growth areas, Melcher said, including internationally, where the company derives 10% of its revenues. The demand for Exelis' night vision, radio and networking equipment all remains strong. Additionally, aerospace remains in secular growth mode, and Exelis continues to be a big supplier to Boeing ( BA).

Cramer said that companies like Exelis continue to prove that execution matters, even in the face of continuing budget cuts.

Priceline.com in Spotlight

Don't freak out over its price tag, shares of Priceline.com ( PCLN) are worth every penny, Cramer told viewers, as he highlighted the travel Web site that's given investors a 1,909% return over the past five years, 77% of which came from this year alone.

Cramer called Priceline THE growth stock to own going into the end of the year, as it currently trades for just 19 times earnings despite a 20% growth rate. He reminded viewers that money managers will pay up to twice a company's growth rate, or 40 times earnings, for a stock like Priceline, which is why the stock is incredibly cheap at its current valuation.

While its true that Priceline has been rallying for years, Cramer said the company remains the best of breed playing in a secular growth industry. The company has a big exposure to Europe, which is finally taking a turn for the better, and it also derives 75% of its revenues from lucrative hotel bookings and far less from cut-throat airline reservations.

Priceline also uses an agency model, acting as a broker between buyers and sellers, taking a 15% to 20% cut of the transaction fee. That makes it a far safer bet than its peers, Cramer said, especially given its scale. Priceline also snapped up Kayak, making it a big player in the fast-growing mobile bookings space.

Given the company's huge cash flows, which afford it lots of options for buybacks, dividends and future acquisitions, Cramer said that Priceline should be on everyone's wish list this year. While some fretted over the companies' recent guidance, Cramer reminded viewers that Priceline is renowned for its tepid guidance, which explains the stock's $100 swing from its post-earnings selloff to its close the following day.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Pharmacyclics ( PCYC), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), Cheniere Energy ( LNG), Cheniere Energy Partners ( CQP), Ubiquiti Networks ( UBNT), Columbia Banking System ( COLB) and Apple ( AAPL).

Cramer was bearish on Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), Skyworks Solutions ( SWKS), Arena Pharmaceuticals ( ARNA), Windstream ( WIN) and Weatherford International ( WFT).

Executive Decision: Gregg Engles

For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Gregg Engles, chairman and CEO of WhiteWave Foods ( WWAV), which today delivered a penny-a-share earnings beat on better-than-expected revenues and increased margins, which caused management to raise the low end of their estimates, sending shares to a 52-week high. Shares of WhiteWave are up 10% since Cramer last spoke with Engles just three months ago.

Engles said WhiteWave's non-dairy products are increasingly in demand as consumers are looking for healthy nutrition with fewer calories. Such items as almond and soy milks have lots of room to grow given the overall size of the dairy market.

Fortunately for WhiteWave, the economics of almond and soy products is far better than that of traditional dairy, affording the company far higher margins. Additionally, Engles noted that WhiteWave is still a small company and is leveraging its cost structure as sales continue to grow, adding to its bottom line.

WhiteWave is also in the process of selling one of its larger farms, which produces 5% of its organic milk. Engles explained that the farm is no longer an area of expertise for WhiteWave, so the capital will be better used elsewhere.

Cramer said that WhiteWave remains a terrific story.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer weighed in on DineEquity ( DIN), purveyors of the Applebee's and IHOP restaurant chains, which continues to only receive a lukewarm reception from Wall Street.

Cramer said its clear that the analysts continue to struggle with DineEquity. While the company continues to cut costs, bolster average ticket prices and keep its brands fresh, Wall Street remains unimpressed, raising price targets only when the old targets have been overrun.

Cramer said that with a 3.75% yield, it's clear that DineEquity is doing something right, but that just creates an opportunity for investors to get in before the analysts finally wake up and recommend the stick at higher levels.

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

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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 was long AAPL, JNJ.

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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