Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Year-End Beats

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As the year draws to a close, there's only one thing on the minds of money managers, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Tuesday, and that's beating the averages and their peers.

Cramer recalled that when he ran a hedge fund, if he was beating the averages at this point on the calendar, he'd simply declare victory and take a vacation so as not to screw anything up before Jan 1. If anything, his fund would become day traders, making a little here or there but not taking any major risks that could undo their gains for the year.

But if a fund is behind the averages, behind their peers, then there's only one thing that matters, Cramer said, and that's catching up by buying into what everyone else was buying into. In today's markets, that means stocks like Priceline.com ( PCLN), Google ( GOOG) and Amazon.com ( AMZN), he said, stocks with lots of momentum.

The value of such momentum names like Netflix ( NFLX) and Starbucks ( SBUX) won't matter to these managers, said Cramer, as they will be solely focused on getting to their goals. Chasing performance is an all-to-common tactic at the close of the year, which is why Cramer said he'd be a buyer of all of these hot names going into December.

Off the Charts

In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Bob Lang over the charts of National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF) and Tesoro ( TSO), three natural resource stocks that have been falling along with the price of oil.

Using a daily chart of National Oilwell Varco, Lang noted a change in momentum with this stock, as the MACD momentum indicator flashed a bullish crossover. He also noted a floor at $79 a share, giving the stock lots of upside. These buy signals were confirmed by the weekly chart, which also showed crossovers in both the MACD and the Williams oscillator, and Lang flagged the bullish cup-and-handle pattern, all leading to a $100 price target.

Lang was also bullish on Cliffs Natural, whose daily chart also displayed the cup-and-handle and weekly chart displayed an even more bullish inverse-head-and-shoulders pattern. Tesoro, he noted, was also building a base at current levels and is poised to launch to higher highs as it crossed its 200-day moving average while also showing a MACD crossover.

Cramer said he agreed with Lang's research, noting that his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS , was getting worried about its position in National Oilwell Varco, but now may buy more.

IPO Flops

Don't let the high-flying IPOs distract you from those that have flopped, Cramer told viewers, as the flops may actually be hidden gems in the rough. That's certainly the case with Gogo ( GOGO), the in-flight WiFi provider that went public on June 20 at $17 a share only to fall 6% on the open.

Since the IPO, Cramer said, shares of Gogo are up 56% and the company's long-term outlook is terrific as the company enjoys a near monopoly on the services it offers. At its IPO, investors fretted about Gogo's need for additional capital, which has been addressed by an additional credit line. Investors also worried about Gogo losing customers, but in fact, it's expensive for airlines to re-outfit their fleets and Gogo remains best of breed with superior services.

That's why Gogo currently serves nine of the top 10 airlines in the U.S., along with scores of business aviation fleets. The company isn't standing still however and plans to roll out in-flight video and other services more broadly as well as continually adding more aircraft to its service.

With shares up 28% on its earnings yesterday, Cramer cautioned investors not to chase the stock higher. He said ideally, he'd wait for the company to do a secondary offering of shares, then buy in, but the stock needs at least a sizable pullback to be attractive again.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Philip Morris International ( PM), Lumber Liquidators ( LL), Tractor Supply ( TSCO), Ulta Salon ( ULTA) and FedEx ( FDX).

Cramer was bearish on Exelon ( EXC), FirstEnergy ( FE) and Cree ( CREE).

Executive Decision: Mark Mednansky

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Mark Mednansky, CEO of Del Frisco's Restaurant Group ( DFRG), a stock that's up 44% since Cramer recommended it this time last year. Del Frisco's currently has 37 high-end restaurants across the country.

Mednansky said that Del Frisco's is all about having a good time, and the affluent are doing well right now and the upper-middle class are splurging and that's been a great combination for his company. He said there will always be room to indulge and customers love indulging with Del Frisco's

When asked about growth, Mednansky said that there are many locations where Del Frisco's doesn't yet have a presence and many others where they can easily put multiple locations. He said Del Frisco's could easily double in size next year if it wanted with just one of its brands, and his company has three.

One of those brands however, Sullivan's, has not been performing well, and Mednansky noted that they're keeping a close eye on the franchise and bringing it back to life, all while also not losing sight on their other brands, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House and Del Frisco's Grille.

Cramer said that Del Frisco's remains a great growth story.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer opined on the instant negative reactions when Whole Foods Market ( WFM) cut its forecast last week. Even though everything remotely healthy or organic took a hit, as if the entire industry were doomed, Cramer said, that's just not the case.

Cramer said that Whole Foods will figure out its cannibalization issues, but the competition is here to stay, as everybody now realizes how important healthy and organic foods are to consumers. He said companies like Hain Celestial ( HAIN), WhiteWave Foods ( WWAV) and even Clorox ( CLX), with its Burt's Bees brand, are all big winners with this most recent weakness.

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

To sign up for Jim Cramer's free Booyah! newsletter with all of his latest articles and videos please click here.

-- 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 NOV.

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."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, TheStreet.com or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor TheStreet.com, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

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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