Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What's the best way to reignite growth when growth gets hard to come by? Jim Cramer told his Mad Money TV show viewers Monday that takeovers are the natural place to look, which is why this market has them in spades.
Cramer said today's deal by Kinder Morgan (KMI) to bring all its master limited partnerships under one roof -- orchestrated by none other than Richard Kinder himself -- is just one example of spurring growth and rewarding shareholders with a quick 9% gain. Cramer said the new Kinder Morgan must be owned as the North American Energy revolution rages on.
Who else should be looking to make acquisitions to spur growth? Cramer said Coca-Cola's (KO) growth has stalled, and he thinks the company should consider bring either Kraft Foods (KRFT) or Mondelez (MDLZ) to get the growth engine started again.
Then there's Darden Restaurants (DRI), the purveyors of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, and a company that's clearly lost its way. Cramer suggested Darden buy a red-hot IPO like Del Frisco's Restaurant Group (DFRG) or El Pollo Loco (LOCO).
Cramer said companies don't just need to rely on the economy for their growth. They can take control of their own destinies, like Richard Kinder, and get their growth back on track.
When it comes to Priceline.com (PCLN), the analysts tend to have very short memories, Cramer told viewers. Every quarter the company reports its earnings and sees its shares get slammed. Then shortly thereafter, every quarter, they rebound sharply.
Cramer said Priceline practices a philosophy he calls "UPOD," or under-promise, over-deliver. Every quarter the company blows away its earnings, but offers conservative guidance that analysts almost always perceive as "disappointing." But after speaking with management on the conference call, confidence is restored and shares immediately spike back to their historical levels. In today's session, investors could have caught a $60 swing from the time Priceline's earnings hit the tape until 80 minutes later when the conference call ended.
Cramer said Priceline represents a real opportunity for investors four times a year, but it's not alone. He said Apple (AAPL), a stock he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, also practices "UPOD," as do Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Celgene (CELG) and Starbucks (SBUX).
Kinder Morgan isn't the only pipeline company making bold moves to take control of its destiny, Cramer told viewers. Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP) is another pipeline play that needs to be on investors' radar.
Cramer explained that back in February Boardwalk did the unthinkable -- it cut its dividend by 80% in order to accelerate its own organic growth. That news was not received well by investors, however, and the stock lost 46% of its value in a single day.
But cutting its distribution was exactly what the company needed, Cramer continued. Boardwalk already transports nearly 12% of America's natural gas supply, and has the ability to do a lot more thanks to its connections to all the major shale gas regions of our country.
Cramer said Boardwalk has already spent $1.2 billion on smart acquisitions to help it grow and has major projects under way as well, including reversing the flow of its Ohio-to-Louisiana pipeline to send gas from the gas-rich Ohio shales down to Louisiana where power companies and manufacturers just can't get enough natural gas.
Cramer said Boardwalk is small enough that all of these projects and acquisitions can still move the needle for the company's earnings, and it's small enough that it's a ripe takeover target for the likes of the new Kinder Morgan or other players in the gas space. Boardwalk gets 81% of its revenue from fixed-fee contracts, making it a company with excellent earnings visibility.
After today's Kinder Morgan restructuring news, could more consolidation be headed for the group? Cramer said he thinks so, and laid out a number of options for getting in on the actions.
Cramer explained that with prices for new pipeline projects now tallying in the billions of dollars, he's not surprised to see innovators like Richard Kinder abandoning the master limited partnership, or MLP, structure he pioneered decades ago. By consolidating into larger entities, securing financing simply gets easier and the new non-MLP entities can better use their cash.
Cramer said Enterprise Product Partners (EPD) is his favorite in the group, behind the new Kinder Morgan and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, mentioned earlier. Enterprise offers a 3.8% yield and has a solid balance sheet and management teem committed to growth. As an added benefit, the company was also awarded the first permit to export oil condensate, which will be a game-changer for the industry.
Cramer also said that Enter Transfer Equity (ETE), with its 2.7% yield, and Atlas Energy (ATLS), yielding 4.2%, are also terrific opportunities to play the pipeline space, as more MLP to non-MLP conversions are likely.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Arista Networks (ANET), Stonemor Partners (STON), Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), Fiesta Restaurant Group (FRGI), Trinity Industries (TRN) and Gilead Sciences (GILD).
Cramer was bearish on El Pollo Loco (LOCO).
Am I Diversified?
In the "Am I Diversified?" segment, Cramer spoke with callers and responded to tweets sent via Twitter to @JimCramer to see if investors' portfolios have what it takes for today's markets.
Cramer said this portfolio was heavy on aerospace and suggested selling United Technologies and adding a healthcare name.
Cramer said this portfolio had too much retail and needed to sell Kate Spade and add a stock like Boeing.
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