Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Google Is Better Than the Market Thinks

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Google ( GOOGL) shares finally rose, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers. The stock, along with other previously loved stocks like Amazon ( AMZN) and Netflix ( NFLX) , have struggled in 2014.

While the S&P 500 is up by double digits on the year, Google -- a holding in Cramer's charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS -- is down 3%. Amazon and Netflix are down 21% and 5%, respectively.

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Jim Cramer made comments on the markets earlier today on TheStreet TV.

Cramer said these stocks were once the go-to names by fund managers. But these companies' management teams have seemed to care little for Wall Street’s expectations.

It doesn’t help that these companies are now seeing both business competition and stock competition. That is to say, companies like Time Warner (TWX) are pressuring Netflix, both from a business perspective and in the sense that fund managers are now buying the stock in favor of Netflix, he said.

That’s also true for Amazon now that Alibaba (BABA) is public, he added. Google still dominates search but fund managers are opting for names like Facebook (FB) , another AAP holding, and Yahoo! (YHOO) , which play by the rules of trying to deliver strong quarterly earnings results.

After a lackluster year, Cramer expects Google to deliver solid results come January when it reports earnings. That, and the company's low valuation, is why he still owns it in the AAP portfolio, he said.

Retailers to Buy

Looking to the holidays, Cramer noted that mall traffic continues to decline -- a shift unlikely to change as more and more consumers buy online.

However, that’s not to say that all retailers are doomed. In fact, many are still thriving in this environment, he noted.

Take Starbucks (SBUX) , another AAP holding. The company continues to come up with new concepts, like its Reserve brand store, to drive traffic and higher margins, Cramer said.

Or Restoration Hardware (RH) . The stock happens to be off its highs but investors with a multi-year outlook can consider buying the stock near current levels, Cramer said.

Then there’s one-stop shops like Home Depot (HD) and Costco Wholesale (COST) , with Costco posting astounding same-store sales growth of 9%. Other favorites include L Brands (LB) , Under Armour (UA) and Deckers Outdoor  (DECK) .

Remember, when searching for strong retailers, look for those that create a phenomenal shopping experience for the customer, Cramer advised.

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Buy Kinder Morgan

With the slide in oil prices, many investors may be unsure whether it’s time to buy into energy stocks, Cramer said. Well, if you are looking for a high-quality company with “little to no commodity exposure,” look no further than Kinder Morgan (KMI) , the third-largest energy company in the country and another AAP holding.

The company is almost totally insulated from fluctuating oil prices, he explained. Kinder Morgan acts like a tollbooth, collecting fees for shipping oil through its pipelines. The stock is still near 52-week highs but appears undervalued given its recent acquisition of other Kinder entities.

The company also has an attractive dividend, with $2 per share in planned payouts for 2015. At current levels, that gives the stock a whopping yield of 4.8%, which is much higher than its peers. Management plans to raise that dividend by 10% annually, Cramer said.

The bottom line: Kinder Morgan is insulated from oil prices, is undervalued given its recent acquisition and has an attractive dividend yield.

Executive Decision: Mark O'Neil

In the “Executive Decision” segment, Cramer sat down with Mark O’Neil, chairman and CEO of Dealertrack Technologies (TRAK) . The auto industry had strong results for November and Cramer was eager to hear the CEO’s comments.

The online credit application network company provides financing for about 45% of U.S. auto sales and works behind the scenes with dealerships and lenders. O’Neil said he doesn’t see auto sales slowing any time soon but remaining strong through 2015, he said.

For 2014, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) will likely finish up near 16.5 million. For 2015, that figure could climb above 17 million and possibly higher in the ensuing years. Now that gas prices have dropped so significantly, there has been an uptick in SUV and truck sales, which is good for automakers since these vehicles tend to be more profitable.

Finally, he doesn’t see a lending bubble forming, or for that matter any macro-economic crisis in the foreseeable future. “Today it’s still reasonably difficult to get credit,” he said, adding, “We see a very healthy and dynamic industry.”

Cramer called this interesting company a possible addition for some investors’ portfolios.

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Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Ventas (VTR) , Duke Realty (DRE) , GoPro (GPRO) , Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) , Cisco Systems (CSCO) , Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) , Celgene (CELG) , Biogen Idec (BIIB) , Regeneron (REGN) , Texas Instruments (TXN) , Molson Coors Brewing (TAP)  and Constellation Brands (STZ) .

He was bearish on Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) , Plug Power (PLUG) , Peabody Energy (BTU) , Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Chart Industries (GTLS) .

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.

In the first portfolio, the holdings were Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) , Vale (VALE) , Ensco plc (ESV) , Basic Energy Services (BAS) and SunOpta (STKL) .

Cramer called Ensco “one of the worst stocks I’ve ever seen other than Vale,” two regrettable stocks in the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio. He replaced Salix Pharmaceuticals with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) . He dropped Vale and Ensco and added Dollar General (DG) and General Dynamics (GD) .

In the second portfolio, the holdings were Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) , Marathon Oil (MRO) , Habit Restaurants (HABT) , IDT (IDT) and Celgene. “That’s what it’s really all about,” Cramer said, approving of the portfolio. 

On the third portfolio, the top holdings featured Bristol-Myers Squibb, AT&T (T) , General Electric (GE) , Chevron (CVX) and Conagra Foods (CAG) . “This is a yield play, which I like!” Cramer exclaimed, declaring this portfolio well-diversified.

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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 Bret Kenwell

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in DG, ESV, FB, GOOGL, KMI, SBUX and VALE.

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