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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The markets are finally putting the big, bad events behind them, as least for a little while, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday as he laid out his game plan for next week's trading.
On Monday, Cramer's eye turns to Sears Holdings (SHLD) and Bio-Reference Labs (BRLI). He said Sears will undoubtedly have a crummy quarter but find a way to appease shareholders until the next one. Meanwhile, Bio-Reference needs to update investors on its deal with Opko Health (OPKO).
Then, on Tuesday, it's Lululemon Athletica (LULU) reporting and a Cisco Systems (CSCO) analyst meeting. Cramer said Lulu could go either way, but he has high hopes for Cisco's new CEO, which is why he owns Cisco for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS.
Finally, on Friday, it's the producer price index, another economic metric that will either confirm or contradict today's strong employment number.
Investors looking to speculate on development-stage biotech stocks need to be careful, Cramer warned viewers. These stocks trade more on hopes and dreams than actual earnings, that's why it's important to pick the right company to avoid getting burned.
Cramer's favorite among the early-stage biotechs remains Receptos (RCPT), a stock that's up 55% in just the past six months since Cramer last spoke with the company. Receptos is working on a "pipeline in a product" because its main drug, Ozanimod, is proving to treat diseases ranging from relapsing multiple sclerosis to inflammatory bowel disease and Crones' disease.
But Cramer noted that Ozanimod is not expected to hit the market until 2018. Thus, the speculative nature of the stock.
What makes Receptos unique from other biotechs? These stocks trade on clinical data, Cramer noted, so the fear is always of a hidden disappointment. But Ozanimod has already proven to be a well-tolerated drug that's safer than the current treatments, making it a safer bet than most.
The markets also fear delays with early biotech stocks. But here Receptos really shines because it has consistently hit all of its milestones. What about being blindsided by a big secondary offering of stock? Receptos already did two secondaries last year and has enough cash to make it until 2018.
For all these reasons, Cramer said Receptos remains his favorite among the group.
Cramer said this stock was left for dead in 2013 but ever since then has been turning itself around and getting more and more profitable. The company also recently announced the $2 billion acquisition of EnvisionRX, a pharmacy benefit manager that will soon put it on par with rivals Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and CVS Health (CVS) in the red-hot health care cost containment space.
Cramer said when the EnvisionRX deal closes in the next few months, it will allow Rite-Aid to grow even faster while increasing its leverage to negotiate better prices for prescription medications.
Rite-Aid is the most expensive of the three drugstore stocks at 26 times earnings, but Cramer said the company also has the most upside because shares always seem to bounce back from any weakness, such as this week's 4% decline.
With interest rates likely to rise sooner than later, the markets will be rewarding consistent growers like health care, Cramer told viewers. But for pharma companies that constantly need new sources of revenue to survive, one of the most successful strategies has become serial acquisitions. Cramer listed off his top four health care roll-up companies.
First up was Actavis (ACT), an Action Alerts PLUS holding that's up 45% over the past 12 months and 336% over the past three years. Cramer said Actavis is the best-of-breed roll up companies that thinks big, but trades at just 14.2 times earnings.
Next up was Horizon Pharmaceuticals (HZNP), a stock up 150% so far this year. Like Actavis, Horizon also thinks big and makes high-quality acquisitions -- such as its $1.1 billion bid for Hyperion Therapeutics. Shares of Horizon trade at 18 times earnings.
Third on Cramer's list was Mallinckrodt (MNK), a company Cramer said has a rock-star management team yet is under-appreciated, trading as just 14.5 times earnings, making it the cheapest of the group.
Finally, there's Valeant (VRX), a stock that's up 64% in 2015. Cramer said Valiant is a controversial name because the company makes 25 acquisitions a year and often slashes research and development budgets to make them more profitable. Shares of Valiant trade at 15.4 times earnings.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer pondered whether the financial stocks can offer the markets some leadership. Historically, the answer would be yes. As the economy does well, that typically spurs more lending. But not this time, Cramer said.
This time the strong dollar is putting the breaks on the banks and on many sectors of the economy. For investors, the only thing that seems to matter are interest rates and the net interest margins banks can make on their deposits.
The recent rally in the financials did not give Cramer much hope for a rally in the rest of the markets.
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