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The next time you think about panicking, remember this week, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday. Panic is never a strategy, Cramer reminded viewers. Despite all the doom and gloom, this week turned out to be the best so far this year.
Cramer's game plan for next week's trading begins looking back across the pond as he considers whether shares of Lloyds (LYG) have gotten so cheap they might be worth owning. Then, on Tuesday, Cramer will be waiting to see if Mondelez (MDLZ - Get Report) makes an even sweeter bid for Hershey (HSY - Get Report) .
Wednesday brings earnings from Walgeens Boots Aliance (WBA - Get Report) and Cramer said he's worried about the company's UK exposure. Not so with PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) , which reports Thursday. Cramer said he expects another strong quarter from CEO Indra Nooyi. Walgreens and PepsiCo are Action Alerts PLUS holdings.
Finally, on Friday, the markets will be focused on the latest jobs report. Cramer cautioned that if employment is strong, talk of interest rate hikes will be once again back on the table, drowning out even the non-stop Brexit chatter.
Ranking the Restaurants
When it comes to the beaten-down restaurant stocks, are any worth owning? Cramer took a fresh look at the group, ranking McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) , Yum! Brands (YUM - Get Report) , Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG - Get Report) , Darden Restaurants (DRI - Get Report) , Domino's Pizza (DPZ - Get Report) and Restaurant Brands Int'l (QSR - Get Report) , purveyors of Burger King and Tim Hortons.
First, Cramer ranked the group on the key metric of same-sore sales. McDonald's and Yum! came out on top in this category, with Domino's and Chipotle bringing up the rear. Cramer next considered gross margins, which considers how well the companies are managing food and labor costs. Yum! and Darden topped this list, with Domino's and Chipotle again lagging the group.
Turning to the topic of "self help," or the company's ability to spur sales, McDonald's again came out on top thanks to its stellar turnaround efforts. Yum! Brands came in second. This time it was Darden and Chipotle in last place.
Looking at stock valuations and dividend yields, McDonald's came in second, thanks to its 3% yield. Darden came in first, trading at 16.2 times earnings. The laggards were once again Domino's and Chipotle, the latter trading at 34 times earnings with no dividend.
Overall, Cramer gave the edge to Yum! Brands, which he said is not getting enough credit for its pending spinoff of its Chinese operations. McDonald's came in a close second. As for Chipotle, Cramer said the company is still recovering from its recent health scare, but he's still a believer over the long term.
Why Stocks Rally
Stocks can go higher for all sorts of reasons, Cramer told viewers. In the case of Nike (NKE - Get Report) , investors were fretting over excess inventory. When that inventory cleared up, the stock shot higher.
General Mills (GIS - Get Report) rallied this quarter for different reasons. This slow-growing food company suddenly delivered double-digit growth thanks to new natural ingredients for many of its cereals.
Then there's Constellation Brands (STZ - Get Report) , a company Cramer featured on Thursday's Mad Money. Constellation got lucky when Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) was forced to sell some of its brands. But Constellation took that luck and ran with it, growing the brand beers and using the profits to buy Ballast Point, then growing that brand as well.
Finding stories like Constellation are rare, Cramer said, but when you find it you need to hold on for the ride.
Picking a Water Stock
The water stocks have been making a splash of late, and Cramer highlighted three more water-related stocks to see which ones are worth owning as the need for more and cleaner water systems grows.
Flowserve (FLS - Get Report) is one of the leaders in this space, making valves, seals and offering other water-related services. Shares of Flowserve are down though over the past three years, mostly because the company only derives 4% of its revenue from water utilities and gets the rest from industrial and energy-related categories. Shares trade at 17 times earnings, which was too hefty given its oil and gas exposure.
Pentair (PNR - Get Report) is another leader in the fluid handling, desalination and purification space, with shares that are essential flat over the past three years. Cramer said an ill-fated acquisition in 2012 is to blame, but now that the company has an activist investor pushing to spin off those assets, shares could be ready to run. Pentair stock trades at 13 times earnings, a level Cramer called "cheap."
Finally, there's Xylem (XYL - Get Report) , a water technology company with shares up 62% over the past three years. Cramer said this company is the most levered to lucrative water utilities and has the least exposure to the industrial sector, with no energy exposure at all. Shares trade at 20 times earnings, but Cramer said he's still a buyer, especially on any weakness.
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 while this portfolio was diversified, only Sirius is doing OK. He suggested upgrading most of these names.
The second portfolio's top holdings included Applied Materials (AMAT - Get Report) , Ford (F - Get Report) , Goodyear Tire (GT - Get Report) , Rite Aid (RAD - Get Report) and Hanesbrands (HBI - Get Report) .
Cramer said this portfolio was properly diversified.
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