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Jim Cramer is the host of CNBC's Mad Money and the chairman of TheStreet.com. Nearly 250,000 people watch his show daily on TV and most of these are ordinary investors trying to understand what’s going on in the market. Cramer’s bullish and bearish stock picks on his show is the starting point for many investments made by these folks.

During the last 30 days his favorites buy recommendations (based on number of days the stocks were mentioned) on Mad Money were as follows:

Company

No. Of Times Picked

First Date*

Return (%)**

Excess Return (%) (wrt S&P500)

Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED)

5

9/24/10

19.3%

14.5%

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

4

8/26/10

59.6%

39.6%

Verizon (NYSE:VZ)

4

9/27/10

14.8%

9.6%

Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU)

3

9/10/10

65.7%

53.5%

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY)

3

8/9/11

6.0%

5.5%

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)

3

9/7/10

24.5%

13.4%

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK)

3

1/6/11

15.1%

23.1%

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG)

3

9/7/10

81.4%

65.3%

Enterprise Products Partn (NYSE:EPD)

3

10/15/10

2.8%

1.1%

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA:GLD)

3

9/7/10

44.6%

31.8%

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB)

3

6/20/11

1.6%

9.9%

Kinder Morgan Energy Part (NYSE:KMP)

3

9/8/10

5.3%

-3.3%

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)

3

11/15/10

23.3%

23.7%

Whole Foods Markets (NASDAQ:WFM)

3

5/26/11

1.0%

13.3%

Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN)

3

9/17/10

4.9%

-1.4%

Average

24.7%

20.0%

* Represents latest recommendation change from sell to buy. The study interval includes only past one year.

** Includes the duration from first date till August 27.

Cramer's favorite stock recommendations returned 24.7% on average since they have been recommended. The average relative performance of these stocks against the S&P500 (SPY) is 20.0%. 13 of his favorite 15 stocks have managed to beat the market.

Cramer's most favorite stock during the last 30 days was Consolidated Edison. He repeated his buy recommendation of ED five times during the last 30 days. Consolidated Edison, New York based utility company, operates in one of the few areas of the country with a stable housing market.

Consolidated Edison has gained 19.3% since September 24, 2010, beating the SPY by 14.5 percentage points. The stock has a market cap of $16.3 billion, dividend yield of 4.3% and P/E ratio of 15.3. Last week, a viewer asked Cramer about Prospect Capital (PSEC) which yields 15%. Cramer doesn’t like PSEC and instead recommended ED, VZ and D.

Cramer has been recommending these defensive, high yielding stocks during the past couple of weeks. ED is also one of the 35 Growing Dividend Stocks with Low PE Ratios (see full list of these stocks here).

Cramer repeated his buy recommendation of AAPL four times during the last 30 days. AAPL has a market cap of $356 billion and P/E ratio of 15.2. AAPL recently traded at $383.58 and has gained 59.6% since August 26, 2010, beating the SPY by 39.6 percentage points. Despite news of Steve Jobs’ resignation, the tech giant’s stock didn’t get crushed the way many people thought it would.

Analysts are betting on Apple reporting $7 for the coming quarter, but Cramer thinks it’s going to bring in $9. The product pipeline is set for the next couple of years and Tim Cook has been around and leading the company for a while. Cramer thinks people should stick with Apple. The stock currently trades at 14.9 times earnings. Apple is the most popular stock among hedge funds.

Cramer's other favorite stock during last 30 days was Verizon. He repeated his buy recommendation of VZ four times during the last 30 days. VZ has gained 14.8% since September 27, 2010, beating the SPY by 9.6 percentage points. The stock has a market cap of $101 billion, P/E ratio of 16 and dividend yield of 5.5%.

Cramer praised Verizon’s efforts to remove the costs of operating landlines, because they aren’t making the money they need to justify operations. In light of recent labor problems and strikes, Cramer recommended this telecommunications stock because of its 5.8% yield as well as his belief that Verizon will eventually come out on top of labor struggles. George Soros of Soros Fund Management increased his position by 62% (see more of Soros’ picks).

Cramer repeated his buy recommendation of BIDU three times during the last 30 days. BIDU has a market cap of $48.8 billion and P/E ratio of 64. BIDU recently traded at $139.7 and has gained 65.7% since September 27, 2010, beating the SPY by 53.5 percentage points. Forty-seven hedge funds had Baidu in their portfolios last quarter. Hedge funds collectively own about 7% of the outstanding shares. Ken Fisher again has more of BIDU than anyone else, at about $600 Million. Andreas Halvorsen has about half of that, with $300 Million.

Cramer also repeated his buy recommendation of CAT three times during the last 30 days. CAT has a market cap of $55 billion and P/E ratio of 14.1. CAT recently traded at $85.16 and has a 2.2% dividend yield. CAT gained 24.5% since September 7, 2010, beating the SPY by 13.4 percentage points.

Last week, a viewer asked about CAT during the lightning round. Cramer said he should have taken some of the profits when the stock was trading near its peak but he isn’t going to cut and run now. He is bullish about CAT. Ken Fisher had the largest position in CAT at the end of June with a $480 million position (check out billionaire Fisher’s top stock picks here).

Disclosure: I am long CHK.

Source: Jim Cramer's Favorite 15 Stocks