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Cramer: This stock could soar even higher

Despite an 80 percent gain since August 2012, Jim Cramer believes there could be more upside ahead for a particular food retail stock.

The stock is Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a company that Cramer often discusses.

The "Mad Money" host is particularly enthusiastic about this quick service restaurant because he views it as a play on growth as well as profits.




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Looking at profits first, under the leadership of CEO Cheryl Bachelder, one of the 'Bankable 21' executives Cramer profiled in his book "Get Rich Carefully," Popeyes was able to post earnings that wowed Wall Street, sending shares 14 percent higher on Thursday.

Specifically, Popeyes reported a profit of $11.1 million, or 46 cents a share, up from $9.6 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had projected a profit of 45 cents a share on $69.5 million in revenue.

"But what really caused the stock to soar is the fact that the company raised its guidance, boosting its full-year same-store-sales forecast from the 2 to 3 percent range up to the 3 to 4 percent range, while also increasing its earnings forecast," Cramer said.

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Turning attention to growth, Cramer finds future prospects nothing short of inspiring.

"The company has nearly 2,250 locations, almost all of which are franchised, which insulates Popeyes from the cost of food inflation, and I think they could nearly triple to 6,000 stores, including the international growth opportunity, which is still in its early innings," Cramer said.

Bachelder addressed the company's international potential on "Mad Money" Thursday night.

"We just opened six new restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City," she said. "It's exciting to see."

Domestically, a broad program to remodel stores has been driving business, too.

"We have remodeled about 65 percent of our stores to date," Bachelder noted. "By the end of the year, it will be 80 percent. We find it's changing the way people view Popeyes. They're coming in more."

All told, Cramer likes the story.

"I've been telling you that Popeyes is a terrific turnaround story with a huge growth runway ahead of it for years now. Despite the gains, I think we're still looking at a ground-floor opportunity."

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