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Cramer’s Alternative Airline Play for Skeptics

Monday, 20 May 2013 | 6:16 PM ET
How SAVE's Business Fares Going Forward
Monday, 20 May 2013 | 6:15 PM ET
Spirit Airlines recently increased service to market in Houston, Orlando, Charleston, Denver and Detroit. Ben Baldanza, Spirit Airlines president & CEO, weighs in.

(Having trouble with the video? Click here!)

If you remain skeptical of the airline stocks, Jim Cramer suggests giving this play a closer look.

"About two months ago, I did something unprecedented here on Mad Money I recommended the airlines," reminded the Mad Money host. (Click here to go to Wait, What? Cramer Likes Airline Stocks?!!)

Cramer made the call in early March and the development was startling because it was the first time in over a decade that he got behind any stock in the sector. At the time Cramer cited the significant consolidation in the industry as a major catalyst.

However, if you're a skeptic and can't get behind the thesis, Cramer has an altenative idea. "Why don't you pick up some Spirit Airlines," he said.

The argument against airlines involves their business operations; "skeptics say they're too bloated and have debt-laden balance sheets," Cramer explained.

However, the Mad Money host doesn't think Spirit is at risk of any of either pitfall, in part because the airline operates extremely efficiently.

Izabela Habur | E+ | Getty Images

"Spirit operates approximately 45 planes that make more than 200 flights a day," Cramer said. "Because they're almost always full, Spirit can break even at a price of $58 a ticket, whereas a rival such as Jet Blue needs to charge $133 per ticket to break even."

Cramer thinks the latest earnings confirm his bullish outlook. For the first quarter 2013, Spirit's total operating revenue was $370.4 million, an increase of 22.9 percent, compared to first quarter 2012.

Although the stock has gained 41% in the last 3 months and 62% year to date, Cramer thinks shares will continue to ramp even higher.

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"The airline has no debt," he said. "And as a low-price airline, it's well positioned in a cost conscious world." Considering all the catalysts, "I think it's got more room to run," he said.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com

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