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Cramer defends Buffett: 'His luck's about to change'

Jim Cramer is coming to Warren Buffett's defense.

This headline in The New York Times caught Cramer's eye: "The Oracle of Omaha, lately looking a bit ordinary."

The story cited a new statistical study by Salil Mehta that compared Berkshire Hathaway's performance to the benchmark S&P 500 stock index.

While Buffett's company has beaten the market in 38 of the past 48 years, it has underperformed the S&P in four of the past five years. Mehta calculates there's only a 3 percent chance Buffett is suffering through a period of bad luck.

Jim Cramer and Warren Buffett.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Jim Cramer and Warren Buffett.

On Tuesday night's "Mad Money," Cramer shot back. "Whenever I see an article that criticizes the stock holdings of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, I know it's time to break out his portfolio and look it over for some terrific ideas."

Cramer believes that "just when it starts to seem like Buffett may have lost his touch, that's when his bets really start to pay off."

Read More Berkshire Hathaway's 15 biggest stock holdings

In addition, Cramer said the tide is turning on Wall Street. "This piece comes out right at a moment when momentum funds are falling by the wayside and what's hot has definitely become what's not."

Here's his take on Berkshire's top 10 publicly disclosed U.S. stock holdings:

Wells Fargo: The bank has a "truly fortress balance sheet." If the stock gets hit by Friday's earnings report, Cramer thinks Buffett might buy more and "maybe you should, too."

Coca-Cola: "I'm not a fan" as carbonated drink sales drop in the U.S., but it's still growing oversees and has a "terrific" dividend "so it's holding up fine."

American Express: "Who among us doesn't wish that we own this juggernaut."

IBM: "I think 2015 is when IBM will produce both better margins and better revenues. Buffett's a very patient man."

Procter & Gamble: "I know this company's trying to get back on its game," but it's buying back stock and increased its dividend, "keeping you enticed while management figures out how to right the ship, which they will."

Exxon Mobil: The stock's decline has reversed and "Exxon in the end is going to stay extremely lucrative even if it hasn't been able to grow production." It also has the best stock buyback "in the land."

Wal-Mart: The retailer, "while not a favorite, has at least stabilized its decline. ... You could do a lot worse."

US Bancorp: "A personal favorite of mine. ... Ever notice how you never hear about these guys getting in trouble? That's because they don't."

DIRECTV: "In a land of scarce media properties, here's one of the most coveted names around."

DeVita HealthCare: "This dialysis play is one of the best baby boomer stories out there."

(DIRECTV and DeVita were bought for Berkshire by the company's new portfolio managers, not by Buffett himself.)

Cramer's conclusion: "I think anyone looking for 10 nonmomentum, total-value ideas would be hard-pressed to find many better than this portfolio." It's the "antidote to the madness infecting the market, or at least the Nasdaq right now."

"Warren Buffett: I'm a buyer, not a seller. I think this year his luck's about to change."

Times change, of course. In February 2009, just before the U.S. stock market hit its financial crisis low, Cramer told investors not to follow Buffett's lead because they will not profit "within the time frame they care about."

Read More3 reasons 2008 fallout shocked Buffett

He also criticized Buffett's "Buy American" New York Times op-ed the previous October. Stocks continued to plunge in the following months, so Cramer said, "Those who bought America that day are feeling ... well, downright un-American. Or at least they're feeling poorer."

Since then, Buffett has acknowledged his call to buy stocks was a bit early and Cramer has acknowledged that Buffett had the right idea.

Disclosure: Jim Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of IBM and Wells Fargo.

By CNBC's Alex Crippen.

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WFC
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AXP
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IBM
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PG
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XOM
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WMT
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USB
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DTV
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DVA
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