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Once losers, 10 stocks growing mighty popular: Cramer

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

Jim Cramer calls it the revenge of the nerds. That is 10 out of favor stocks are suddenly becoming kind of 'in crowd.'

"Doesn't matter what industry, what sector. The nerds are now in charge," Cramer said. "Let's take a nerd roll call so you know exactly what I mean."

Spyros Bourboulis | First Light | Getty Images

Apple

Cramer said Apple had become as welcome as a math genius at football tryouts. "The company had lost its way. Apple was, amazingly, the un-coolest kid on the tech block." But that all changed in a single earnings release. On Wednesday, "we learned that Apple had real growth and the ecosystem was back." Suddenly the stock is cool again.

Lam Research

Perhaps more like the quiet kid that never draws attention, Lam Research has suddenly become Olivia Newton-John in that last scene of "Grease", a real looker.

"Lam earned $1.26 per share, an 8-cent beat, on top of record revenues that climbed 10% just from the previous quarter; the analysts were only expecting a 9% increase," Cramer said.

Shares haven't looked back

Texas Instrument

If ever there was a geek with a 10 gallon hat, it was Texas Instruments. But as it turned out, Texas Instruments didn't dress funny, it was ahead of the fashion curve.

"Three years ago Texas Instruments merged with National Semiconductor. But after the latest earnings, we know this merger's a winner, and TXN's become cool as all get out."

AstraZeneca

Perhaps AstraZeneca isn't a geek but the pretty girl that always attracts suitors.

"AstraZeneca earnings laid an egg this morning," Cramer said. "But guess what? The stock rallied because that quarter didn't throw any cold water on the idea of a possible merger. We'd heard that Pfizer might be interested in buying them."

Zimmer Holdings

Zimmer Holdings was just invited to the 'good' lunch table after making a winning play. "Zimmer is buying one of its competitors, the private Biomet, for a pretty nice price. That will make it a one-stop baby boomer joint replacement company overnight," Cramer said. The Street thinks that's a touchdown.

McDonald's

Talk about a class clown. "McDonald's spent months struggling with a string of not so hot quarters," Cramer said. "But after the latest earnings, the stock's breaking out to $100. McDonald's has the clout and the sourcing to keep those costs under control." Ronald McDonald may end up class president.

Stanley Black & Decker

If ever there was a shop geek, it's Stanley Black & Decker. "Wall Street thought this company was as cool as a bag of hammers," Cramer said. But as it turned out, hammers are kinda studly. "The latest report showed they finally got it right with every division excelling, including the ridiculously underperforming European business. It was a remarkable performance."

DR Horton

DR Horton may be the formerly popular kid whose friends no longer call. "However, DR Horton reported a number so strong that I had to read the release twice," Cramer said. Immediately, DR Horton went from 'nobody home' to top of the Wall Street speed dial.

Timken

"Ever since Timken disappointed a couple quarters ago, the Street effectively slushied this stock. But this morning Timken reported an 11 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating expectations, as the maker of ball bearings and specialty steel benefited from higher demand by the energy industry," Cramer said. Anybody who slushied Timken is gonna be sorry.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar had been worse than a geek; it was an ugly bug creeping down a tree branch. But on Thursday Caterpillar posted quarterly profits that topped estimates and Caterpillar raised its full-year outlook on a stronger-than-expected rebound in sales to the construction industry. "Now, it's a butterfly."

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All told, these 10 stocks are finally getting the attention they deserve. "They had been dowdy left-for-dead companies," Cramer said that nobody cared about.

But now they're starting to climb up the popularity ladder.

"No question, this is a revenge of the nerds. And I have to tell you, I don't think the revenge lasts just a day."

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