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Cramer’s Ultimate Growth Stocks for 2012

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Apple (AAPL)

To Cramer, Apple is “the greatest growth stock of our lives.” The technology giant has built itself into one of the world’s most respected brands, with a massive following of loyal customers. Here’s how it sizes up to Cramer’s growth rubric.

1. Clear Growth Path: Cramer noted that from the iPad to the iPod and iPhone, Apple has many popular products that present multiple revenue streams.

2. Market for Products: Apple has a lot of upside because many of its products still aren’t dominant, Cramer said. Barring the iPod, all Apple products are still ramping up and taking market share.

3. Competition: Apple is so innovative it will remain competitive, Cramer said.

4. Capital to Shareholders: Last month, Apple gave in to investor pressure to pay a dividend after the company's cash pile grew to almost $100 billion.

5. International Expansion: When it comes to technology companies, Apple is “further than most” in terms of international expansion, Cramer said. It still has work to do, though.

6. Balance Sheet Strength: Cramer thinks Apple has the “best balance sheet in the world.”

7. Is It Expensive?: Expected to earn more than $50 a share in 2013, Apple is “absurdly cheap” at 12.75 times earnings — especially considering the average stock sells at 14 times earnings.

8. Strong Management: Cramer said Apple’s management team has been doing a fantastic job in the wake of the passing of founder Steve Jobs.

9. Secular Growth: Apple has built such a strong brand that it does well, even in a sluggish economy.

10. Margin Growth: Raw costs won’t constrain Apple, Cramer said. He expects Apple to grow margins.

Photo: Getty Images