Jim Cramer always advocates identifying big themes in the market and then putting money to work in the stocks of companies that appear well positioned to benefit from that theme.
And as the new year approaches, Cramer thinks it's prudent to revisit themes to determine if they remain investable.
Identifying and investing in market themes is a concept Cramer details at length in his soon to be released book Get Rich Carefully.
"Following you'll find two of my favorite themes and the best ways to play them. For the other five you'll have to buy the book," Cramer said with a wink.
Theme #1. Biotech companies have emerged as developers of effective drugs in the fight against serious diseases.
In the past big pharma had dominated the drug market but smaller companies that focus on niche areas of medicine are starting to unseat their larger rivals.
Cramer believes the trend should endure for some time as more companies show success with all kinds of drugs. However, if you're an investor looking to leverage the trend, Cramer says the following 4 companies are among his favorites in the space.
Celgene: Cramer see Celgene as a 3-pronged play on drug development. "The first is made up of their lucrative multiple-myeloma franchise, led by the mega-blockbuster Revlimid, which still has a lot of room to grow in Europe. The second is Abraxane, a potential blockbuster oncology drug that's approved for breast cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. The third is Apremilast, an immunology and inflammation drug that's still in development, which I think could be a breakout treatment for arthritis."
Gilead: Cramer said Gilead is on the cutting edge of HIV drugs. "And in addition, it's the company behind some Hepatitis C drug candidates that are miles ahead of rivals. Gilead just got FDA approval for the main Hep C drug earlier this month, and I think it will be huge. But don't get me wrong, this company also has a terrific pipeline including some cardiovascular drugs and cancer treatments."
Biogen: Cramer said Biogen is making big progress in the fight against multiple sclerosis. "They have three major drugs that help alleviate the symptoms of this awful chronic condition, including the recently approved Tecfidera, which can be taken as a pill rather than an injection. The company also owns 20% of Rituxan, Roche's drug for non-hodgkin's lymphoma, and they've got a terrific looking hemophilia franchise in the pipeline."
Regeneron: Cramer feels Regeneron has a hit with a drug called Eylea, a breakthrough treatment for age-related macular degeneration. "Regeneron also has a second major drug, Zaltrap, for bowel cancer, and it's a research and development machine with a terrific treatment for super-high cholesterol in phase 3 development that has the potential to be a major blockbuster."
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Theme #2. There's an energy renaissance underway in North America due to new technology that's provided access harder to reach energy reserves.
Looking ahead to 2014, Cramer believe the theme not only remains intact, but should blossom as the economy recovers. To leverage the theme, Cramer recommends the following:
"I like independents," Cramer said. "I don't think you can go wrong with EOG Resources which has assets all across North America, but is particularly strong in the Eagle Ford shale in Texas, a play that's practically overflowing with oil."
"Then there's Noble Energy, another company that's in many of the domestic oil shales, but they're especially dominant in the Niobrara in Colorado, near Denver, where the best acreage can be found."
"If you want an oil producer with a terrific yield, I like Linn Energy," Cramer added.
"And last but not least, take a look at National Oilwell Varco, the leading maker of oil-rig equipment with 60% market share," Cramer explained. "National Oilwell has been a bit of a laggard this year, up just 13.6% for 2013, but I like this company going forward. The high price of oil around the globe suggests to me that National Oilwell's getting a ton of orders, and they should see accelerating earnings growth next year."
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