Mad Money

From 4 top S&P stocks, Cramer picks favorite

Cramer's March Madness: Nabors vs. Tyson

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

Shortly after Q1 ends, Jim Cramer likes to look at the top performing stocks in the S&P to determine which, if any, are likely to continue their moves higher.

And, after looking at the catalysts behind the top S&P stocks for the first quarter of 2014, Cramer thinks 2 of the big gainers are already out of the contest.

"The number one performer in the S&P for the first quarter was , but that's because Forest is being acquired by Actavis, which is an automatic disqualification," Cramer said. (In other words, it really can't go any higher .)

Also Cramer ruled out Keurig Green Mountain, the third best performing stock in the S&P, "because gains were largely due to Coca-Cola's 10% stake in the company back in February." (That is, the advance was do to an extraordinary and unexpected catalyst.)

Therefore, with 2 top stocks already out of contention, Cramer turned his attention to Nabors, the number two performer, and Tyson, the number four stock.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

And after comparing the firms, Cramer said the winner was plain to see.

"After I drilled l down into the specifics here, it became pretty clear to me that Nabors was the best bet for the remainder of 2014," Cramer said.

Although Cramer likes Tyson, he said the stock was, "basically a commodity play. The business is all about managing margins, how much they make after raising and selling their merchandise, and right now things may be looking a bit grim on that front."

Conversely, he thinks Nabors is a company that's becoming more efficient in an industry that's showing great promise.

"Thanks in a large part to all of these newfound unconventional oil plays here in North America, as well as the continued relatively high price of oil, we're seeing an acceleration in drilling activity, particularly onshore in the United States. So the drillers have a rising tide that benefits all ships."

Read MoreMad Money with Jim Cramer
Cramer: Signs suggest market vulnerable
Hated stocks getting some love, again
Do you fear stocks in bubble?

That's not to say that other stocks may not eclipse these by the end of the year. That's entirely possible.

Cramer is simply looking at the stocks that have gained the most and then trying to extrapolate forward, to see if any have momentum that could endure.

And of the 4 top performing S&P stocks so far this year, Jim Cramer thinks the stock that should still have considerable upside going forward, is Nabors.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer?

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website?