3 Laggards With Upside Potential

Cramer combed the S&P 500 to find three of its worst performing stocks in 2010, which also seem to have the potential to push higher. On Wednesday, the "Mad Money" host explained why these beaten down names could prove to be hidden gems:

Micron Technology : While shares of the technology company fell by 24 percent in 2010, Cramer thinks it's a decent speculative play in 2011. The semiconductor makes memory chips that go into smart phones and other devices, including Apple products. Selling at eight times next year's earnings, Cramer thinks this name is worth looking at.

AK Steel : Shares of the West Chester, Ohio-based company dropped by 23 percent in 2010, but Cramer is optimistic about the year ahead. He recommended AKS as a comeback play on July 16, 2010 when the stock was trading at $13.43. Since then, it's up by 25 percent. Cramer thinks it could continue to climb as the steel business improves. He recommends buying shares should it fall back to around the July 16 levels.

Southwestern Energy : Based in Houston, Southwestern is among the largest and fastest-growing exploration and production companies. The problem, Cramer said, is that it has 100 percent exposure to natural gas. That's a bad thing, considering nat gas prices are weak right now. But Cramer thinks nat gas prices are poised to stabilize and even improve as the economy gains strength. When that happens, Southwestern will benefit more than most because it's a low-cost operator with a high return on capital.

When this post was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Apple and Southwestern Energy.

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