Think Defensive Dividends on an Up Day

Don’t get carried away in the euphoria an up 148-point day in the Dow. Even at a time like this, investors have to think about protecting their portfolios. And one of the best ways to do that, as Cramer always says, is with dividends.

You’d be hard-pressed to find better company payouts than those offered by master limited partnerships, which return a good portion of their profits to shareholders. And among these MLPS, Cramer right now is bullish on propane stocks like Inergy .

NRGY, the fourth-largest distributor in the U.S., pays out a good-sized yield of 8.6 percent. Cramer likes the company, not only for that dividend, but also because it operates as a sort of unregulated utility, buying propane at wholesale prices and selling at a markup to its 700,000 customers across 33 states. Inergy also has a growing natural gas storage operation in New York and Texas, too, a great place to be as America produces more and more nat gas.

Inergy reported a solid quarter Tuesday morning, the stock is up 32 percent since Cramer’s Dec. 2, 2009, recommendation, and he thinks there’s more room to run. A talk with CEO John Sherman should tell us if he’s right. Watch the video to see the full interview.

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