One fine earnings day

From DuPont to Google, Tuesday's showing was nice indeed.

By Jim Cramer Jan 23, 2013 10:05AM

thestreet logoReport card C Squared Studios Getty ImagesSometimes you just grade 'em like a big class taking their final exam. That's how I felt about Tuesday's parade of earnings. You start off with DuPont (DD), and you have to be encouraged simply that this company performed much better than it did last time. It was like the dog stopped eating CEO Ellen Kullman's homework and she delivered a respectable quarter. There were no high-fives during the exam, and you could tell she was still furious at herself from last quarter's miserable effort. Still, when a "D" student gets a "C," it is a big deal in the school of hard earnings. In short, Kullman has moved out of the cellar with that quarter.

 

Meanwhile, across the hall, Travelers' (TRV) Jay Fishman -- the best insurance executive in the world -- quietly delivers a summa cum laude on the quarter through a combination of higher rates and thoughtful underwriting. He made you feel as if he had predicted Hurricane Sandy (I am not kidding -- go have a listen) and tremendous investing of your premiums. Makes you want to switch away from Geico's talking pig, Progressive's (PGR) woman in white, State Farm's discount Cheesehead check and Allstate's (ALL) President Palmer all in one conference call.

 

Remarkable. I found myself thinking, holy cow, am I glad I am not in that class. I would have had to do a lot of explaining to my dad about how I couldn't keep up with Jay Fishman, and he would make me watch less television and hang out less with my hoodlum friends.


Then there's IBM (IBM) after the close. Oh, we are so darned fixated with the top line. However, IBM knows you can get terrific grades not by just showing up, which is what sales can really be about -- but by saying "no" to bad sales and "yes" to good sales, the ones that make you the most of money. IBM made as much money as it did not because of the oft-charged alchemy of big share buybacks, but also because it makes a huge amount of profit on each sale.

What a remarkable quarter -- pure dean's list, and a nice surprise. It makes me feel that perhaps IBM just didn't feel well in that last quarterly exam, and should have gotten a note to the testing agency from its mother that it was under the weather.

 

Now how about this Google (GOOG)? Here's a company that sent shareholders down a 100-point chute with a shocking, amateurish and stunning midday release of a quarter that wasn't due until after the close. It was like a defenseless hit to the blind side, and there were all sorts of red flags thrown and a suspension from the stock commissioner.

 

This quarter was a redemption song and a complete reinstatement of Google's greatness, with terrific growth and new products that are stealing the limelight from just about everyone. Plus, there was no defensiveness, just unbridled optimism. I felt like doing an end-zone dance at its conclusion, but then they'd throw a flag for excessive celebration.


How could you not feel terrific, though, when they discuss how people now "carry a supercomputer in their pocket all the time?" Google is treating this era like the birth of the personal computer -- arming that supercomputer with everything you need, from car self-parking to the cheapest and best airline and restaurant reservations.

 

Plus, just in case you had worries about whether these joyous rocket scientists didn't care enough about their financial grades, they sprung this classic line on you after discussing the questionable Motorola acquisition: "Just to remind everybody, we do care about profitability." Take that, you nitpicking teachers. They've got some Ray Lewis in 'em for certain.

 

All in all, it was a terrific day to take the earnings exam. The worst got better, the feckless were going straight and narrow -- and the nerd insurance guy was just killing it, as the nerds always do.

Cramer's face

 


Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust and is long DD and IBM.

 

 

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20Comments
Jan 23, 2013 10:51AM
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So cramer - I just saw your article from yesterday when you slammed the Fed for not being smart enough in 2007 while you patted yourself on the back for saying interest rates should be lowered.

But don't you recall saying that every sub prime mortgage in America could go bad and there would not be a problem?

Don't you recall saying loudly and often how great a buy countrywide was as they "know what they are doing" ...vis a vis sub prime mortgages.

Don't you recall telling people to "stay out of the market" when the Dow was at 8200 ?

By your metrics above you would surely get an "F" and probably lower if there was a lower grade.
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what no numbers behind the earnings???

 

how can we tell if the company should get an A or an F

 

Cramer gets an F for failure to provide clear cut information

Jan 23, 2013 11:02AM
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If the CEO of Dupont is not smart enough to make decisions in ANY market scenario she is either lying or incompetent and should be terminated by her board.
Jan 23, 2013 12:38PM
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"So far earnings are an A+"

 

Pretty amazing feat without an economy here, or any place else in the world. Kind of like the crook that drives the brand new Cadillac home but has no job, savings or any other assets. WAIT... aren't those SIRENS we here in the background? PLEASE let it be sirens... finallly.

 

Close the Banks, end the Federal Reserve, get RID of Wall Street.

Jan 23, 2013 10:49AM
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DuPont came through ok.  Interesting interview with their CEO, Kullman, who said they aren't making any long term plans or commitments and will continue to operate on a week-by-week, month-by-month, quarter-by-quarter basis.  She attributed this strategy to, guess what........ too much uncertainty!!!  According to this multi-billion-dollar company, the political and economic waters are still just too murky for them to do any long range planning.  This means no major R&D developments or investments, no big roll-outs, no big expansion plans, no big takeover goals and none of the hiring that goes along with these things.

Every single problem this administration and this congress get presented with, gets shoved into a rusty can and kicked down the road.  Obamacare?  Still don't know the implications.  Tax policy?  Nothing permanent.  Debt ceiling and Fiscal cliff? Here's a patch that will buy us another few weeks.  Securing the border?  Can't even agree on calling them illegals.  NAFTA?  We'll get back to ya.  Energy policy? Uh, uh, uh.....

We've reached a point where more is lost through indecision than wrong decision.   Instead of forming a committee and discussing the pros and cons of using mohoganny or rosewood for the finish trim in the galley, we need someone to step up and steer the friggin' ship.
Jan 23, 2013 12:18PM
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I think Kosmo Kramer.....Watches too many TV commercials..??
Jan 23, 2013 1:21PM
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The part of this bull run with such A+ earnings that truly bothers me is that it is occurring in a false market.  I know earnings are earnings but these are false profits. They are the result of and the most part due to a continuing arbitrage where the values of Americans prior to the onslaught of this free trade or outsourcing of the American lifestyle has yet to be thoroughly washed out.  When the Lifestyle of the American worker has declined to that of the Koreans, Chinese, Mexicans then we perhaps will see "earned" profits.  The Corporatist political body has fabricated a mismatch whereby Internationals are making unarguably huge profits at the expense and lifestyle of the American middle class as well as the small business person unable to outsource for cheap foreign labor. In time this wash will be finished, most Americans will live a much more frugal lifestyle, and this shooting fish in a barrel business climate we see today will be but a memory.  So cheer them on Jimbo, enjoy the false "Profits" but remember this rigged party will not go on forever!   JMHO
Jan 23, 2013 10:55AM
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Btw are you going for the "cool factor" again with your mentions of "hoodlum friends" and ray lewis in one article.

Surely you are not lauding a man who participated in a murder and then snitched out his buddies to avoid prosecution.

Are you that desperate to be thought of as cool and relevant?

I think most of your followers are 70 + and you are not so different to this "telemarketers" who try and sell stuff to gullible old people. 
Jan 23, 2013 1:30PM
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The bears just hate to hear good news.Sour pusses want to hear of a depression

or something worse.I`ve made a ton of money off this market the last 4 years.It`s

helped expand my limo service.

Jan 23, 2013 12:17PM
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Steve.....At least you are on a Financial Site, instead of a YOU TUBE funny.....

There are plenty of other sites that a person can learn things about the Markets...

Spend a little time on them to pick up more knowledge about investing...Not this political BS, 50%

I use to read a lot before I retired, and listened at/or went to any retirement seminar that our Company put on....I had that luxury, they wanted to "downsize" and get rid of some of us...

 

The ones that didn't partake or scoffed at some of the information that was presented; Aren't living as easy of a life, as some of us that did..

Of course back then "some" weren't even in 401Ks...They operated against all odds, of having a better retirement...

The first 4-5 years of 401s, there was only about a 30-35% participation rate at many places...

Plus we got bonus stock incentives or options, some chose to sell them quickly for the cash. 

Jan 23, 2013 11:06AM
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50-60 upside....That would be hard to take, two days in a row....

 

Actually I think it could be a little more.....IMO.

 

But then some profit takers come along and beat us down......Oh well.

Save us CGT1, save us..

Jan 23, 2013 10:30AM
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Most World Markets....Mixed to Flat....Nikkei(Japan) the exception.

 

Gold maybe push at 1700 again, at about $1692.

Silver down hair hanging close to $32..

Oil down smidge still above $96...

 

Looking for flat, doubt it...Techs will float all boats today, not just Nasdaq.

Small gains on good companies..

Jan 23, 2013 10:24AM
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I thought that was what "Stock Scouter" was for....You know 1-10 ??

 

And then Buy, Hold, or Sell.  .....?? Analyst's opinions ?

Jan 23, 2013 11:33AM
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Oh yes Jimmie but what about your beloved Apple after the bell today?
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