Will megastorm be another earnings excuse?

Hurricane Sandy could become one more caveat, one more 'lost day' that couldn't be made up that shouldn't matter at all.

By Jim Cramer Oct 29, 2012 9:05AM

TheStreet logoDigital Vision Ltd., SuperStockAre we looking at another asterisked quarter?


I have to presume this shutdown now comes under the category of "We would have made X if it weren't for the hurricane." We will then be suspicious of what business was really missed, especially in an online world. where people can shop on the Internet and make decisions about business that don't require them to leave their homes.


I can already hear RadioShack (RSH) say the hurricane hurt business and Best Buy (BBY) saying it was just beginning to turn around, but . . .


I mention this caveat only because these quarters that are just being reported are all about caveating. What would have happened if the euro had gone higher. What would have been the case if September were colder. What might have been the number if we weren't worried about the fiscal cliff. The economic turmoil in Europe cost us X.


Why is this so important? Simply because if business were really good, we wouldn't know the difference. We would just be saying, "Of course, sure, wow, that number would have been terrific."

I have spent most of this earnings season simply trying to figure out how bad things really are and how bad they are going to get simply because governments around the world aren't doing much to stimulate growth or are simply delaying strategies that could help business. There seems to be no core business support at any government level in Europe or the United States. In China we are getting some, and in Canada it seems to be the ethos.


But without government support -- not just for small business but for business itself -- we are caught here just twiddling our thumbs. The storm becomes one more caveat, one more "lost day" that couldn't be made up that shouldn't matter at all. It just makes things bleaker.


And bleak they are. The binary world we find ourselves in is who is doing badly right now and who is about to do badly. No one is thought to be doing well, except those companies that do a lot of business in China, because the perception that's becoming clear there is that the government simply overtightened and that policy has been turned over.


Of course, the companies you buy because of China are now suffering from weakness in the United States, and they are going to lose valuable days because of the storm, not just because of the fiscal cliff or the election, for that matter.


So we are all about alibis and alibis that don't hold up as we wait for everyone to disappoint, even the companies that aren't about to.

Jim 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 has no positions in stocks mentioned.


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Oct 29, 2012 12:30PM

" governments around the world aren't doing much to stimulate growth or are simply delaying strategies that could help business"...


Please  NO MORE government interventions, NO MORE stimulus...it is madness.

And in the second part of your comment you're right, Govmts interference is only delaying things for business while creates a mortgage for this and future generations.


And talking about nature...Nature's wisdom ( after some billions of years of test): Whatever is not working must be gone. After this natural process life goes on...just see through your window and all those natural marvels  are the result of such simple and amazing process.

Govmnt interference is just delaying the inevitable; govmt intervention is picking winners and losers...for now. But eventually everything must come to its natural balance.


Oct 29, 2012 10:53AM
8 Days till Obama is FIRED!    America can see relief for the democrat economic  Malaise is within sight!
Oct 29, 2012 11:23AM
Cramer you wall street tool.  When things are good the government needs to get out of the way and stop interferring but when things go south those same people are the first ones looking for a hand out.  Don't you give me government support crap bunch of two faced..........
Oct 29, 2012 2:04PM
The best stimulus for America is for Gov't to shut down for several weeks or better yet, months.
Oct 29, 2012 11:05AM

Right on MG !!!!!!  8 more day's until we elect a president who knows how to unite our congress, to get things done for America without all of the left / right rhetoric !!


Also, in 8 more day's, those annoying 'vote for Obama' phone calls will stop !!

YES- there is a God !! 

Oct 29, 2012 12:53PM
I'm waiting for the headline;

"Hurricane Shuts Down Cramer"
Oct 29, 2012 2:19PM

Here's the transcript from the Letterman show, with Maddow;

“DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: "Here’s what upset me last night, this playing fast and loose with facts. And the President Obama cites the op-ed piece that Romney wrote about Detroit, “Let them go bankrupt, let them go bankrupt,” and last night he brings it up again. “Oh, no, Governor, you said let them go bankrupt, blah blah blah, let them go bankrupt.” And Mitt said, “No, no, check the thing, check the thing, check the thing.”

"Now, I don’t care whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you want your president to be telling the truth; you want the contender to be lying. And so what we found out today or soon thereafter that, in fact, the President Obama was not telling the truth about what was excerpted from that op-ed piece. I felt discouraged."

RACHEL MADDOW: Because the “Let Detroit go bankrupt” headline you feel like was inappropriate?

LETTERMAN: Well, the fact the President is invoking it and swearing that he was right and that Romney was wrong and I thought, well, he’s the president of course he’s right. Well, it turned out no, he was taking liberties with that.”

Oct 29, 2012 1:13PM

Excuses do not change the fact that a company's bottom line is what it is. 

Oct 29, 2012 2:43PM

You don't have to believe Lettermen, you only have to know how TO READ. 

Obama lied...again....no surprise....he's a LIAR. That's what he does...he LIES.
Oct 29, 2012 2:02PM
Voting for Obama is like wiping your butt before you poop. Just makes no sense at all.

Oct 29, 2012 10:00AM
*LOL* blame President Obama for hurricane Sandy.
He controls the weather and the global markets. right?

Kidding aside, I hope everyone in the path of the storm gets through it well and without incident.

Perhaps by the first week of Nov the DOW will gain 100 pts up from now.

Oct 29, 2012 2:06PM
Even David Letterman says he is disappointed with Obama's lies concerning Romney and auto bailout. 

You know you have screwed the pooch when Letterman distances himself from the Messiaha
Oct 29, 2012 12:49PM
I seriously doubt that that many, on either side, who will actually read the reports, are yet to make up their minds anyway.
Oct 29, 2012 2:39PM
Why does anyone listen to this guy?  He is wrong at least 50% of time you'll do just as well doing the exact opposite of what he says.  What a douche
Oct 29, 2012 2:10PM
Obama has been putting over 1,000 people per day on SS disability. It's at an all time high. More on food stamps, more on disability, more on welfare, more with free cell phones and computers......buying votes with your money. 
Oct 29, 2012 12:23PM

Not going to get into this blame game....But you woosies back East had better pack your stuff and get to high ground.....

If you aren't prepared by now, or don't heed any of the advice; It's basically YOUR FAULT.

Good Luck..

Oct 29, 2012 3:32PM
LOM said;
"Yeah, you're right...lets hire a bigger Liar to replace the one now. "

Obama Lied and said the Libya attack was a reaction to a video.
He Lied about Romney's comments on GM.
He lied about cutting the debt in half.
He lied about keeping unemployment under 8% and having it under 6% now.
He's lied about REAL employment numbers.
He lied about the Obamacare tax. ( You know, the one the IRS will start collecting in 2014 )
I'm not sure there could possibly be such thing as a "bigger liar" But there's Sure as HeII nothing more to lose by finding out!!!!!!!

Oct 29, 2012 2:30PM
KOO, you forgot the "K" on the end of your screen name.
Oct 29, 2012 10:11AM
I'm still blaming the Skull and Crossbones Club. They've decided to postpone Global Economic Destruction games for now. Notably, electronic trading is still up and running. That's the biggest and worst in uninterrupted manipulation and control.


Oct 29, 2012 1:53PM
"Hurricane drowns all the rich bankers" is the headline I'm waiting for. I'll even help with the concrete overshoes! Gladly!!!
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