The expectations game has gotten out of control, said James Cramer Tuesday on his
Texas Instruments (TXN - Get Report), Halliburton (HAL - Get Report) and Legg Mason (LM - Get Report) all reported quarterly results and issued guidance that was "pretty much what we were looking for," said Cramer, but investors sold the stocks anyway.
Cramer blames momentum investors who wanted to see dramatically increased guidance. When that didn't happen, they sold.
It may take until Texas Instruments' midquarter update for its stock to "heal," said Cramer. For Halliburton and Legg Mason, it may take until their next quarterly earnings reports, he said. But, if one has patience, the declines today are an opportunity to buy, he said.Late Tuesday, Texas Instruments was down 7.8% to $28.50. Halliburton was down 3.2% to $59.15, and Legg Mason was down 7% to $101.99. On the flip side of the expectations game, said Cramer, expectations for IntraLase (ILSE), which reported a great quarter, and Du Pont (DD - Get Report), which reported a quarter that was nothing special, had gotten too negative. Their stocks are up today. St. Joe (JOE - Get Report) guided down, but its stock was roughly unchanged, he said. Cramer added he would rather buy Halliburton, Legg Mason and Texas Instruments before Du Pont or IntraLase, though. Cramer's Danger Zone stock of the day was Autobytel (ABTL - Get Report). The company has had a "parade of horribles" this year, including delays in filing its financials, restatements, guidance cuts and a new CFO, he said. Tuesday's announcement that the company has put itself up for sale is the good news, said Cramer. He would sell the stock as he doesn't believe anybody will pay these prices for it, he said. Autobytel traded at $4.59 late Tuesday. Cramer said HMO stocks are down today after Coventry Health Care (CVH), Centene (CNC - Get Report) and Sierra Health Services (SIE) all reported subpar quarters. Investors are worried about WellPoint (WLP) and Aetna (AET - Get Report), he said, and are selling the stocks to lock in gains.