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TheStreet Open House

Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: The Best and Worst Earnings

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's time to take a vacation from Washington and focus on what really matters -- earnings, Jim Cramer said on "Mad Money" Thursday. Great companies don't make excuses, they deliver the goods, which is why Cramer took time out to celebrate the best and worst earnings so far this quarter.

Among the triumphs: Verizon (VZ), a stock that delivered double-digit growth, strong cash flows and customer loyalty, plus beat the estimates and raised them. Cramer said that with this remarkable management team, it's no wonder he's been recommending the company for almost eight years.

Also making Cramer's top performers list: American Express (AXP), a company on the ropes just a few years ago but now one with credit card losses at historic lows. American Express didn't see any slowdown in spending from Washington, Cramer noted, which is why shares popped 5% today.

Finally, there's PPG Industries (PPG), a company that dispelled the myth that there are no opportunities for growth if you're an industrial company. PPG has growth in every region around the globe, including Europe.

Then there were the misses, failures and disappointments. Cramer called out IBM (IBM), eBay (EBAT) and Xilinx (XLNX) as the worst misses so far. He said IBM delivered no growth, while eBay saw commerce decelerating. After boasting it was taking market share a few weeks ago, Xilinx announced today it lost a huge order to a competitor and offered up only tepid guidance for the rest of the year.

Cramer said he expects most earnings this quarter to be like Verizon, American Express and PPG, three great companies that can prosper even when Washington is on the brink of tanking our entire economy.

Executive Decision: Michael Kneeland

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Michael Kneeland, president and CEO of United Rentals (URI), the construction equipment renter that today delivered a four-cents-a-share earnings beat on a 7.5% year-over-year rise in revenue. United Rentals also reaffirmed guidance, news that sent shares up 3.6% in today's trading.

Kneeland said an economic recovery in the U.S. seems to be underway, which is why he expects a strong 2014 and a strong 2015. He said industries like the oil and gas industry are a major driver for equipment rentals, and United Rentals is following right along with them.

When asked if the U.S. was saturated with United Rental locations, Kneeland said there is still room for more and the company plans to open 18 new locations next year.

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