NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jim Cramer fills his blog on RealMoney every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:
- how this earnings season is excellent despite the haters, and
- why utilities and oil stocks are top performers now.
Click here for information on RealMoney, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.
Excellent Earnings, Tough Audience
Posted at 4:29 P.M. EST on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Don't blame the companies! Sometimes I get so doggone frustrated that I have to let some of the aggression out, and when the averages scorched higher, I am going to blow off some steam.
Let's get right to my beef: I am sick and tired of hearing that earnings for companies are tepid and that sales aren't so hot. This earnings season got started with Alcoa (AA - Get Report), which told you that things are improving for trucks, cars, aerospace and non-residential housing.
Think back to when it reported. What was the commentary? I heard people say, "The revenues were weak." Actually, that's a joke, revenue was very strong. The company just shut down a lot of excess capacity that was actually losing money. If you wanted Alcoa to garner more sales with unprofitable foundries, pardon me, but you are an idiot, and you have never run a business. That's why the stock hasn't skipped a beat and is now up 70% from its low of nine months ago. It does bug me that no one even seems to recognize that this was the best Alcoa quarter in years, on the top and bottom lines.
Yes, we did get a particularly horrible quarter from JPMorgan (JPM - Get Report). Actually, mind-bogglingly terrible. I can't help but think that business got away from the company because of the regulatory pressure. There's really no other way to say it, and I am deeply disappointed in the company.
But Wells Fargo (WFC) reported what can only be described as a fantastic quarter with amazing growth, superb and eye-opening. The largest bank in the country and the best run, it had double-digit everything, and that says, frankly, that domestically we are doing so well in this country. Remember that Wells Fargo is truly America's bank, given that it doesn't even pretend to be an investment and trading bank. It's a lender, and lending is going gangbusters.
Citigroup (C) is taking a day off from rallying, but can we stipulate that this is one of those breakout quarters that shows you that if Citi were to get its regulatory house in order, you would see its stock back in the $50s. It has a ton of capital, it has slimmed down nicely, and all of the black holes are disappearing. I know it's not there yet, but this quarter was sharply better than expected on both the bottom and top lines.
Tuesday, we saw two of the most picture-perfect quarters that I have come across from two big Dow Jones industrials: Coca-Coca (KO) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The former was supposed to do poorly, because everyone knows that carbonated sodas have gone out of fashion in this country, both diet and regular. But Coca-Cola management knows that the emerging markets still are keen on soda, and it put its considerable marketing muscle behind those markets. It worked. Made me feel that the pipsqueak activist who has been harassing the company for paying its execs too much owes management an apology. That won't happen. But it's nice to think that when the complainer gets older, he will look back and be happy that I was the only one who criticized him, even as he knows he was wrong.