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NEW YORK (
) -- Next week's trading will hinge on the latest jobs report, Jim Cramer cautioned
viewers Friday as he laid out his game plan.
Cramer said the wealth effect has been enough to overcome the market's sequestration fears, but worries about the
and its rampant bond buying all depend on a jobs number that's not too good, nor too bad.
Beyond the jobs report, Cramer said
Ascena Retail Group
will have his attention on Monday, as this once-loved retailer has become terribly disappointing. Cramer said he wants to see a solid quarter before even thinking about investing in this name.
Tuesday brings earnings from the rural-based
. Cramer said he's betting this company takes out its all-time high.
Then on Wednesday, a lot of activity.
is holding an analyst day and Cramer said he'd be a buyer on weakness. Likewise with
, which reports earnings and
, both Cramer faves. He noted that he's worried about
, however, and would not be a buyer.
Also on Wednesday, grocer
, followed by
on Thursday. Cramer said he'd use these companies' earnings to pick up some
on the cheap.
For "Speculation Friday," Cramer said that sometimes it's worth taking a second look at under-performing stocks that still have the potential to turn themselves around.
That's certainly the case with beauty product maker
, a stock that was crushed 16% on Jan. 31 after the company reported miserable results and slashed guidance for 2013.
Cramer said that after making some negative remarks about the company shortly thereafter he received a letter from the company explaining its situation. Turns out Arden is in the middle of a major brand repositioning, with all of its products and packaging being redone in a more upscale fashion. Arden is also cutting the number of stock-keeping units, or SKU, it produces, making things less confusing for customers to buy and easier for retailers to buy.
Among the stores that have received the new look, sales are up over 20%, said the company, and with new Internet-based training for all their staff, there's only room for upside. Cramer noted that Arden's international growth is also attractive as the company has little European exposure.
Now that the company has slashed its guidance to where it can beat it, the stock is more attractive, trading at 13.5 times earnings with a 12% growth rate. Cramer said the company remains speculative, but it just might have what it takes for successful turnaround.
Lowe's vs. Home Depot
A rising tide may lift all boats, but that's no reason to sacrifice a best-of-breed company for a second-rate one. That was Cramer's conclusion after diving into the earrings from both
, a stock he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS.
On the surface, it may seem that both companies did well when they last reported. Lowe's delivered a three-cent-a-share earnings beat on higher revenue, but guidance fell below forecasts, sending share lower by 4.8%. Home Depot also delivered a three-cent beat on stronger revenue and also gave guidance below expectations.
But Cramer said the matrix that matters for these home-improvement giants is same-store sales, where Lowe's came in at just 1.9% growth while Home Depot rocked the house with a 7% gain. Cramer said that's the widest split in growth in over 13 years for these companies. Home Depot also offered investors its fourth dividend boost in recent years and a stock buyback that was larger than that of Lowe's.
When you boil down the earnings, Home Depot has better stores in better locations and a better management team that knows how to execute, said Cramer.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on
Lions Gate Entertainment
Enterprise Products Partners
iShares MSCI Mexico
Cramer was bearish on
Penn West Energy Trust
Am I Diversified?
In the "Am I Diversified?" segment, Cramer spoke with callers and responded to tweets sent via Twitter to
to see if investors' portfolios have what it takes for today's markets.
The first portfolio included:
American International Group
Cramer said JPMorgan can coexist with AIG and he blessed this portfolio as diversified.
The second portfolio's top holdings included:
SPDR Gold Shares
Cramer called two-of-a-kind with Verizon and AT&T and said that he'd swap out AT&T for a drug stock like
The third portfolio had:
as its top five stocks.
For this portfolio, Cramer advised selling Excel and once again adding a stock like Bristol Myers.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said he's tired of hearing about government sequestration fears because the bears have yet to come up with any stock that's actually being hurt by our national budget woes.
He said the closest the bears have come are the defense stocks, but those names are still hitting new highs.
Cramer said until some creative financier develops a "federal sequestration misery index" to track those stocks that are actually being affected, the markets will likely still not care.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in BMY, CSCO, EWW and HD.
Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC Universal or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."
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