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Earnings expectations are all over the map this quarter, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday. And when that happens, expect individual stocks to see wild moves in both directions.
The broader averages may seem tame, but the stock of Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report wasn't. Cramer said investors were expecting this Action Alerts PLUS holding to announce great things but in reality the stock isn't yet investable.
Then there's Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report , another Action Alerts core position, which was brought down yesterday on fears of slowing sales, fears that were disproven when the company reported today.
No one expected great things from Alibaba (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Limited American Depositary Shares each representing eight Report , but the company saw strong mobile sales growth that sent its shares higher, while T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get T-Mobile US Inc. Report shares cooled by 5.7% because its good earnings just weren't good enough.
Similar failed expectations played a role with UPS (UPS) - Get United Parcel Service Inc. Report , Coach (COH) and DuPont (DD) - Get DuPont de Nemours Inc. Report , the latter up a quick 2.8% on management's assertion that it will do "whatever it takes" to fix that ailing company.
What can investors expect in future? Cramer said to be prepared for more expectations and more wild reactions when they're not fulfilled.
Executive Decision: Ben Baldanza
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Ben Baldanza, president and CEO of Spirit Airlines (SAVE) - Get Spirit Airlines Inc. Report , a stock that fell 8.4% today after the company reported a 3 cents-a-share earnings beat. Shares of Spirit are now down over 54% for the year and trade at less than eight times earnings.
Baldanza explained that after a big round of consolidation in the airline industry, everybody thought capacity would remain stable. But with fuel prices so low the industry is growing again, which means prices per seat have been falling.
But despite tightening margins, Baldanza noted that Spirit remains profitable and has been since 2007. He said his airline isn't making any wholesale changes to its business model because it doesn't have to. However, the company is adjusting as needed to the increased competition.
Cramer said he likes that Spirit is never afraid to answer the tough questions.
Who's Right on Gildan Activewear?
The analysts have been duking it out over apparel maker Gildan Activewear (GIL) - Get Gildan Activewear Inc. Class A Sub. Vot. Report and Cramer threw his hat into the ring.
Back on Oct. 16, Gildan received both an upgrade and a downgrade from competing research firms, then received a second negative note a few days later. That sent shares of Gildan, which had rallied from just $9 in 2011 to a high of $35, down over 10% in just over a week, back down to its 52-week lows.
So who's right? Cramer said the bulls cite Gildan's strong momentum over the past few years and its continued opportunities for growth. Meanwhile, the bears see weakness in retail that could adversely affect what they view as a commodity player.
Cramer said with shares trading at 14.5 times earnings, they're cheap but not cheap enough given the slowdown that retailers are indeed reporting. He said Gildan has terrific products and a powerful story, but in the short term this stock is likely heading still lower.
Off the Charts
In the "Off the Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Robert Moreno over the direction of the big integrated oil stocks and the oil service sector. Readers may recall Moreno's bullish call on Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report back in September, which played out as expected.
Moreno noted that after a 13.7% rise in Exxon, the stock has now hit a ceiling of resistance at its 200-day moving average and is now likely to trade sideways.
When looking at the oil service sector, however, Moreno saw a different pattern emerging. He noted that the Market Vectors Oil Service ETF (OIH) - Get VanEck Oil Services ETF Report has formed a double bottom and, more recently a bullish flag formation above its 50-day moving average. Moreno felt if the exchange-traded fund could hold above $31.50, it would be clear sailing through $37.50.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer used the current state of the telecom industry as a lesson in stock picking.
He called T-Mobile's 5.7% decline today "unjustified" and a rare opportunity to buy a company that is looking great for 2016 as its network buildout expenses begin to slow.
Then there's Verizon (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report , a much safer stock that has become a bond market equivalent with a nice 4.9% yield. AT&T (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report also offers a solid yield of 5.6%, but is a slightly riskier bet with shares off 1% for year the year.
Which one is best for you? Cramer said it depends on your risk tolerance. Are you looking for safe and steady or is a faster-growing stock or even a takeover bet more your style?
To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, ETP and TWTR.