Not all conference calls are created equal. At times, the difference can be worth billions to a company.
, for instance, which we are long. We thought the conference call rambled too much and wasn't clear about how strong the business was. I had to keep hopping off the
call, which was fantastico (we are long that one, too), to try to decipher what Lucent was saying.
What does the confusion sow? First, we don't know whether to buy the weakness or not. I mean, was Lucent confident, as
asserted? Was it as nervous as it sounded at several points during the call? Is Y2K a real worry or a boilerplate worry? (This is especially important because corporate top dogs had been telling us lately not to worry.)
Finally, why do I need the headache of trying to understand Lucent when there are cleaner stories out there?
So we are stuck. We are just watching here, not buying or selling. Until we know more.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Lucent and Tyco. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at