Resisting the Hype

Companies shouldn't get trapped in the self-promotional game, Cramer says. All the bulls want are good numbers.
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Nothing's gutsier than a company that accelerates its reporting to beat the shorts. Last night,

Lucent

(LU)

decided it had enough of the naysayers and the whisperers. It issued a statement saying things are just fine, thank you.

Thank Heavens. Tech would get mashed today in the wake of this

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

call. There simply wasn't anything exciting or compelling -- or even positive -- about that Intel quarter.

Motorola

(MOT)

can't save tech alone. But Lucent's surprise bit of optimism will keep the balls in the air.

There's only one problem: I can't stand companies that promote like this. Let the bears do what they want. Let the shorts spread rumors. Just deliver the numbers when you are supposed to, and you'll do just fine. That's all a bull wants. Don't get trapped into responding every time your stock drops 10%. You will be forced into issuing releases every six or seven weeks at that pace.

How do I know? During the great

Cabletron

(CS) - Get Report

battles, that once-great stock would frequently issue surprising statements saying all was well. Each time that happened, the bulls grew less enamored of the stock. The Street doesn't like "promotional" companies.

Sure, the online guys love hype. They live and breathe it. But not the traditional players. They don't want companies that even pay attention to the sirens. They want companies that are focused on beating the Street, not beating the Street up.

Random musings:

Will someone please cork

Lew Platt

? Here he goes again with an announcement that has to be retracted by

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

investor relations. This time he juiced the stock beyond what he should have; last time he trashed it. Like me, this guy needs a vacation. He did put a real scare into the HWP April 70 call sellers and gave me a chance to sell half of my calls at a tidy profit. That almost made up for when he gaffed me the last time!

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Motorola, although positions can 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 letters@thestreet.com.