Last night, I got this email from a loyal reader -- we got those, all right -- and it is about how Wrigley (WWY) got punished for having some sort of shortfall and how absurd such a punishing was. I had been tough on the guy before in a different email, one of those curt ones with lots of spelling errors that so many of you have gotten from me when I am under the .44 magnum, and this time I promised him a piece. So here goes.
Join the discussion on
Message Boards. First, I don't know Wrigley from
these days. Haven't looked at the stock since the days when I used to trade
mano a mano
, the terrific and honest research and trading (no underwriting, no conflicts) house.
I don't need to. Any seconds taken trying to get a line on Wrigley, a 2-point mover at best, takes me away from trying to find the next
. (And I only discovered that one because my wife's trainer's wife -- got that?? -- works.)
I don't mean to be glib, but that's life. I have always written that "they will take the money away" if you stand still. (Again, read that great
But in this note the guy sent me, he says that Wrigley had barely disappointed Wall Street, yet it got woodshedded like some tech numskull.
To which I say, it should have.
This business has turned into the
. Never in my 20 years of buying and selling stocks have I seen pressure on companies to perform much better than expectations than I am seeing right now. Companies that disappoint? I should make time and positions for them? I should put money with them?
Heck, each morning I come to work and I put on my voicemail and I listen to the calls from the night before. If an analyst starts a call by saying "
National Gift Wrap
met expectations" or reported an "in-line number" or even "slightly exceeded expectations," you know what I do? I hit the delete button. Immediately. I don't let him get one second further. Maybe in that second I would have been able to get more of a line on
. I don't have a second for in-line performers. They don't make the playoffs anymore.
And the Wrigleys?
Oh, here is the difference between the NFL and the
: The losers don't get the first pick in next year's draft.
Anyone who has ever bought a share of
stock would be good to read my speech, put
here in three parts, that I gave yesterday. I can tell from the traffic on the
message boards shareholders are getting the message.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Redback and TheStreet.com. 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