NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "I'm tossing out the red flag," Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers on Wednesday. He said that too many investors aren't doing their homework and are relying on the headlines alone, and that's why the markets have been so wrong about so many corporate earnings this quarter. Cramer said the markets are still dominated by news from Europe, but that doesn't exempt investors from doing the homework, listening to conference calls and finding out what's really going on with a company's earnings. Skip this said, he said, and you're sure to lose money. Consider Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), which reported $1.24 per share in earnings versus estimates of $1.21. A solid beat, right? Cramer said absolutely not. Turns out Johnson & Johnson only gained from one-time charges and divestitures. Earnings were pitiful. Cramer continues to like private label drug maker Perrigo ( PRGO). A similar story with Travelers ( TRV), which reported only 79 cents a share when the markets were looking for 83 cents. Did the stock plummet lower? Not at all. Cramer said earnings were light, but in the conference call the company revealed that it's writing new policies like crazy and pushed through a price increase, two things that will benefit the company for years to come. Then there's Coca-Cola ( KO), a stock which Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Big Natural Gas FindsIn an exclusive "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with David Demshur, chairman, president and CEO of Core Labs ( CLB), an oil service company that's up 72% since Cramer first recommended the company in February, 2010. Demshur said that Core Labs is focused on international crude development. He said with the price of Brent crude still sky high, many projects are getting green-lighted. He said the company is excited about huge natural gas finds off the east coast of Africa and about new oil discoveries off the west coast of Africa as well. In the U.S., the Bakken and Utica shale fields also hold huge potential, he said. New technologies is also helping the bottom line at Core Labs, as Demshur noted that his company is helping drillers drill longer horizontal wells which are delivering more oil initially and more oil for longer periods of time. When asked about the company's surprising return on capital, Demshur said the company aims for every project to return 30% on its invested capital, but last quarter it was able to deliver a 39% return. Helping the company's margins is the price of specialty steel, which is on the decline since overall steel demand has fallen. Finally, when asked about Core Labs curious pattern of its stock price falling after positive earnings releases, Demshur said that the trend supplies investors with opportunities to buy the stock at a great price. He said that Core Labs itself uses pullbacks and weakness in its shares to buy back stock.
Strong OutlookIn a second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer welcomed in studio Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa ( AA), a stock whose shares got hammered after it reported earnings Monday. Alcoa is an Action Alerts PLUS holding. Kleinfeld referred to aluminum as the "miracle metal," one that has infinite possibilities and is also highly recyclable. In fact, he said that 75% of all the aluminum ever produced is still in use today thanks to the metal's highly recyclable nature. When asked about the company's business, he said that in the short term, weakness in Europe and falling commodity prices did lead to a disappointing quarter. But, he added, Alcoa has beat expectations eight of the past nine quarters and longer term, the outlook is very strong. Kleinfeld noted that aerospace has a huge backlog, the automotive industry is picking up and aluminum is in high demand for everything from infrastructure to consumer electronics and packaging. Kleinfeld said he's not worried about the fundamentals of his business, only about the crisis of confidence the markets are exhibiting towards his company. He said the long-term trends of more people on the planet and a growing middle class will keep Alcoa growing for decades to come. Cramer agreed and continued his recommendation of this beaten down stock.