Jim Cramer's Best Blogs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Jim Cramer fills his blog on RealMoney every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:
  • the weaker-than-expected March employment report; and
  • a company and CEO worth emulating.

Click here for information on RealMoney, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.


What a Horrendous Number

Posted at 10:14 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 6.

We'll certainly have enough time to think and reflect on how horrible that report was, and Holy Cow, was it horrible.

Might as well just own up that while we may have strong retail sales and strong auto sales and maybe even stronger housing sales, we are not putting as many new people to work as we thought.

So what happens?

Energy gets slaughtered. These stocks have been going down, and they have hideous charts and they are the natural sales. Is it right?

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Someone asked me about Schlumberger ( SLB) last night, and I said it is having an amazing quarter and year and it can't be bought yet because it is probably going to $63.

I use that one as the example because it is the best. Of course, I want to own it at $63, but that's irrelevant if you already own it. I spoke to Devon ( DVN) yesterday, and that company's doing terrifically, and again, that won't matter.

I know it sounds callous to say it doesn't matter. I am simply giving you what "they" will "sell" Monday morning.

Mining and resources-related stocks will get hammered, too, unless China cuts Sunday. These stocks are likely to be killed anyway after Alcoa ( AA) reports, so the propensity will be to dump them.

Retail's tougher? Many might say that the employment report is backward-looking and that we just found out about monthly sales and for many retailers they were great. But the nitpickers will hark back to "weather abetted" as a reason to sell them.

Which leaves health care and consumer products companies with good yield.

Those should hold up, but they probably won't stabilize until midmorning.

All of this is pretty much a given, in my view, because the number is simply out of sync with what the Fed said in its minutes and how high the market is vs. the recovery.

It's the first serious test of 2012, and while I think the test gets passed, I doubt it will be with flying colors.

Stephanie Link and I have huddled already and while thrilled that we have an outsized 11% cash position, we, like everyone else, wish we had much more. We will pick when appropriate but because this number is so horrendous we have no desire to increase exposure to more cyclical areas like energy (we are underweight), and wish we had fewer industrials.

Fact of life.

Horrendous number.

Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long DVN.


A Company That's Doing It Right

Posted at 11:16 a.m. EDT on Thursday, April 5.

Lots of people get mystified when I say that a company is a poor executor of its operations. I have been critical of so many management teams.

I blasted SanDisk ( SNDK) management yesterday for being inconsistent. I've been overtly critical of the Avon Products ( AVN) team for not being able to deliver on behalf of shareholders. And despite the rise in Bank of America's ( BAC) stock this year, I am deeply perturbed at the execution of that bank's plan to return to health after the hideous Countrywide acquisition and the horrid lending standards of both the original Bank of America and its successor, which includes Countrywide.

The pushback I have been getting on these judgments isn't critical about the managements that I have selected to be harsh on -- most agree with my choices. It is much more a sense of, OK, what does it mean to execute, and who is executing well?

First, execution means having a strategy, being strategic in large-scale decisions and then prosecuting the tactics that make the strategy pan out.

Who's performing both tasks perfectly? How about Chuck Bunch, a frequent guest of "Mad Money," who is CEO of PPG Industries ( PPG), the old Pittsburgh Plate Glass. There was a time, at my hedge fund, when on every tick down in housing or autos I would buy puts on this company. I knew that the glass in the cars would be backed up and that the paint division alone could bring down earnings.

When Bunch came in, he looked at the pastiche of businesses and decided, strategically, that he would steer PPG away from commodity businesses with low multiples and toward proprietary businesses that the stock market values much more because they have higher margins. He picked industries that had pure growth paths, such as high-performance plastics for aerospace as well as new kinds of glasses for optical wear. Most important, he expanded overseas as the parochial Pittsburgh Plate Glass became PPG. He embraced Europe and Asia to hit growth markets as the U.S. stagnated. All terrific strategies.

A well-thought out strategy, however, doesn't get you far if you don't execute on the tactics that fulfill the strategies. Bunch has excelled in the tactical, coming up with superior architectural and automotive coatings. Their products are so superior that the best automakers in Asia have embraced PPG's products, the gold standard of the business. At the same time, though, Bunch has been tough as nails. When Europe turned down, he trimmed and cut. The 2,000 layoffs he announced today, despite the profit explosion that allowed him to preannounce better-than-expected earnings, were largely contained to slowing European markets.

Finally, Bunch is one of the most shareholder-friendly execs out there. During the downturn, doubters thought this was the same old PPG and that perhaps it would even have to cut its dividend. Instead, Bunch steered the company toward dividend increases, and at one point we had a real accidental high-yielder on our hands.

How good a job has he done? I think that if you Google "business execution," Bunch should be first in the queue. It doesn't get any better than that.

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in stocks mentioned.

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