Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: It All Hinges on Europe

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Next week once again hinges on Europe, Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers Friday as he laid out his game plan for next week's trading. Cramer said if the European leaders can come up with any sort of resolution, nothing else will matter. But if they don't, the markets just may give back all their gains from this week.

On Monday, Cramer said, he'll be listening to news from Ciena ( CIEN), Finisar ( FNSR) and Texas Instruments ( TXN). All three will provide a gauge on tech spending, but only Ciena is likely to have anything positive to say.

Tuesday brings Juniper Networks ( JNPR), Michael Kors ( KORS) and Biogen Idec ( BIIB). Cramer said Juniper is cheap but could guide still lower. Michael Kors will offer insight on the American consumer but this stock remains a battleground, said Cramer. Biogen Idec will likely have good things to say.

Then on Wednesday it's time for Dell ( DELL), which will likely offer lackluster results, and Senate testimony from J.P. Morgan Chase ( JPM). Cramer said that J.P. Morgan would be the stock to buy on a resolution in Europe, but otherwise take a pass.

Thursday's highlights include news from supermarket Kroger ( KR), Pier 1 Imports ( PIR), along with oil driller Apache ( APA) and clothing giant VF Corp. ( VFC). Cramer said he'd take Whole Foods ( WFM) over Kroger, but he expects good things from Pier 1. Apache and VF remain hotly contested stocks and while both companies may have positive things to say, it likely won't matter.

Cramer's bottom line: Keep an eye on Europe and be prepared to give up some gains.

Executive Decision

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again spoke with David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations ( WPRT), a stock that had fallen 50% from its highs only to rocket higher by 34% this week on news of an agreement to build natural gas engines in partnership with Caterpillar ( CAT).

Demers said the deal with Caterpillar is a validation of what Westport has been saying for years, that natural gas can be a cleaner, cheaper fuel than imported oil and diesel fuel. He said that it really shouldn't come as a surprise that large users of energy are interested in American natural gas.

Demers continued that for years the real challenge at Westport was just proving the technology works. Now that natural gas engines are out there, all of the pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together. One of those is the railroads, said Demers, an industry that's watching closely to see if Westport's natural gas locomotive, set to debut next year, really can deliver on its promises.

When asked about his stock's 50% haircut just a few weeks ago, Demers responded to rumors that partner Cummins ( CMI) was moving to compete with Westport. He called the rumors patently false, saying Westport and Cummins will be working together for the next 10 years and there's "lots happening" with that partnership. Cummins did opt to go it alone in developing some natural gas technology, he added, but that was not in an area where Westport wanted to invest.

Cramer said that Westport remains the best bet on America finally adopting natural gas as a surface fuel.

Beyond the Headlines

Don't judge a quarter by its cover, pay attention to more than just the headlines, Cramer reminded viewers, looking at the earnings of Brown-Forman ( BF.A). When Forman reported Wednesday, the headlines read of a huge three-cent-a-share earnings miss on revenue that fell below estimates. But was that really the case?

Shares of Brown-Forman opened up 25 cents a share after the earnings release, noted Cramer, but closed the day up 4.6%. That's because those who did their homework got the really story, he added. In fact, Brown-Forman's operating income was up 13%, beating expectations. The perceived weakness stemmed from fluctuations in foreign exchange rates and inventory changes, along with the sale of a winery business that made for confusing estimates in the first place.

For the year just closed, Brown-Forman saw net sales rise by 9%, said Cramer, with sales of its flagship Jack Daniels brand leading the way, up 12%. Brown-Forman's other categories, including vodka, tequila and even bourbon also showed strong sales. Additionally, the company is seeing a halo effect from its new products, which are exposing more and more consumers to their brands.

Brown-Forman also saw strong international sales across the board. Plans to push through price increases, the first since the 2008 recession, are being well received. Given we're now in an environment where costs for commodities are falling, Cramer said, Brown-Forman is one shareholder-friendly company that investors shouldn't pass up.

Lightning Round

Here's what Cramer had to say about caller's stocks during the "Lightning Round":

Beam ( BEAM): "I'll give you three: Diageo ( DEO), Brown-Forman and Beam. They're all good. "

Titan Machinery ( TITN): "I don't like the ag market. I want you to sell, sell, sell Deere & Company, ( DE) too."

Dillard's ( DDS): "They're making a comeback. I'll endorse it."

Valmont Industries ( VMI): "It has many different businesses. I'll bless it."

POSCO ( PKX): "No one wants to touch steel. I want you to let it go."

Fusion IO ( FIO): "No, no. Let it run then sell, sell, sell. I'd rather see you in Intel ( INTC)."

Mad Mail

In the "Mad Mail" viewer feedback segment, Cramer followed up on Digital Generation ( DGIT), a stock that stumped him during an earlier show. Cramer said that after receiving a huge takeover bid he would "take the money and run" as the company had lackluster performance before the takeover.

Cramer also followed up on Gordman's Stores, ( GMAN) a retailer of apparel and home decor items with 78 locations. He said the company is in the right place at the right time and he likes the company as a speculative stock.

When asked about US Airways, ( LCC) Cramer said the airlines are not his cup of tea but he understands the appeal with falling oil prices. When asked to choose between B&G Foods ( BGS) and Hain Celestial ( HAIN) for an IRA portfolio, Cramer chose B&G for its dividend yield. Cramer said he'd be a buyer of Clean Harbors ( CLH), but only after July.

Finally, when asked about choosing the first stock for a child's portfolio, Cramer said Walt Disney ( DIS) is the one to start with.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer sounded off against the bears who feel the precipitous decline in the price of oil is a bad thing.

Cramer agreed that on some level falling oil prices could mean a slowing global economy, but that is a "deranged" way to look at things. He said that here at home there are hundreds of people who benefit from lower gasoline prices for every one who gets hurt by them.

In times gone by the renewed purchasing power created by lower fuel costs would have rallied the markets for weeks, said Cramer, but not today where the markets are conditioned to look overseas for guidance.

The decline in oil is perhaps the biggest positive thing the markets have seen in ages, and for the market to take down the stocks of those companies that benefit most from the decline is just plain stupid, Cramer concluded.

--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had positions in JPM and DIS.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

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