Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Analyzing the Unexpected

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The only thing worse than being wrong is not knowing why you were wrong, Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers Wednesday as he looked into why the horrible quarter projected by FedEx ( FDX) did not send the markets lower, as he expected.

Cramer said that no company touches as many businesses and consumers as FedEx, so when the company fell short on its numbers, he expected the markets to be obliterated. As Cramer's said many times, the transports can either confirm or disprove a broader rally, since just about all of our economic output must then be shipped to businesses and consumers.

So what went wrong? Why didn't the markets react as expected? Cramer identified four things he missed.

First, Cramer said that shares of FedEx only fell 2% on the news, even though this was the company's first bad quarter in three years. He said investors were clearly thinking that if the European Central Bank has positive things to say about the debacle in Europe later this week, FedEx will be the first company to benefit from a pickup in economic activity.

Second, Cramer said the FedEx news really wasn't that much of a shocker, especially since rival UPS ( UPS) had pretty much the same sentiment when it last reported. The FedEx news, it turns out, really wasn't news at all.

Third, Cramer noted that the transports, while important, aren't the only market indicator he follows. The iPath Dow Jones Copper ETF ( JJC), a barometer for economic activity, and the Currency Shares Euro Trust ( FXE), a gauge of Europe, were both in the green all day.

Finally, Cramer said there are simply enough positive things happening here at home, such as strong housing and auto sales, that perhaps the bad news out of FedEx just didn't matter as much as expected. The FedEx news is, after all, looking in the rear-view mirror, while all of the positives we're seeing are harbingers of the future.

So the next time you make a prediction about the markets and it doesn't some true, make sure you analyze why or it'll surely happen to you again.

Making the Right Call

"Speculation is not a sin, if it's done right," Cramer reminded viewers, highlighting three such names that have proven him right.

Cramer said he bet on Sprint Nextel ( S) CEO Dan Hesse back when shares traded at less than half of what they do now. While the stock languished at first, Hesse delivered on his promises, giving shareholders a tremendous return.

Then there's Sunrise Senior Living ( SRZ), a stock Cramer featured on Tuesday's show. Sunrise also has a bankable CEO and a solid business as its core. The turnaround took four years, but shareholders who believed were handsomely rewarded.

Finally, Heckmann ( HEK), another stock Cramer featured and another company that has a bankable CEO with a proven track record. Cramer said all three of these companies show what speculation is really all about.

But compare that to Nokia ( NOK), a stock Cramer is asked about constantly. He said Nokia is the opposite of smart speculation. The company has neither a proven CEO at the helm, nor a core business that investors can rally around. He said at $2 a share it might now be too late to sell Nokia, but it hasn't yet proven itself worthy of buying.

Speculative stocks can go to zero, Cramer reminded viewers, which is why investors must be vigilant and do their homework.

Executive Decision

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer celebrated tonight's kickoff of the National Football League's official season by sitting down with Eric Grubman, vice president of ventures and business operations at the NFL.

Grubman said the NFL is in the fortunate position of having ample access to capital, so the league is not looking towards an initial public offering anytime soon. He said the NFL takes a very long-term approach to its business. Since it's not in need of capital, it's able to focus on what's most important -- making the game exciting for everyone.

When asked about the NFL's business model, Grubman said the league does forecast its revenue and profits, but outside of a major disruption of games, most factors only affect margins, not overall growth. He said the game of football has always been very resilient, regardless of labor disputes and other disruptions.

Turning to the issue of health and safety, Grubman said the NFL recently donated $30 million to medical research because "it was the right thing to do." He said the league is constantly making improvements to the game to improve health and safety, but league officials are not medical experts and therefore rely on others to tell them what changes need to be made.

Finally, when asked about the price of attending a game, Grubman said that, believe it or not, what's most important at the league is not making profits, it's making the game better. Thus they're always trying to find ways to keep prices affordable for everyone.

Lightning Round

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

Pandora Media ( P): "It has too many shorts in it and they don't have any earnings momentum."

Dunkin Brands ( DNKN): "The quarter was just OK. McDonald's ( MCD) is taking share from Dunkin."

LeapFrog ( LF): "No, this one is always a bridesmaid and never bride. I don't want to buy it on takeover talk."

BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust ( BPT): "Many of these companies are cutting their dividends. That has people worried."

SBA Communications ( SBAC): "I still like it and American Tower ( AMT)."

Oil's Well At HollyFrontier

In a second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Michael Jennings, president and CEO of HollyFrontier ( HFC), an oil refiner whose shares are up 70% so far this year.

Jennings started by noting HollyFrontier has delivered a 20% return on capital for over the past 10 years, proving the company has been doing a lot of things well for a long time. His company now has a structural advantage as the economics have changed. HollyFrontier is now closer to both the oil shale fields and the customers than any other refiner.

When asked about the price of gasoline, Jennings said that, overall, the price is fairly consistent across the nation, but thanks to the company's locations it is able to take advantage of heavy Canadian oil and other shale oils that price even lower than West Texas Intermediate oil, which only adds to the high margins.

Turning to the company's dividend and history of special dividends, Jennings said that what's most important is the company's commitment to a sustainable yield. He said shareholders don't care whether that's via special dividends or regular ones. HollyFrontier yields 6.5%, far higher than the 2.5% industry average.

Finally, when asked about how U.S. natural gas factors into the equation, Jennings said the U.S. is already exporting one million barrels a day of refined oil products and natural gas is already providing the U.S with cheaper electricity than the rest of the world, adding to our economic advantage.

Cramer said he's been remiss in not recommending HollyFrontier sooner.

Am I Diversified?

In the "Am I Diversified" segment, Cramer spoke with callers and responded to tweets sent via Twitter to @JimCramer to see if investors' portfolios have what it takes for today's markets.

The first portfolio includes: Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA), Plum Creek Tmber ( PCL), Annaly Capital ( NLY), Abbott Labs ( ABT) and ConEd ( ED).

Cramer said "wow" because this portfolio was perfectly diversified with a great yield to boot.

The second portfolio's top holdings includes: Frontier Communications ( FTR), H&R Block ( HRB), Sirius XM ( SIRI), eBay ( EBAY) and New York Community Bank ( NYB).

Cramer said this portfolio was also "totally diversified."

The third portfolio has: Apple ( AAPL), Weyerhaeuser ( WY), Westport Innovations ( WPRT), Wells Fargo ( WFC) and VMWare ( VMW) as its top five stocks.

Cramer advised selling VMWare in favor of a drug stock like Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY).

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

To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt

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To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.
At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had positions in AAPL, BMY, EBAY, MCD, WFC and WY.

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