Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Next Week's Game Plan

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Next week's trading will hinge on the latest jobs report, Jim Cramer cautioned "Mad Money" viewers Friday as he laid out his game plan.

Cramer said the wealth effect has been enough to overcome the market's sequestration fears, but worries about the Federal Reserve and its rampant bond buying all depend on a jobs number that's not too good, nor too bad.

Beyond the jobs report, Cramer said Ascena Retail Group ( ASNA) will have his attention on Monday, as this once-loved retailer has become terribly disappointing. Cramer said he wants to see a solid quarter before even thinking about investing in this name.

Tuesday brings earnings from the rural-based Tractor Supply ( TSCO). Cramer said he's betting this company takes out its all-time high.

Then on Wednesday, a lot of activity. Brown Forman ( BFB) is holding an analyst day and Cramer said he'd be a buyer on weakness. Likewise with Petsmart ( PETM), which reports earnings and Honeywell ( HON), both Cramer faves. He noted that he's worried about Exxon Mobil ( XOM), however, and would not be a buyer.

Also on Wednesday, grocer Safeway ( SWY), followed by Kroger ( KR) on Thursday. Cramer said he'd use these companies' earnings to pick up some Whole Foods ( WFM) on the cheap.

Speculation Friday

For "Speculation Friday," Cramer said that sometimes it's worth taking a second look at under-performing stocks that still have the potential to turn themselves around.

That's certainly the case with beauty product maker Elizabeth Arden ( RDEN), a stock that was crushed 16% on Jan. 31 after the company reported miserable results and slashed guidance for 2013.

Cramer said that after making some negative remarks about the company shortly thereafter he received a letter from the company explaining its situation. Turns out Arden is in the middle of a major brand repositioning, with all of its products and packaging being redone in a more upscale fashion. Arden is also cutting the number of stock-keeping units, or SKU, it produces, making things less confusing for customers to buy and easier for retailers to buy.

Among the stores that have received the new look, sales are up over 20%, said the company, and with new Internet-based training for all their staff, there's only room for upside. Cramer noted that Arden's international growth is also attractive as the company has little European exposure.

Now that the company has slashed its guidance to where it can beat it, the stock is more attractive, trading at 13.5 times earnings with a 12% growth rate. Cramer said the company remains speculative, but it just might have what it takes for successful turnaround.

Lowe's vs. Home Depot

A rising tide may lift all boats, but that's no reason to sacrifice a best-of-breed company for a second-rate one. That was Cramer's conclusion after diving into the earrings from both Lowe's ( LOW) and Home Depot ( HD), a stock he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS.

On the surface, it may seem that both companies did well when they last reported. Lowe's delivered a three-cent-a-share earnings beat on higher revenue, but guidance fell below forecasts, sending share lower by 4.8%. Home Depot also delivered a three-cent beat on stronger revenue and also gave guidance below expectations.

But Cramer said the matrix that matters for these home-improvement giants is same-store sales, where Lowe's came in at just 1.9% growth while Home Depot rocked the house with a 7% gain. Cramer said that's the widest split in growth in over 13 years for these companies. Home Depot also offered investors its fourth dividend boost in recent years and a stock buyback that was larger than that of Lowe's.

When you boil down the earnings, Home Depot has better stores in better locations and a better management team that knows how to execute, said Cramer.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Cisco Systems ( CSCO), Lions Gate Entertainment ( LGF), Michael Kors ( KORS), Newcastle Investment ( NCT), General Mills ( GIS), Kellogg ( K), Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD) and iShares MSCI Mexico ( EWW).

Cramer was bearish on 8x8 ( EGHT), Fossil ( FOSL), Dean Foods ( DF) and Penn West Energy Trust ( PWE).

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 included: American Tower ( AMT), Honeywell, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), LinnCo ( LNCO) and American International Group ( AIG).

Cramer said JPMorgan can coexist with AIG and he blessed this portfolio as diversified.

The second portfolio's top holdings included: SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD), Altria ( MO), SHFL Entertainment ( SHFL), AT&T ( T) and Verizon ( VZ).

Cramer called two-of-a-kind with Verizon and AT&T and said that he'd swap out AT&T for a drug stock like Bristol Myers-Squibb ( BMY).

The third portfolio had: Excel Trust ( EXL), CenturyLink ( CTL), Intel ( INTC), RPM International ( RPM) and Anworth Mortgage ( ANH) as its top five stocks.

For this portfolio, Cramer advised selling Excel and once again adding a stock like Bristol Myers.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said he's tired of hearing about government sequestration fears because the bears have yet to come up with any stock that's actually being hurt by our national budget woes.

He said the closest the bears have come are the defense stocks, but those names are still hitting new highs.

Cramer said until some creative financier develops a "federal sequestration misery index" to track those stocks that are actually being affected, the markets will likely still not care.

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

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

Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in BMY, CSCO, EWW and HD.

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."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, TheStreet.com or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor TheStreet.com, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on TheStreet.com. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.

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