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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After an ugly week, all we can do is look forward, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Friday. That's why his game plan for next week's trading focuses on earnings and the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Cramer said he'll be starting his week watching the rest of the world, with fresh economic data coming in from China and Europe. He said either of these reports could spark an over-sold rally on Monday. Cramer was also bullish on both Sprint (S) and T-Mobile US (TMUS) on the latest rumors a merger could be brewing.
Then, on Tuesday, Cramer said all eyes will be on the Fed, which will likely begin talking about easing its bond buying as all of the recent economic news has been very bullish. Also on the menu: Jabil Circuit (JBL), the part supplier that could tip us to how Apple (AAPL) products are selling. Cramer currently owns shares of Apple for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS.
For Wednesday, it's earnings from FedEx (FDX), a stock that's rebounding along with economic growth, General Mills (GIS) a stock that's now just marking time as interest rates creep higher, and home builder Lennar (LEN), which should have decent numbers but will likely fall anyway. Cramer was bearish on Oracle (ORCL), which also reports Wednesday.
Next, on Thursday, more earnings from ConAgra (CAG), a stock Cramer said it too risky; Darden Restaurants (DRI), a stock worth buying if it gets hit; and two retail plays, Nike (NKE) and Pier 1 Imports (PIR), both Cramer faves.
Finally, on Friday, we reach the finish line with, well, Finish Line (FINL). Cramer said he'd be a buyer of this stock on Thursday ahead of its results.
Executive Decision: Tarek Sherif
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Tarek Sherif, chairman and CEO of Medidata Solutions (MDSO), the cloud computing company for clinical development whose shares soared 193% in 2013 and over 50% since Cramer last spoke with Sherif in July.
Sherif once again explained that drug makers currently spend over $90 billion a year bringing new drugs to market, and that process is only getting more and more complicated as new regulations and safety concerns couple with more and more complex drugs. In that environment, traditional in-house software just isn't flexible enough, he said, which is why the cloud computing model makes so much sense.
Sherif said Medidata's platform allows drug makers to get drugs to market sooner with increased safety and at lower costs by increasing the productivity and efficiency of their clinical trials.
When asked about the company's growth prospects, Sherif said Medidata touches almost 50% of all new clinical trials, but currently only has 3% to 4% penetration in the space. That leaves a long road for adoption, he continued.
Cramer said sometimes you don't get a chance to buy low and sell high with high-flying stocks. Sometimes you have to hold your nose and buy high so you can sell even higher.
Know Your IPO
In his "Know Your IPO" segment, Cramer went to the movies with the upcoming IPO of AMC Entertainment, which will be coming public next week under the all-too-obvious ticker, AMC.
Cramer said that AMC Entertainment should not be confused with AMC Networks (AMCX) -- this one is the second-largest movie theater chain in the U.S. with 343 locations totaling 4,950 screens. The company plans to offer 18.4 million shares between $18 and $20, giving it a market cap around $1.8 billion.
Cramer said AMC is absolutely worth owning, even up to $23 a share in the aftermarket, because the company is taking control of its own destiny and proving the naysayers wrong time and time again.
How can movie theaters compete with the ultimate convenience of Netflix (NFLX)? Innovation. Cramer said. AMC has 34% market share in our nation's top five markets and has the highest margins thanks to higher-than-average ticket prices and concessions.
But AMC is not sitting still -- the company is building larger screens to directly take on IMAX (IMAX) and is adding reclining seats and dining options, including seat-side service at some of its locations. This is turning the movies into a must-see destination, said Cramer, and something moviegoers are loving.
AMC also plans of sporting a dividend around 4.2%, which is something shareholders will love, said Cramer.
Executive Decision: Doug Tough
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Doug Tough, chairman and CEO of International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), a stock that's up 41% since Cramer last checked in 16 months ago, but also one that's five points off its highs.
Tough said that when it comes to needing a new flavor or fragrance, customers come to IFF for the company's innovation and scientific knowledge. He said his company operates as a technology company, constantly reinventing itself with new proprietary products and processes.
When asked how a celebrity perfume gets made, Tough explained that many celebs get actively involved in their products and work right alongside IFF scientists to create the perfect fragrance. He said behind the name and the marketing and the distribution there needs to be a terrific formulation for a perfume to be successful and that's something that only IFF can deliver.
Tough also noted that IFF is now moving into the biotech space, which he said represents a significant opportunity for his company.
Cramer said when it comes to performance, IFF will deliver in the short term and the long term for its shareholders.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer urged investors to "know their metrics." He explained that last night shares of Adobe (ADBE), an Action Alerts Plus holding, were down big after investors saw a miss in Adobe's earnings per share. But, it turns out, EPS is not what matters most at Adobe.
Turns out, the company's cloud orders, its growing subscription numbers, are what matters to Adobe. Once investors learned that metric, shares shot up almost 13%.
Cramer said not every stock is an EPS story, but only the smart investors -- the ones who have done their homework -- will know what number really moves a stock higher.
To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt