NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Walmart (WMT) were falling in mid-morning trading on Thursday, after the discount superstore reported mixed results for the 2017 third quarter before Thursday's opening bell.
"Walmart has been given a pass because of all that they have to invest and I think the pass will continue," TheStreet's Jim Cramer said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" this morning.
Cramer "hesitates" to advise people to base their call on Walmart's 2018 outlook since numbers are coming down short-term. However, the company is battling e-commerce giant Amazon.com (AMZN).
"But I mean look, they've got a long-term plan to be able to stay in the game with Amazon," Cramer pointed out. "And it's too early to make a judgment that it's failing. That would be ridiculous." In August, Walmart agreed to buy Amazon.com competitor Jet.com for $3.3 billion.
Despite going head to head with the colossal online store, Walmart is still judged based on the earnings it delivers. Yet Amazon "was able to become Amazon because we never graded them on that," Cramer noted. "So Walmart is constrained by the four walls of the spreadsheet."
Shares of Walmart competitor Target (TGT) were slightly lower in mid-morning trading on Thursday, after it reported a top and bottom line beat for the 2016 third quarter before Wednesday's opening bell. The results were down year-over-year.
The call was "the most upbeat" Cramer has heard from Target in a long time, he noted. The company specifically mentioned how strong the sales of Apple (AAPL) products have been, which bumped up the tech company's stock yesterday.
"I don't think Target is going to end up being down a week from now. That quarter was too strong," Cramer claimed.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Walmart as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by a number of strengths, which the team believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks the team covers.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: WMTWMT data by YCharts