Earnings season is always a guessing game, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday, but in a bountiful market, there are plenty of terrific individual companies to choose from.
Cramer's game plan for next week's action began on Monday with earnings from Halliburton (HAL - Get Report) and Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) -- and Cramer was expecting to hear good things from both companies.
Next, on Tuesday, it's earnings from Verizon (VZ - Get Report) , which has been under pressure as interest rates rise. We also hear from Procter & Gamble (PG - Get Report) , a company Cramer called a "work in progress." He was bullish, however, on Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report) and Travelers (TRV - Get Report) , which he called best in show.
The excitement continues on Wednesday with what's expected to be blowout numbers from United Technologies (UTX - Get Report) and Stanley Black & Decker (SWK - Get Report) . The only negative news will likely come from the embattled General Electric (GE - Get Report) .
The earnings continue on Thursday with Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) and Intel (INTC - Get Report) , two more Cramer favorites, along with Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) , which needs to post a solid quarter or risk losing its premium multiple.
Rounding out the week on Friday is Honeywell (HON - Get Report) , an Action Alerts PLUS holding, and the curious case of Colgate Palmolive (CL - Get Report) , which has run up going into earnings for seemingly no reason. Cramer said he's curious to hear from the company.
Cramer and the AAP team focus on Schlumberger's (SLB - Get Report) results and the company's commentary regarding the state of the oil markets. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
What to do When Prices Rise
The next time you get hit with a price increase for one of your favorite products or services, and it doesn't bother you, call your broker and buy shares of the company.
Cramer said he's always on the lookout for companies with pricing power, as those who can raise prices without consequences are always in control of their own destiny.
That's why Amazon's (AMZN - Get Report) announcement that they're raising the monthly price for Prime should be welcome news for shareholders. Cramer said most Amazon shoppers won't even notice, and if they do, they won't care one bit.
The same applies to Netflix, another essential service for money people. So too with Costco (COST) , which Cramer lauded as among the biggest bargains in retail. Cramer said he's also willing to pay just about anything to Apple (AAPL - Get Report) , another Action Alerts PLUS holding, to securely store his photo library every month, as are millions of others.
So while price hikes may be bad for consumers, shareholders should welcome them.
Over on Real Money, James DePorre says the biggest obstacle the market faces at this juncture is that it's technically extended. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: WWE
Barrios started off by saying that WWE is about to celebrate their 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw next week and their brand couldn't be stronger. World Wrestling is now one of the top sports brands and the company boasts the No. 1 sports channel on YouTube.
Barrios said WWE has always had a strong online presence, and back in 2010, the company had 500 million video views online. This year, that number was 20 billion views, 40 times more than just eight years ago.
Part of WWE's strategy is not to overload the Internet with content. Barrios explained that they produce specific content for pay television, specific content for YouTube and other online outlets and still more content for their direct-to-consumer channels. WWE content is not diluted or replicated across venues.
Going for Goldman
Earlier this week, Goldman posted truly mixed results, with investment banking revenue up 44% but trading volumes slipped significantly. This led analysts in opposite directions, with some raising estimates and others slashing them.
Cramer reminded viewers that trading only accounts for 37% of Goldman's business and its other divisions remain strong. Goldman may not be benefiting as much as we'd hoped from tax reforms, but that isn't is a reason to sell. Since 2010, Goldman has retired an 150 million shares of its own stock, a huge number that will have a real impact as the company reignites its trading operations.
Add to that the fact that Goldman trades for just 10 times earnings -- well below the market average -- and Cramer said he's siding with the bulls.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Mondelez International (MDLZ - Get Report) , Cisco Systems (CSCO - Get Report) , Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU) , JetBlue Airways (JBLU - Get Report) and Southwest Airlines (LUV - Get Report) .
Cramer Does His Homework
In his "Homework" segment, Cramer followed up on a few stocks that stumped him during earlier shows.
He said that Macquarie's (MIC - Get Report) 8.9% yield would normally be a red flag, but after shares fell 22.5% last year, Cramer said he thinks this company's dividend is safe and its business should rebound with higher oil prices.
Cramer felt that investors needed to be careful with USA Technologies (USAT - Get Report) because the stock's already up big. Since the company is not profitable, it's hard to value, Cramer said, especially after shares doubled last year.
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