The surprising winners of earnings season

Now that Jim Cramer has seen the bulk of earnings season—what's the verdict? He was actually surprised to find out which companies were the winners this time around. A totally unexpected group swept the stage.

Most would say that it has been mildly disappointing, and a lot of companies have guided down. But the "Mad Money" host has a different perspective.

"The reality is, there are two earnings seasons: we have the domestic companies, almost all of which so far have been spectacular and I think will only get better, and we have the big international companies…that have been pretty suboptimal," said Cramer.





Scotch Tape 3M
Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Rebounding off of job creation in the U.S. and oil's impact on the decline in raw commodity costs Cramer didn't see any companies, besides oil stocks, that were a huge disappointment.

The international stocks were pretty hideous though. Most companies that guided down for the year and cited difficulties with the strong dollar, which created problems selling product overseas.

"But you know what's been most difficult about this earnings season? The fact that stocks had run up so much going into it," Cramer added.

One great example of this was Alcoa. One month ago every line item was stronger than expected, because the company happened to be in the middle of every positive trend out there. It related to non-residential construction, aerospace, autos, trucks and turbines.

Unfortunately, the stock ran up right into the quarter. So by the time it announced great news, the market was let down, and investors didn't care anymore.

The winner for best in show? 3M, of course.

The worst in show? To Cramer's surprise, it was the pharmaceuticals and technology stocks.

Most thought that the personal computer space was doing better and PC stocks started to rally. Turns out PCs weren't so hot. And cellphones weren't either, despite popular belief. Even the Internet didn't cut it and the only surprise in that category was that Google wasn't as horrible as most thought.

Big pharma was also annihilated, again thanks to currency translations.

"It almost didn't matter what they said, but when they did say something, it wasn't all that encouraging," Cramer said.

To sum it up—there were three categories for earnings season, and the reactions surprised Cramer.

The first were stocks that ran and announced a perfect quarter, and it meant nothing to the market. Then there were stocks that had less than perfect quarter, and the market tore them to pieces.

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Finally, there was the group of stocks that were already hammered, and had expectations that were too low. Those were the big winners of earnings season, and the ones leading Tuesday's market rally.

"Even if the numbers were just OK, like the oils, or if they were very good, like Eaton, you have winners, big winners," he said.

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