Caterpillar's earnings disappointment was caused by the company's undue optimism and poor execution, and CEO Doug Oberhelman is to blame for keeping expectations high, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Wednesday.
"[CAT's] enthusiasm has betrayed them," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." He said that because Caterpillar didn't lower its guidance as United Technologies, Cummins, Johnson Controls and Ingersoll-Rand did, investors were disappointed instead of being "pleasantly surprised."
"These guys are like the last remaining bulls, and it is painful," Cramer said. "If you like Caterpillar there are like a hundred other companies you'll love. They just continue to be too rosy."
The problem with Caterpillar is in the execution, Cramer said. "Memo to Doug [Oberhelman]: Get with the program." Where other CEOs like Ford's Alan Mulally recognized problems in Europe and adjusted for them, Cramer said "that's the kind of forward thinking I want." On the other hand, Caterpillar's undue optimism blunted its response to these macro troubles.
"Doug [Oberhelman] is going to catch up, Cramer said. "But the fact is that these other great big American companies recognized the problems far ahead of where he did. It has to do with the rosy outlook that was not in keeping with the world. Had he lowered expectations beforehand, he would have beat them just like everybody else is doing."
(Related: Jim Chanos slams Caterpillar)
"I think that if you took the number 14 guy at Ford and the number 42 guy at Boeing and put them at the top of Caterpillar, you would have seen a little bit better results," Cramer said. "I'm questioning the execution here. The execution is just not that great. The acquisitions just haven't been that great."
But Cramer stopped short of a short.
"I don't want to buy it either here or there, but i don't think it's a short. The reason I don't think it's a short is because they have good operating cash flow," Cramer said.