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Cramer: Confounding earnings, curious moves

Sometimes moves in the market just don't seem to make sense.

Jim Cramer takes a closer look at a few of the recent quarterly reports and resulting moves that may have left you dizzy with confusion..

Norfolk Southern: With the railroads tethered to the fortunes of coal, it would stand to reason that Norfolk Southern would sell-off. "That's what happened to rival CSX when it reported last week," Cramer explained.

However Norfolk Southern rallied almost 5% on Wednesday. "I think CSX had set the expectation level so low that Norfolk had no problem beating the newly diminished expectations," Cramer said. Also, shipments of chemicals, automotive and metal goods surged during the three months, offsetting a decline in coal. Hence the rally.



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Intel: Late last week shares of Intel tanked after the chip maker released results. Nonetheless, fourth-quarter revenue was $13.8 billion, compared with $12.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. Also, CEO Brian Krzanich said "Intel had a solid fourth quarter with signs of stabilization in the PC segment."

"In this case I think the decline was all about multiple upgrades going into the quarter that set the bar ridiculously high," Cramer said. "There was just no way Intel could meet those expectations. Personally, I think it represents a terrific buy and my charitable trust is trying to build a big position in the company."

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United Technologies: Although revenue at United Technologies came in about $330 million short of analysts' expectations bears had a hard time taking this stock lower. Shares closed about 1% higher, despite the disappointing news.

"A little more than a month ago UTX did what I call a soft preannouncement, a shading down of expectations," Cramer explained. "The gentle release of negativity was met with a torrent of downgrades. Now, though the actual earnings were better than the Street expected. Therefore the stock advanced. I think has much further to run. "

Coach: Shares of Coach fell Wednesday after the company reported a lower quarterly profit, citing weakness in its North American women's bags and accessories unit. "We knew retail was bad," Cramer admitted, yet shares were annihilated anyway.

You'd think at least some of it would be baked in, already, Cramer noted. However, "In this case, the expectations were set low, but not low enough so it still got hammered," Cramer explained.

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