Remember: 2012 is not 2011. That’s why “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer remained enthusiastic about stocks despite a tough week, and big gains could be possible with the right picks. With that in mind, here is his Game Planfor next week:
MONDAY, MARCH 26
Lions Gate Entertainment: The film studio gets word of how much “The Hunger Games” did at the box office. But expectations have gotten so high that if the teen movie clocks in at less than $120 million in U.S. ticket sales and the stock remains above $14 per share, Cramer said that’s a sign to sell.
TUESDAY, MARCH 27
Lennar: The home builder reports earnings, which Cramer said needed to be strong, or else related stocks — such as Masco, USG, Whirlpool and Lowe’s — could lose their recent gains. The numbers are even more important after KB Home showed weakness.
McCormick & Company also reports quarterly earnings Tuesday morning. The spice company could see a boost from rising gasoline prices, which tend to result in more people eating at home. But this company tends to get “hammered” after it reports, which makes it a buy on a dip, Cramer said.
Walgreens also reports. Cramer said he thinks the drugstore chain will miss Wall Street estimates because of its decision to part ways with Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager. That could make CVS a big winner.
PVH reports earnings after the close. Up 55 percent year over year, this stock tends to decline on quarterly headlines. Cramer said it might be worth to buy this after-hours or maybe even the following day, much like Lululemon opened down despite a great quarter.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28
Family Dollar reports a week after Dollar General posted terrific numbers. But can it meet heightened expectations? Cramer doesn’t think so. Instead, weakness in Family Dollar earnings might be a time to buy Dollar General , which is one of Cramer’s favorites.
Paychex reports after the close. Consistent earnings in the past have meant a stock that’s traded down $1 or $2 per share after quarterly results. Cramer suggested listening to what the company has to say, then buying on a dip — unless it’s a big miss.
Red Hat also posts quarterly earnings. Cramer said this is one to consider buying ahead of results. Although the stock has been up $24 year to date, he thinks it still has room to grow.
THURSDAY, MARCH 29
Best Buy reports earnings on Thursday. Although there’s been talk that the electronics retailer might do something bold — maybe even a big dividend boost — to attract shareholders, Cramer is still wary of the Amazon.com effect. If you want to play it, he suggested using the April 25 call options to limit downside in case the company does nothing good when it reports.
Research In Motion reports after the close. Cramer called it “perhaps the ultimate in terrible stocks,” down 78 percent in the last year and still not cheap. Look for this stock to trade at a discount because it’s subscribers are going away.
FRIDAY, MARCH 30
Finish Line reports on Friday, and Cramer said he liked the signs from its peers, namely DSW, Foot Locker and Shoe Carnival. The stock hit a 52-week high despite weakness in Nike, its main supplier. Cramer’s advice: Buy dips before Finish Line releases its quarterly results.
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