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Cramer’s Earnings-Loaded ‘Game Plan’

What follows is “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer’s “Game Plan” for the week of Monday, April 16.

MONDAY, APRIL 16

The week begins with an earnings report from Citigroup, which is scheduled to announce its results before the opening bell. Cramer hopes the New York-based financial institution will report overseas growth, a cleaner balance sheet and some kind of plan to return capital to shareholders, such as a dividend or stock buyback. If Citi doesn’t have any good news, though, Cramer thinks the banking sector will continue to languish.

TUESDAY, APRIL 17

Goldman Sachs will deliver its earnings results before the open. For the first time, though, Cramer has “no idea” how the investment bank will do.

“It's become a total black box,” Cramer said. “My thinking, though, is that the company has grown so conservative that even if they report a good number, they will be less than enthusiastic when they explain the quarter on the conference call.”

If the financial institution doesn’t report some positive news, Cramer thinks it could be a down day for the banks.

Meanwhile,Johnson & Johnson will also announce its earnings results Tuesday morning. The maker of health care products won’t likely report anything positive, Cramer surmised. From defective products and recalls to lawsuits and fines, Cramer said CEO William Weldon has done a lot over the years to “tarnish” Johnson & Johnson’s “once fantastic reputation.”

Soft drink maker Coca-Cola is also scheduled to deliver earnings before Tuesday’s open. He considers it a “serial outperformer” that’s likely to provoke a lot of “good chatter.”

After the close, IBM will post its earnings results. Like Coke, Cramer thinks it’s an outperformer that’s likely to “light up the sky” with good news.

Speaking of technology, Intel is also scheduled to announce its quarterly numbers after the closing bell. Cramer thinks Wall Street will be “pleasantly surprised” with its results, which he suspects will indicate that personal computer sales have stabilized. It also boasts a server business that backs up the Web and a new chip that powers small personal computers.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18

Semiconductor Qualcomm will report earnings after Wednesday’s closing bell. Cramer likes the San Diego, Calif.-based company because it is believed to be a big supplier to Apple. Should the stock drop another point or so, Cramer recommends investors buy some shares ahead of earnings.

American Express is also scheduled to deliver earnings after Wednesday’s close. Typically, the credit card company’s stock gets hammered when it reports and then rockets higher a few days later. Cramer looks forward to seeing how it does this time around.

THURSDAY, APRIL 19

Spain will host a 10-year bond auction on Thursday morning. Cramer thinks it could be awful and send the overall market lower, allowing investors a chance to buy shares of Morgan Stanleyat discount. The New York-based bank will report earnings before the opening bell.

“I think it will be one of the stronger earnings calls out there,” Cramer said. “Morgan Stanley's a fabulous firm that's been tarred as a European stepchild. That's pure nonsense. It might be the cheapest of the group.”

Elsewhere in the banking sector, Bank of America will also report Thursday morning. If bank stocks continue to go down and Spain’s bond auction doesn’t go well, Cramer thinks BAC will likely rally no matter what its results are.

Then again, Bank of America isn’t one of Cramer’s fave bank stocks. If “best of breed” names like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo take a hit following strong quarters, then Cramer said it’s tough for him to get behind “the poorly-performing operation that is Bank of America.”

After the closing bell, Cramer looks forward to an earnings report from Microsoft. The tech titan is currently benefitting from a new product cycle, Cramer said. But the stock has been “red hot” lately, which makes him wary going into the quarter. Unless it falls below the $30 level, he isn’t a buyer.

FRIDAY, APRIL 20

General Electric is scheduled to deliver earnings before Friday’s open. Cramer is optimistic about its quarterly numbers, too. He likes the stock’s 3.5 percent dividend yield and thinks a dividend boost may be on the way.

Honeywell and Under Armour will also announce their earnings results on Friday. Both stocks are “plain old buys” if they are down before earnings are released, he said.

Kimberly-Clark is also on Cramer’s radar, as it reports Friday, too. Even if it disappoints, Cramer thinks it’s a buy because the stock has a “magnificent and growing dividend.”

Finally, Schlumberger will post its earnings before Friday’s open. The oil service stocks have entered “bear market levels,” Cramer said, because natural gas prices have collapsed. He recommends investors listen to its earnings conference call, but don’t buy its stock just yet.

When this story was published, Cramer’s charitable trust owned American Express, Apple, Coca-Cola, General Electric, JPMorgan Chase and IBM. General Electric owns a minority stake in NBCUniversal, which is the parent company of CNBC.

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