When a company reports weak results, Jim Cramer is frequently asked by investors how to price that disappointment into the market. How do you know when the weaker results could be indicative of a larger trend and the whole group should be avoided?
It was this exact confusion that overwhelmed the market on Thursday, and Cramer thinks it was justified.
There was the curious case of NXP Semiconductors, the play on the Internet of things. It gave shockingly cautious guidance, saying that it would cut prices for semiconductors across the board. As a result, its competitors Avago and Skyworks were clubbed as well for guilt by association.
"My take? There should be no pin-action here. NXP Semi has issues that others might not have," Cramer said.
The guidance made no sense to Cramer based on what he has heard from the other chip companies that he follows. That is why he recommended buying the group, not sell it, even though Avago and Skyworks are too risky for his taste right now.
As for talks of a merger between Allergan and Pfizer, Cramer added that Allergan is too cheap to sell. Unlike Valeant, which has a tremendous amount of problems, and he thinks it is too difficult for investors to own right now.
Cramer sees bears roaming through the market, sinking their vicious claws, sector by sector. First, it mauled healthcare. Then it hit the oils, followed by international industrials and now the restaurants.
"The averages may be having a great month, but underneath, there is plenty of pain," the "Mad Money" host said.
This is why Cramer took it upon himself to figure out what groups are currently immune to the prowess of the bear.
It all came down to two big obvious groups — auto parts and defense stocks. O'Reilly Automotive blew analysts away on Thursday when it beat estimates and raised guidance. Cramer considers it to be the most consistent company in the industry, yet somehow analysts are always blown away with its earnings.
"That is very rare. Most retailers don't trade together like this," Cramer said. (Tweet this)
In order to get a read on what is happening with technology, Cramer decided to check in with Avnet. He considers it to be the largest supermarket of technology on the planet.
Avnet is the No. 1 distributer of electronic components, including semiconductors, and one of the largest suppliers of information technology hardware, software and services.
The company reported on Thursday morning and delivered a 9-cent earnings beat from a $1.03 basis, higher than expected sales and solid guidance. However, the stock barely budged on the news, and Cramer suspects it was because it had already run up in the past month.
To learn more, Cramer spoke with Avnet CEO Rick Hamada.
"All I can tell you Jim is that we continue to execute very well on the components side of the house, and we have had a recovery story with our computer business in Europe that now has two or three quarters of sustained momentum behind it. And overall I think the European market is being underestimated on how strong it is for the industrial sector," Hamada said.
Cramer knows that the heath care group has been crushed in the past six weeks. But what about animal health or veterinary medicine?
To get a clearer picture, he spoke with IDEXX Laboratories, the world leader in diagnostic tools for animals. It makes point-of-care veterinary diagnostic products, including all sorts of instruments, analyzers, rapid assay test kids and providing outside reference laboratory services.
It just rolled out a new revolutionary diagnostic system that can detect kidney disease in cats and dogs, sometimes months or years earlier than the current standard of care. The company delivered on Wednesday morning, and Wall Street found it disappointing with weaker than expected guidance.
To learn more, Cramer spoke with IDEXX Laboratories chairman and CEO Jonathan Ayers.
"I think we had a very strong operational quarter and all of our strategies to bring innovation to veterinary medicine are certainly on track. I think it was really about calibration on currency in 2016. It's a currency issue," Ayers said.
Once in a while, Jim Cramer likes to take a step back and provide his advice on diversification for investor portfolios.
"Diversification is the only free lunch. If you have overindulged in one particular sector of the market, then all of your money might go down the drain," the "Mad Money" host said.
That is why Cramer asks his favorite fans to call and Tweet their top five holdings in their portfolio, so he can assess them and provide guidance on building a diversified portfolio. The first portfolio that Cramer commented on consisted of Visa, Disney, Wells Fargo, Pay Pal and Wing Stop.
He recommended that the investor ditch either Visa or Pay Pal from the portfolio. He considers Visa to be more established, but Pay Pal is a high-growth company; it's owner's choice.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:
Vonage Holdings Corp: "I'm a yield guy when it comes to telco. That's going to put me square in Verizon if I want a little growth and T-Mobile, which I thought got oversold when they reported."
Sierra Wireless: "I don't know, this internet of things has been heavy but I think Sierra Wireless is good. There is so much consolidation it is not that expensive of a stock. I'd hold on to it."