According to Jim Cramer, the market these days is defined by surprises: earnings surprises, news surprises, political surprises. And they keep coming.
Some of these surprises are obvious, and some are hidden underneath the layers of debt in a company. The good news is that for the positive surprises, the upside potential is unlimited. But for the bad, it could be a horrendous downward slope.
That is why the "Mad Money" host reviewed the top surprises of the day Thursday, to point out what could be opportunity for investors.
Before Thursday, Keurig Green Mountain had become known as one of the worst serial disappointers of all time. It was considered a fool's errand to own the stock. Consumers just wanted its coffee Keurig machine and no other products. The company was known for missing an entire holiday season and spending a fortune on nothing.
So, when Keurig reported a better-than-expected profit on Wednesday night, fantastic cash flow and a 13-percent dividend boost — Cramer was shocked.
It seemed the analysts on the conference call had genuine disbelief that Keurig could really get its act together and were trying to figure out how on Earth the company's management actually executed for once.
"I know I was blown away, and so were the myriad bears on the stock. Total surprise," the "Mad Money" host said.
On the other end of the spectrum is Sun Edison, which has seen its debt go from a couple of billion to $11 billion almost overnight. Cramer was so horrified by Sun Edison, he said it needs more than just electricity — it could use a few defibrillation paddles to spark it back to life.
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And while some surprises are obvious, others are hidden. Chesapeake Energy is the struggling oil-and-gas producer with a stock that has become a total dog, down 72 percent for the year. But it was the bonds that scared Cramer, as they fell by an even larger percentage.
At this point, Chesapeake would need the price of natural gas to double to get out of the woods with its bonds, something that is inconceivable to Cramer.
"I have to tell you, whenever the bonds get hit worse than the stock, don't even think of bottom fishing, because it's the bonds that are telling the truth," Cramer said. (Tweet This)
The monster upside move that took the prize for the day was JM Smucker. The company took a few acquisitions in coffee and pet food and managed to produce amazing earnings. Many investors seemed angry at management when it rolled out a large secondary offering of 8.3 million shares, but it turns out it was a surprisingly great buy.
All in all, most of the surprises of the day were good, even though the bad were very bad.
"I'll take that ratio as long as you recognize that the downside, at least in the energy related cohort, is a bit unfathomable, while the upside is, often, if you give it time, surprisingly unlimited, to say the least," Cramer said.