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Jim Cramer has noticed a peculiar pattern behind the stocks thriving this earnings season.
"Right now demand is the secret sauce driving stocks higher. Is there demand for the product and does it exceed supply? That's how you sort out the winners from the losers in this peculiar environment," the "Mad Money" host said.
In the banking industry, KeyCorp CEO Beth Mooney told Cramer on Tuesday that average loans rose year over year.
The same thing happened with Apple. Cramer noted that demand for the new iPhone greatly exceeded supply after the tech giant reported earnings Tuesday.
"You know what actually paid to listen to? Tim Cook, who came right here in the low $90s and told you a darned good story. He was right, they were wrong," Cramer said.
"I was stunned by the analyst community's lack of respect for CEO Tim Cook when I listened to the call," Cramer said.
He could not ignore the level of contempt and disrespect for Apple, especially considering how positive some of the same analysts are about IBM, Oracle and Microsoft. Meanwhile, IBM has been on a decline for five years, and Cramer found the tone of the call to be far more respectful.
"Apple is held to a higher standard, even though it has one of the cheapest stocks out there. I don't know what's wrong with these analysts with their faux buy recommendations, but I think they could benefit from some therapy," Cramer said.
Norfolk Southern delivered a third-quarter surprise on Wednesday when it managed to report an earnings beat, even with major cargoes like coal in a secular decline.
Cramer spoke with Norfolk Southern's chairman and CEO Jim Squires, who revealed how the company continues to improve amid a difficult environment.
"There is always opportunity through business process improvements and through working our assets ever harder. We are very focused on productivity. That has been the source of a lot of our improvements this year," Squires said.
Cramer focused on Snap-On as a once red-hot stock that lost its momentum, and could be ready to roar again. After spending years climbing higher, Snap-On's stock fell hard, down 9 percent for the year.
Snap-On is the maker of high quality tools and diagnostic equipment for auto repair and other industries. Last week it reported a strong quarter, and Cramer suspects that the stock could be ready to go higher.
After management provided bullish commentary on the conference call, Cramer thought the organic growth of the company could signal good things for the stock. He spoke with Snap-On's chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk on why organic growth is important.
"For us, organic growth is rolling out products that people really want … What we like to say is that we have runways for growth. One of those for growth for us is to expand with repair shop owners and managers," Pinchuk said.
Alkermes also made an incredible comeback when the stock recently surged 30 percent in one day after the company announced positive clinical trial data for an anti-depressant drug that previously failed to meet its targets.
Alkermes is a drug delivery company that also develops proprietary medications for mental illness, addiction, diabetes, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. Cramer spoke with Alkermes' CEO Richard Pops, who explained that part of the difficulty in doing clinical research on depression is that enrolled patients in a trial often get better by participating in the trial itself, called the placebo effect.
"So, when the study failed in January, we looked at the data, and the data always tells you the truth. And in the data we saw a clear signal of activity of 5461. We just hadn't designed the trial exactly the right way," Pops said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:
Dollar Tree: "This stock has been in free-fall, along with Dollar General. I'm beginning to wonder if they aren't ready to bottom. But if you think they are, the better one to do is buy a stock called TJX, which my charitable trust owns ... It's a discounter that I think has a better stream of revenue, particularly with Macy's closing some stores soon."
Owens-Illinois: "They had a good quarter. I've been waiting for that. I love the glass business because it's recycling. Do you know that in certain parts of Latin America they use jars from Owens-Illinois 30 times. Glass should be more sustainably viewed in this country. I like the story here."