Mad Money

Cramer's game plan: Welcome to the Super Bowl of earnings

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer looks ahead to a major earnings week with the likes of Boeing, Facebook and Apple set to report.
  • Quarterly numbers from top-tier technology companies will be front and center, Cramer says.
Cramer breaks down the Super Bowl of earnings

This year, the week of the Super Bowl coincides with the week of the Super Earnings Bowl for CNBC's Jim Cramer.

"Even as President Trump made the pitch for doing business in America at Davos, it's the earnings that are front and center," the "Mad Money" host said.

Without further ado, Cramer turned to the stocks and events he'll watch in one of the most eventful weeks of earnings season:

Monday: Lockheed Martin

"Lockheed Martin kicks things off on Monday and all I can say is you want this company to give you some reason, any reason, to get into what's become the hottest group in the market, and that's the defense sector," Cramer said.

Trump's U.S.-centric sales pitch at Davos and Republicans' efforts to boost defense spending are powerful drivers for military hardware makers like Lockheed, the "Mad Money" host said.

"Unfortunately, you haven't gotten many opportunities to buy the defense stocks into weakness. Hopefully Lockheed will say something [in its earnings report] that causes a quick dip," he said.

Tuesday: Pfizer, McDonald's, Advanced Micro Devices

Pfizer: Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will report earnings on Tuesday, but Cramer warned that investors shouldn't expect it to wow investors like AbbVie's quarter did.

"[AbbVie] is up $15 today thanks to, get this, earnings growth. Not buybacks, actual growth," Cramer said. "I wouldn't hold your breath if you're waiting for that kind of thing from Pfizer."

McDonald's: Cramer praised the fast-food chain's turnaround under CEO Steve Easterbrook ahead of its Tuesday earnings report.

"Easterbrook has turned this aging hulk around to the point where it's now doing three times the same-store sales of Starbucks in the U.S., and while I don't have a man-crush on him, I'm certainly blown away by how he keeps delivering," the "Mad Money" host said.

AMD: Encouraged by Intel's successful quarter, Cramer expected good earnings results from AMD and hoped CEO Lisa Su would tell an optimistic story.

Wednesday: Boeing, Microsoft, Facebook

Boeing: The Dow's top dog reports earnings on Wednesday. Despite Cramer's bullish long-term outlook for the company, he hoped this quarter would bring out sellers so that investors could get an opportunity to buy the roaring stock.

Microsoft: Cramer's outlook on Microsoft improved after Intel reported that the rate of decline in personal computer sales was slowing, even as sales were still down 2 percent.

"This relative improvement, along with the strength in the data center business, allowed Intel to thrive," he said. "Microsoft wins with both the P.C. and the data center, with the latter fitting into the company's booming Azure cloud business."

Facebook: Even though Cramer predicted Facebook would blow away the earnings estimates with its report, he expected management to talk down revenues and talk up expenses on the conference call.

"That will spook people," he warned. "To make matters worse, Facebook will open the selling window for their shareholders who work at the company and we will see some first-class stock dumping from their top executives. So even if the numbers are as fabulous as I'm anticipating, the action's just going to be nightmarish."

Thursday: Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple

Alibaba: The Chinese e-commerce giant will deliver its earnings report on Thursday, and Cramer expects a "total blowout, because they're the masters of under-promise and over-deliver."

The "Mad Money" host recommended that investors either buy the stock before the quarter drops, or wait for the typical "down leg" in the stock post-earnings.

Alphabet: Cramer hoped for news of repatriation or a share buyback program from the massive Google parent, but had otherwise dim expectations for its earnings report.

"I think Alphabet disappoints and then spends the rest of the quarter trading up as people realize [that] maybe that quarter wasn't so bad," he said. "Be careful."

Amazon: "I see Amazon saying that it's going to spend a fortune building a new headquarters and that hurts the stock even after a fabulous quarter, giving you still one more chance to buy," Cramer said in anticipation of Amazon's Thursday earnings report.

Apple: Cramer wanted to prepare investors for the inevitable analyst-led shakedown of consumer products giant Apple after it reports earnings on Thursday.

"They'll seize on weakening sales of the new iPhone X, so I've just got to get you ready. I'm not so glib as to say that there won't be anything wrong with the quarter. There will be. There may be plenty of things wrong. But even if it's perfect, the analysts will find some way to make Apple look bad. It's what they do," he said.

Even so, Cramer said the potential for Apple to start a share buyback program or boost its dividend was real, giving shareholders a potential catalyst for another rally.

Friday: Exxon Mobil, Chevron

Cramer expected the usual pattern to occur for multinational oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron when they report their quarterly results on Friday.

"The first will likely be lackluster and the second will be unabashedly positive," he said. "That's been the pattern for a year now. I bet this time will be no different."

Final thoughts

"Here's the bottom line: the Super Bowl of earnings, unlike the actual Super Bowl, never lets you down in terms of sheer excitement," the "Mad Money" host said. "I can't wait for the week to begin. Oh, yes, there's also the game: E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!"

WATCH: Cramer's 'Super Earnings Bowl' game plan

Cramer's game plan: Welcome to the Super Bowl of earnings

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Microsoft, Facebook, Alphabet and Apple. Also, NBC Sports is televising Sunday's Super Bowl.

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