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Cramer urges investors to give new Lowe's CEO more time to fix things as shares plummet

Key Points
  • Investors are writing off Lowe's new CEO Marvin Ellison, "but he's been there for five minutes," says CNBC's Jim Cramer.
  • "Marvin's doing everything he has to do," Cramer argues. "I think the hand he got wasn't so great."
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Cramer: Lowe's underspent which allowed Home Depot to pull ahead

CNBC's Jim Cramer on Wednesday urged investors not to bail on Lowe's new CEO Marvin Ellison after the home improvement giant reported disappointing earnings that led to a major sell-off in the stock.

"People have written off Ellison but he's been there for five minutes," Cramer told CNBC's "Squawk Box. "

Exactly one year ago, Lowe's announced that Ellison would take over as CEO, effective July 2018, poaching him from the C-suite at J.C. Penney. Prior to J.C. Penny, he spent 12 years at Lowe's rival Home Depot.

Lowe's should be back to meeting Wall Street expectations by its third quarter, the "Mad Money" host said, echoing a similar prediction from Ellison.

Ellison said, in the company's earnings news release, "We are still in the early stages of our transformation, and with the changes we are putting in place. We expect to deliver improved gross margin performance over the balance of the year." He also said, "The unanticipated impact of the convergence of cost pressure, significant transition in our merchandising organization, and ineffective legacy pricing tools" as being behind the company's missed earnings.

Most of these mistakes were brought over from past executives, Cramer said. "Marvin's doing everything he has to do," he added. "I think the hand he got wasn't so great."

Lowe's shares were falling about 10% Wednesday, as higher costs weighed on its fiscal first-quarter earnings, which fell short of estimates, and prompted the home improvement retailer to cut its forecast for the year.