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How to decipher stocks worth owning this earnings season, according to Jim Cramer

Key Points
  • CNBC's Jim Cramer breaks down the "buckets [investors] need to be sorting" stocks into this earnings season.
  • "When you divvy the corporate world up into those categories, there's a lot to like but a lot to avoid," the "Mad Money" host says.
  • He counts ServiceNow, Microsoft, Nike, Chipotle, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola among the bucket of companies that can perform well, despite the current economic environment.
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Stocks worth owning this earnings season, according to Jim Cramer

CNBC's Jim Cramer on Thursday said the stocks worth owning here are those of companies that can keep performing at this stage of the business cycle.

After years of robust economic expansion, the global economy is entering the slowdown phase. As opposed to looking at aggregated numbers from earnings season thus far — 42% of reporting companies have beaten estimates, and 24% have cut their forecasts — market players need to do a company-by-company review to understand the best spots to invest money, the "Mad Money" host said.

"When you're looking at stocks this earnings season, these are the buckets you need to be sorting them into: Who's doing so well they don't notice the environment, who's thriving in spite of the environment, who's treading water, and who's getting steamrolled?" he said. "When you divvy the corporate world up into those categories, there's a lot to like but a lot to avoid."

Cramer highlighted the below stocks of companies that he said are "joyfully oblivious" to the headwinds in the economy.

ServiceNow: On Wednesday, Cramer checked in with outgoing CEO John Donahoe to get a read on the software company's customer base. Donahoe said the firm has not seen a pullback in business investing in the digital transformation because "cross-functional workflow is the wave of the future. That's what digitization enables."

ServiceNow, which helps businesses automate their IT processes and office workflows, on Wednesday reported earnings of 99 cents per share on $885.8 million in revenue. Analysts had expected earnings of 88 cents on $885 million in revenue, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates.

"The stock got hammered yesterday on the news that Donahoe's leaving to take over at Nike, but those [quarterly] numbers then came out and this stock managed to surge right back, up 8% today," Cramer said. "Best of all, Donahoe said he simply hasn't seen any slowdown."

Microsoft: Microsoft on Wednesday reported better-than-expected results in its fiscal first quarter. The computer giant's revenue guidance came in a little lower than analysts expected.

Cramer said the company is firing on all cylinders under Satya Nadella's leadership.

"When you read Microsoft's conference call, you'd think that the whole world must be booming," he said. "Really, it's just Microsoft that's booming, though, thanks to real strength in artificial intelligence and top-notch web services, another business that's not seeing any kind of a slowdown."

Cramer also counted Nike, Chipotle, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola among the list of stocks that can weather the storm.

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How to decipher stocks worth owning this earnings season, according to Jim Cramer

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of PepsiCo and Microsoft.

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