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Cramer’s week ahead: Jam-packed earnings calendar will offer insight into strength of U.S. business

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Key Points
  • Companies such as Apple, Tesla, Honeywell and General Electric all report.
  • "Next week, I want you to keep your eyes on the prize: companies with great earnings," the "Mad Money" host said.
  • The Federal Reserve will also hold its first monetary policy meeting of the year next week.
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Cramer's week ahead: Investors should be focused on the busy earnings calendar

CNBC's Jim Cramer said Friday that next week's slate of earnings reports give investors a critical look into the state of American business during "one of the strangest moments" he can remember.

While developments around President Joe Biden's push for a $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus package will get attention, the "Mad Money" host said locking in on the jam-packed earnings calendar will be crucial.

"A $1.9 billion stimulus bill could make a huge difference for a host of industries, from retail to the automakers," Cramer said. "But ... next week, I want you to keep your eyes on the prize: companies with great earnings, especially when their stocks get knocked down to unreasonably low levels thanks to Covid worries that one day may no longer be front and center."

Cramer's comments came after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.1% to reach yet another record high, finishing the week up 4.2%. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% on Friday to 3,841.47, following its record close a day earlier. For the week, the benchmark U.S. equity index rose 1.9%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the laggard of the trio, rising just 0.6% for the week. On Friday, the 30-stock Dow closed declined by 179.03 points, or 0.6%, to 30,996.98.

Cramer gave his game plan for the week ahead. Earnings-per-share projections are based on analyst forecasts compiled by Zacks Investment Research.

Monday: Kimberly-Clark earnings

Kimberly-Clark

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 10 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.61.

"We had a mini-rotation into the consumer packaged goods names today. ... We're going to find out if that rotation continues after Kimberly-Clark reports on Monday morning," Cramer said. "Their last quarter was abysmal, with the enterprise business crushed by Covid. Can Kimberly-Clark turn things around? I say stay tuned."

Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus vaccine illustration
Dado Ruvic | Reuters

Tuesday: Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, 3M, AMD, Microsoft and Starbucks earnings

Johnson & Johnson

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.81.

"Not only do I expect a fabulous quarter, I also think they might show some leg on the clinical trial of the century, their one-and-done vaccine candidate that could take this country ... back to somewhat like" it was before the pandemic, Cramer said.

General Electric

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 8 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $0.08.

The stock has been moving up lately, and "I think it's because CEO Larry Culp has totally gotten his arms around the company, windmills and all," Cramer said. "If you believe, as I do, that travelers will start flying again once we beat the virus, well this one's for you."

3M

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 9 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $2.19.

"This one is tougher. 3M has some potentially major pollution-related liabilities ... that could hit harder now that we have a more environmentally friendly president" such as Biden, Cramer said. "The business is improving, though, and if not for that liability, I think the stock would be much, much higher. Let's see if management can convince us that the market's blowing this issue out of proportion."

American Express

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell: conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.26.

"There's been lots of chatter that American Express could have a terrific quarter despite the lack of corporate travel. That's certainly how the stock's been trading," Cramer said.

Advanced Micro Devices

  • Q4 2020 earnings release after the close; conference call at 5 p.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $0.41.

"I think Intel's disappointment last night could be good news for arch-rival AMD, because AMD's done a much better job of breaking into the hottest categories with its chips," Cramer said. "I'm predicting a blowout."

Microsoft  

  • Q2 fiscal 2021 earnings release after the close; conference call at 5:30 ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.64.

"Microsoft's been mighty quiet in recent months, but I think their business has been amazing," Cramer said.

Starbucks

  • Q1 fiscal 2021 earnings release after the close: conference call at 5 p.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $0.55.

"As for Starbucks, I worry because the stock's had a tremendous run without any sign of a turn in the United States," Cramer said. "I say at this point now, you've got to wait to buy Starbucks until after they report if you want to own it."

Boeing employees beneath company 787 Dreamliner (N787BX) at the Farnborough Airshow. On its first flight outside of the US during its testing programme, the newest airliner in the Boeing aviation family, has arrived at the air show for a few days of exhibitions to the aerospace-buying community and the trade press.
Richard Baker / In Pictures Ltd./Corbis / Getty Images

Wednesday: Fed statement and earnings from, Boeing, Abbott Laboratories, Apple, Facebook and Tesla

The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee wraps up its two-day meeting Wednesday, and Chairman Jerome Powell will announce any potential policy changes, Cramer said.

"I bet he'll keep rates unchanged because remember, he wants to stay low for long — maybe years. But that won't stop self-proclaimed experts from offering bogus interpretations of the Fed's statement that will confuse you and may you sell things you shouldn't," Cramer said. "Let's hope these misguided Fed-heads scare people into selling — that could create the buying opportunities we want in some of the terrific companies we're talking about that report on the same day."

Boeing

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 10:30 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: - $1.60.

"The 737 MAX is finally airborne and the orders are trickling in ... but it's too soon to expect a great quarter because the airlines are still in survival mode," contended Cramer. "That said, for months I've told you the Chinese government is parsing every word from Joe Biden's team, and if the new administration lowers the temperature, China will respond with massive aircraft orders. ... Too soon to tell right now, but I suspect it won't be long."

Abbott Laboratories

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 9 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.36.

"They've been working hard on Covid-19 testing, although they've yet to really mass produce the cheap, at-home test that the FDA approved that we all really want," Cramer said. "Abbott's going to make its name this quarter with its blood sugar monitor, so I expect a beat and raise."

Apple

  • Q1 fiscal 2021 earnings release after the close; conference call at 5 p.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.39.

"I bet Apple, I think it's going to be incredibly upbeat about its entire product line, not just the iPhone 12, which does take remarkable pictures," Cramer said. "They're cleaning up thanks to the stay-at-home economy and the service revenue stream should keep growing, too. The one wild card is currency. Apple has left so much money on the table because of the strong dollar, but the greenback got much weaker this quarter. I think that is going to matter."

Facebook

  • Q4 2020 earnings release after the close; conference call at 5 p.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $3.21.

"I'm expecting an amazing quarter from Facebook ... given the fact that so many small and medium sized businesses rely on them for advertising," Cramer said. "If management says anything about monetizing their other businesses, I think the stock can challenge new highs."

Tesla

  • Q4 2020 earnings release after the close; conference call at 6:30 p.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $0.63.

Tesla "conference calls used to be ... top-tier entertainment," Cramer said. "If [CEO] Elon Musk doesn't get too bored, you're going to hear some fantastic commentary to go along with the fantastic numbers. We know Tesla's doing well because they give us so much information each month."

A person walk a dog near McDonald's in Union Square during the coronavirus pandemic on April 14, 2020 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images

Thursday: McDonald's, Mastercard, Visa and Skyworks Solutions earnings

McDonald's

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.75.

"The analysts have been dumping on [McDonald's] lately. They all like Chipotle," Cramer said. "Right now, McDonald's is trading like the quarter will be a bad one. I think that's too negative."

Mastercard

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 9 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.53.

"While we own Mastercard for the charitable trust, I'm concerned that PayPal may finally be eating their lunch. Still, we're sticking with it because Mastercard could be a tremendous story once cross-border travel comes back," Cramer said.

Visa

  • Q1 fiscal 2021 earnings release after the close; conference call at 5 p.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS:  $1.27.

Skyworks Solutions

  • Q1 fiscal 2021 earnings release after the close; conference call at 4:30 p.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.83.

"I think it's going to be a blowout. Plus, you don't need to worry about the Chinese exposure anymore" under Biden like the way it was under former President Donald Trump, Cramer said.

Friday: Honeywell, Chevron, Caterpillar and Eli Lilly earnings

Honeywell

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $2.

"Honeywell's got a new building solutions as a service business model — they call it Honeywell as a service. Their intelligent warehouse division is amazing," Cramer said. "The aerospace division isn't ready to roll yet because of the pandemic, but boy it's going to be good once we get herd immunity."

Chevron

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 11 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $0.09.

"Oil's been on a roll, ... which means it's worth owning some Chevron up here," Cramer said. "Remember, I think most of the oils are uninvestable, but Chevron and ... Pioneer are the exceptions."

Caterpillar

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $1.45.

"Caterpillar's a quandary for me. The stock goes up even if the numbers aren't that good because there's so much hope for a big infrastructure bill and better relations with China," Cramer said. "I missed this move, though."

Eli Lilly

  • Q4 2020 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 9 a.m. ET.
  • Projected EPS: $2.34.

"Eli Lilly's ramped up so much on vaccine hopes that the stock may be due for a breather," Cramer said. "The pipeline is spectacular here with superb Covid drugs and ... Alzheimer's. Any more commentary on Alzheimer's, the biggest unmet need, will move the stock to $210."

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Cramer's week ahead: Earnings reports to offer insight into business strength

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