Cramer: Horses and Elephants Plundering Stocks

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Forget the bulls and the bears, Jim Cramer says that in some cases its horses and elephants that are trampling your portfolio.

By horses and elephants, Jim Cramer is referring to sensitive topics that come up in conference calls during earnings season.

"When it comes up, it is always prefaced by an analyst saying, "I don't want to beat a dead horse,' And then to mix a metaphor, the issue becomes an elephant in the room," Cramer explained

The Mad Money host thinks his 'horse and elephant phenomenon' may be behind the lackluster performance in Yahoo! and Intel despite relatively good earnings that beat expectations.


Yahoo reported first-quarter earnings excluding items of 38 cents a share, analysts had expected Yahoo to report earnings excluding items of 24 cents a share.

But despite the beat, the Street fixed on the dead horse. "What was Yahoo's dead horse? It was user engagement," said Cramer.

Yahoo removed ads from its homepage, a move that CFO Ken Goldman said may hurt revenue but will boost engagement.

"I'd like to see us grow search click volume more by making the search experience more immersive—we'll be working on that in the coming quarters," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said on the earnings call.

Analysts keyed into this one metric – beating the proverbial dead horse – and as a result the issue overshadowed the rest of Yahoo!'s release.

"Organic growth of viewers is what matters," said Cramer, and I think Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is making so the right call on this."

Nonetheless shares are down 2% in 5 days. (Read More: Yahoo! Earnings Beat)

Luke Horsten | Flickr | Getty Images


"Oh boy, Intel, has a real dead horse problem," Cramer said. "The company is spending a fortune on capital goods and they are not getting the bang for the buck that they used to. So the dead horse here is whether Intel is spending too much on its future without a payoff."

Intel said its capital spending in 2013 would be $13 billion, plus or minus $500 million, exceeding what many analysts had expected.

"It was a harsh part of the dialogue," said Cramer and may have distracted the Street from positives; for example, earnings beat estimates and revenues met forecasts.

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"When you get under the numbers and look at the driver, for us 2012 was a year where we refreshed our product line across every major business," said Intel CFO Stacy Smith. "We're seeing just a ton of innovation. That is what allowed us to come in as expected and set the guidance we did for 2013."

For the first quarter, the company sees revenue of $12.2 to $13.2 billion.

Unfortunately in the case of Intel as in the case of Yahoo! the horses and elephants trampled the price action.

Shares slipped 2% over 5 days. (Read More: Intel Tops Forecasts)

"Hence, despite beating Wall Street's expectations in a big way, their stocks did not react as a shareholder would hope if not expet." That is neither stock has been rewarded for the company's relative strength.

For Yahoo and Intel the dead horse got the better of them," said Cramer. "At least for now. "

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

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