Since his Wall Street days, Jim Cramer has used one foolproof strategy to reward his portfolio after major earnings announcements.
"On Monday, we hear from Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and I've had the same view about this stock since my days at Goldman Sachs in the '80s. You buy Kimberly-Clark when it gets hit. This is a strategy that's never failed me, and I bet this time will be no different," the " Mad Money " host said.
With the first round of the French election occurring on Sunday — and the biggest week of earnings approaching — Jim Cramer smells panic in the air. He recommended focusing on individual company reports that can help shed light on the true state of the global economy.
With that in mind, here are the stocks and events on Cramer's radar next week:
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) will report earnings alongside Kimberly-Clark on Monday, and Cramer said rival toymaker Mattel's (NASDAQ: MAT) weak Thursday earnings report should not drag Hasbro down.
"Hasbro's developed a very different model from Mattel's. It's more experiential, and it does a huge amount of business selling Disney (NYSE: DIS) toys, and given that we've got a new 'Star Wars' movie later this year [and] maybe a couple of 'Star Wars' movies down the line, I bet it's a winner, not a loser like Mattel," Cramer said.
Tuesday brings an onslaught of over 30 major earnings reports including Chipotle's (NYSE: CMG), and the fast-casual chain is approaching the 18-month mark at which health-risk concerns begin to taper out. That is good news for the company moving forward, Cramer said.
"However, the stock's already had a big run. I don't want you to chase. There are so many people who expect it to be a great quarter that we need to be sensitive to the idea that the improving news may actually cause a short term sell-off before the stock advances again," the "Mad Money" host advised.
The earnings wave continues on Wednesday, with United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) reporting, among others.
Cramer knows there is a hidden market out there for Twitter, particularly among those with accounts, so he is curious to see what kind of reaction a weak quarter might get.
"I say it's too risky, at least until we see those [earnings] numbers. Then we make a decision," he said.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) will report earnings before Thursday's bell, and Cramer says that having no overseas routes will be a boon to the stock.
"Call me a buyer both before and after what I think is going to be a terrific report," Cramer said, adding that he owns the name for his charitable trust, ActionAlertsPlus.com.
And with oil prices expected to head back to $47 from Friday's $49.50, Cramer says both Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) will be buys if they announce any good news on their earnings calls next Friday.
"Hope for panic next week and take action when you get it with some of these great opportunities," Cramer said.
As cyberattacks grow in power and number, Proofpoint (NASDAQ: PFPT) CEO Gary Steele sees them moving from targeting organizations to hacking individuals through email and social media.
"We're all about protecting individuals and we've seen the threat landscape really move in that direction, where bad actors are targeting people, not infrastructure, these days," Steele told Cramer on Friday.
"As a result of that, companies need to buy protection that Proofpoint provides," the CEO said.
While cyberattackers are often very skilled at mimicking a company's email style in order to trick unassuming workers, Steele said Proofpoint serves as a formidable defense.
"We employ a big team of threat researchers and data scientists, and through the innovation that we provide, we are very good at detecting these kinds of things," Steele told Cramer.
Cramer also turned to a favorite technology play, Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO), to look ahead at any possibly takeover candidates for the smart and voracious acquirer.
The "Mad Money" host came up with two ideas. First was Xilinx (NASDAQ: XLNX), a maker of programmable chips that shares its slice of the semiconductor space with Intel (NASDAQ: INTC).
"Why would Broadcom think to buy this one? First of all, it would give them more exposure to some very attractive end markets like communications, data centers, connected car, [and] aerospace, among others," Cramer said.
Cramer also acknowledged the buzz around Broadcom possibly buying struggling Japanese electronics giant Toshiba (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 6502.T-JP), but said this cheaper buy is a riskier bet.
"Given all of the consolidation in the semi space in recent years, there aren't that many attractive takeover candidates left, which is all the more reason for Broadcom to do the straightforward thing and buy Xilinx before someone else snaps it up instead. It wouldn't be cheap, but it would be worth it and no one could integrate this company or get more out of it than Broadcom can," he said.
Cramer has noticed over the years that big-name hedge fund managers tend not to comment on, or recommend, high-quality stocks to the average investor.
"I bet most of the people who run big hedge funds likely wouldn't be caught dead owning any of those great stocks. If anything, they'd want to short them," the "Mad Money" host observed.
From the countless investor letters, stories, and interviews Cramer has seen, he knows very well that no savvy hedge fund titan would dare come out and say he owned a great deal of stock.
"The most you'll get out of them is that they aren't all that short…. or at least not yet," he said.
In Cramer's lightning round, he flew through his take on some caller favorite stocks, including:
AbbVie, Inc. (NYSE: ABBV): "Well-run, inexpensive drug company. I'd be a buyer."
Blackstone Group, LP (NYSE: BX): "Went through that quarter. They did terrifically. With their IPO window opening, they can re-liquify. I think it's a buy. I've been saying that for a while, though."
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