Europe is the new swing factor

The EU recovery has put heavily exposed US techs and industrials in an enviable position.

By Jim Cramer Oct 28, 2013 10:21AM logoInternational currencies © Brand X, SuperStockWhy do people keep talking about how industrial and tech names still seem undervalued even after this remarkable run? I think I have the answer: Europe. Just last week on "Mad Money," I interviewed the CEOs of Avnet (AVT), PPG (PPG) and Eaton (ETN) -- three great American corporations that do a huge amount of business overseas.


All of these companies, like so many terrific U.S.-based enterprises, diversified into Europe many years ago as they recognized that the European Union opened up a gigantic market of 700 million people, all served by one currency. We forget that, before the euro, it was difficult to do business in Europe because of all the different fluctuating currencies and interest rates in each country. The euro truly did unite Europe when it comes to commerce, and it enticed our companies to buy and build there with alacrity.


So we have Avnet, the technology superstore; Eaton, the electrical-equipment concern; and PPG, the proprietary-coatings-and-glass company. These three have represented the cream of the crop in their respective industries, and each company knew it offered superior products and that it could take share from the locals.


Now, if you'll recall, Europe really didn't come down with its version of the economic flu until well after the U.S. economy hit the wall. The illness, moreover, was magnified by two-interest rate hikes that crushed industries in almost every European country except Germany. No company had been prepared for the ultimate depth of the European recession, and the above three firms saw dramatic sales declines in their respective European businesses. That, in turn, hurt overall revenue and earnings, because the continent represented roughly one-quarter of the entire geographic revenue mix.


Now, though, all three of these companies see a noticeable stabilization in Europe that has occurred just this past quarter. Yes, it is true that none of these CEOs -- Avnet's Rick Hamada, Eaton's Sandy Cutler and PPG's Chuck Bunch -- expect anything robust to come from Europe anytime soon. But all expect 2014 to be better than 2013. When you combine easy sales and earnings comparisons with a weaker dollar vs. a resurgent euro -- the currency pair is at $1.38 Monday, a two-year high -- you get the possibility of a pretty huge swing in earnings. Chuck Bunch indicated that even a couple percentage points' swing in European revenue could be huge, because a massive amount of costs had been taken out amid the prolonged downturn.


The techs and the industrials aren't the only companies that have diversified into Europe. U.S. packaged- consumer cyclicals, indusrgoods companies and pharmaceuticals are dominant players there, as well. However, none saw a downturn nearly as huge as that of the cyclicals. Europe could now act as a healthy offset to a U.S. slowdown caused by our dysfunctional government -- something that our purely domestic companies won't have in their arsenal.


Given the breadth of the product Avnet sells in Europe, including semiconductors, software, disk drives and flash memory, you can expect that many of our tech companies are going to see a similar boost. You can say the same about companies as diverse as Honeywell (HON), United Technologies (UTX), Emerson (EMR) and DuPont (DD).


Moreover, we are very likely to see that big advance in sales for which so many have been waiting. I have held that it has been stupid, and is stupid, to wait for it. By the time it happens, these kinds of stocks will have advanced so far that the move will already have been made. That's why I think you need to buy these stocks on any material weakness we get in this country -- a bad U.S. labor report, or a soft gross domestic product figure or retail-sales number. That's because Europe, not the U.S., is now the swing factor. Given the cost takeout and the possibility of very good continental sales, I am sensing that these stocks could be the biggest standouts for 2014.

Jim Cramer's headshot

At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long ETN and HON.


More from


Oct 28, 2013 10:42AM
I'm gonna have to call BS on you this time Jim.  To suggest the world wide compression is over and we see a green light is either wishful thinking or downright dishonest.  We have witnessed this leapfrogging from one sector to another as they all seem to be goosing each other. This is no longer your grandfathers economy and the age old models are antiquated.  The FED we all talk about is now the world FED and world control is now a given.  They secretly funnel mountains of fiat money all over the world for these man made debt based markets.  Like the treatment models we read about for drug and alcohol addicts professional therapists all agree bottoming out is the start of the healing process.  We hear the rest of the world screaming for America to create more debt, more debt, more debt, no different than an addict I spoke of earlier.  When we finally hear the phrase "we are concerning ourselves with becoming debt free" then we can finally say it is the time we turned the corner.  Also do not underestimate the damage this spying on the EU leaders has created by our arrogant electerds and this NSA nonsense. Ask yourself how much of a commitment you would make to work with someone after what we have done to them.  There is a chance they just might ask us to leave as I have been predicting for some time.  Remember the old saying about pi$$ing off the Pope.  Perhaps we have been listening in on him as well.  We may be the biggest dog on the block but when all the other dogs decide to gang up on us we will be running away with our tail between our legs.  JMHO
Oct 28, 2013 10:31AM

so you talk to these various CEO's, then do an article on "buy these stocks".  is this to get a share price blip that helps the same CEO's get their bonus numbers up for a nicer polished gold bonus? 


pick 300 leading companies and write the same article of "europe is getting better but not right away" and say the same thing. 

Oct 28, 2013 12:32PM
 17 Trillion of debt 123,000$ per working American lowest labor participation rate since 1978........Might be worthy of discussion except the darn democrat media are not concerned with America the facts or any financial reality. Now back to your utopia of corruption you morons.
Oct 28, 2013 12:33PM
I think they finally found the core problem with the ObamaCare website. They are trying to make something look affordable when it is not affordable.
Oct 28, 2013 11:19AM
Bobo had one too many German beers with his breakfast.
Oct 28, 2013 4:58PM
While I have been critical of Apple several times on here I applaud Tim Cook for standing up to those who want them to do a massive stock buy back.  Investing in the future of the company is something more CEO's should do rather then focus entirely on this quarters earnings.
Oct 28, 2013 11:28AM

The markets or several stocks are doing fine today...

Although I don't see any of Bobo's picks on the rise..??


I'm baking bisquits, pigs in a blanket, and a nice yellow cake. We'll make meatloaf later..

I have no time for market guessing games...

Then to prove I'm still a man..

Then I'm gonna go out and cut down a tree, and maybe kill something in the woods..?

After that I'm  gonna get in my 4x4 and look for Fatty on the roads or bridges.

Oct 28, 2013 11:38AM
We spy on them they spy on us. It's a non-issue folks. It's been done since the beginning of Humankind. Concerning the turnaround in Euro-Zone, I would have to see it first to be a real believer. The Euro is rising and the Dollar is falling. Folks will play that for or against, depending which way the wind is blowing. What do we really know for Certain Jimmy?

1)Global issues of $500-700Trillion in scam Derivatives never addressed.
2)Euro-Zone still in massive Unemployment Crisis.
3)Global issues of massive Corporate Debt issuance
4)Record Stock Buying on Margin
5)Temporary reprieve due to lower rates and gasoline prices lately
6)Japan Tax goes from 5% to 8%
7)Student Loan Debt Crisis
8)China is Financial Time Bomb
9)Other Brick Nations to soon follow China
10)Lack of a Living Wage

So Jimmy, this just covers a few of the current issues we face but just because the Markets keep moving higher, you feel a need to PUMP more folks in. You and I both know that overheated Markets can continue in spite of actual valuations. Folks like you only make it worse and the HYPE reaches higher and more dangerous levels. You will never tell anyone that until after the next Crash and everyone who doesn't take profits gets burned again. Jimmy, you are despicable.

Oct 28, 2013 5:14PM
What do you call a Teabagger surrounded by a cheering crowd of drooling idiots?

The nominee.

What do you call an ignorant Teabagger with an I.Q. of 50?

A potential Republican candidate.

Whats the difference between an angry Teabagger and a terrorist?

You can negotiate with a terrorist.

What is the difference between a smart Teabagger and the Loch Ness Monster?

Some people claim to have actually seen the Loch Ness Monster.

What do Teabaggers call an elitist?

Someone with a sixth-grade education.

What did a Teabagger say when he got his sister pregnant?

Don't tread on me!

When asked if he was a racist, the Teabagger responded:

I'm not a racist, I just hate Ni-ggers, Wet-Brownbacks, Rag-heads and Chinks. Nothing racist about that. It's called freedom of speech!

Did you hear about the Teabagger couple who froze to death at the drive-in?

They went to see Closed for the Winter.

What do you call a Teabagger with 2 brain cells?


Where can you find a delusional Teabagger hypocrite?

Throw a dart blindfolded at a Tea Party Rally.

What did the Teabagger say to the doctor when she found out she was pregnant?

Are you sure its mine?

How do Teabagger brain cells die?

Despised and alone.

When asked about God and guns, the Teabaggers responded:

Jesus was a killing machine!

What do you get when you offer a Teabagger a penny for his thoughts?

Stupidity you can believe in.

What was the Teabaggers greatest achievement?


Oct 28, 2013 2:34PM


Oct 28, 2013 2:13PM

Not sure they still make MadDog, maybe Boone's .?


But they still make shidt that's just as bad or a cheap drunk.

Along with those, was "Thunderbird's the Word."

Oct 28, 2013 1:13PM
How about 60 Mins show? It's about time.
Oct 28, 2013 4:38PM

Had a good nap....Markets were good to fair today, closing up a little on FMV's.

Time go dig some more taters.

Meatloaf tonight.....Don't let yours loaf.... arf, arf, arf..

Ciao...arf, arf.

Oct 28, 2013 4:23PM

Barry, this is your only opportunity in these forems to rant at millionaires like myself.Be careful

not to rant at Charlie Rangel at the homeless center.He`s given you everything you`ve got.

3 hots and a cot,that is.

Oct 28, 2013 11:12AM
Oh bullshidt, that's all I got to say about this. arf, arf, arf.
Oct 28, 2013 11:29AM

Good luck getting Twit, Brent....

Think I'll pass even if I do have a chance at getting it....

Oct 28, 2013 4:51PM
OK....MS LOM says I have to quit playing with the other kids
and come inside for TV time.  Its a good thing her portfolio
is up 130 percent !!

Ciao for now.....

Oct 28, 2013 2:45PM

Re-TOG:I`m thinking of buying some edf.It goes ex-div on Nov.6th.It pays monthly.1000 shares

pays $180 monthly.I`ll accept all checks anytime.

Oct 28, 2013 1:19PM

Barry,Now you want to sell a bridge.Just like a Repub.Trying to sell something you don`t own.

Your butt buddy would have sold it to China if elected.Thank God most Americans are smarter

than you.

Oct 28, 2013 5:05PM
"RE-TOG: Retards can`t marry.I heard about 2 that wanted to get married in Ohio and when

they were told that retards couldn`t they cried and cried."


So you were born out of wedlock then Little Beav.

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