Currency game isn't about minor moves

With the dollar deflated, major US brands are cheaper than ever -- and forward-thinking foreign companies realize it.

By Jim Cramer Dec 20, 2010 9:58AM

more investing tips and stock picks from jim cramer at thestreetNews flash: These minuscule moves in the euro-dollar trade are no longer what matter, as much as underperforming hedge funds like to call media thought-provokers and make it seem that way.

 

What matters is that some Brazilian meat producer no one has ever heard of wants to buy Sara Lee (SLE), despite how poorly it is run -- if it is run at all.

 

Why is this so important? Because Sara Lee is also Kimberly-Clark (KMB), which is also Clorox (CLX), which is also Heinz (HNZ), which is also Kellogg (K) -- big brands that need better homes than they have. And they can be bought because the dollar is weak and the people who don't think small want these brands as a way to move beyond their home markets.

 

They look at all of the billions spent to make these brands famous. They walk through the aisles of supermarkets in their home countries, and they know that they are ripe for the taking because the acquirers' currencies are strong and ours is weak.

That's why I could not care less if the dollar moves a penny or two vs. the euro. I care much more about the attraction these conglomerates in foreign countries have for us.

 

Consider Clorox. It blew the quarter for certain. It has a game plan that could give it a way out, but it has struggled to execute.

 

Do you think there is some Brazilian capitalist or Australian company or even a European one that doesn't think about currency every minute, that doesn't think, "Hmmm, big brand, little stock"?

Because that's what's really happening today. I watched the morning shows, and all that mattered was the euro going up or down fractionally.

 

Wrong!

 

What matters is that when one of the worst of the U.S. brands stagnates, someone from a country stronger than ours -- whether it be Brazil and Sara Lee or China and GNC -- doesn't look at the futures, it looks at the future.

 

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the securities mentioned.

 

Jim Cramer is co-founder and chairman of TheStreet. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO.

 

Follow Cramer's trades for his Charitable Trust.

 

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