Cramer: Why Apple is China's biggest victim

With all of the drama in Greece lately, Jim Cramer has become used to assessing how the disturbing issues in Europe could impact company earnings in the U.S. But what about China?

"If you have a gigantic decline in the Chinese averages and their consumers get burned…you have to assume there will be real damage to China's economy," the "Mad Money" host said. (Tweet This)

Yes, Cramer is concerned about the usual Chinese suspects. Iron ore tanked 16 percent this week and copper is down significantly. Commodities are also a bad place to be, which is not good news for companies like Caterpillar, Cummins and Joy Global. Cramer thinks they could even go lower.

But the far more significant impact Cramer is worried about is the slowdown of Chinese consumption of American-made products.

One glaring example is the auto industry. Companies like General Motors sell more cars in China than they do in North America. As a result, GM's stock has been hit hard lately and continues to plummet.





A woman sets up her new iPhone 6 with the help of an Apple store employee inside an Apple store on October 17, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Getty Images
A woman sets up her new iPhone 6 with the help of an Apple store employee inside an Apple store on October 17, 2014 in Beijing, China.

Additionally McDonald's, Yum Brands, Starbucks and Nike have a large franchise presence in China. And while 48 percent of Yum's business comes from China, Cramer said there is no reason to panic as Yum has been doing much better lately.

And any time a market falls from 5,174 to 3,500 in less than a month, many other stocks will suffer as well. Semiconductor companies that make components were also on a free-fall Wednesday in reaction to China.

That leaves the biggest potential Chinese victim—Apple. China represented $16 billion worth of equipment sales for Apple in the first quarter, which was up an amazing 70 percent year over year. Tim Cook also recently conveyed on the company conference call that the Chinese middle class loves Apple products, and he expects iPhone sales in China to surpass U.S. sales this year.

"Until the Chinese market bottoms or rebounds, I think that these stocks will all be guilty until proven innocent and they will be subject to the kind of swings that many of you can't handle," Cramer said.

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Compared to most stocks on the S&P, Apple is still relatively cheap at only 13 times earnings. One could say that is because of its Chinese exposure; however Cramer's charitable trust is still hanging on to its position.

So while Cramer wishes he could give some sort of magical advice, unfortunately he can only confirm that China is an issue for all of these stocks. He added that investors should buckle up for more days like Wednesday, at least until everyone recognizes the damage to commodities and Chinese sales that are happening.

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