×

Cramer: Steer clear of these travel stocks

In the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Brussels, Jim Cramer did some serious thinking. He noticed a pattern that every time a terrible attack occurs, every stock in the travel and leisure space goes lower.

"That is just a fact, and an understandable one at that," the "Mad Money" host said.

However, Cramer also noticed the pattern that eventually investors stop being scared, and the travel stocks rebound.

Going into Tuesday's action Delta, United Continental and American were all up versus where they traded prior to the Paris attacks in November. After the London subway attacks in 2005, Priceline plunged 4.5 percent in the next five sessions, but a week later the stock made all of its losses back.

"On a day when this whole group went down, let me tell you why it could be smart to own an airline stock or a company like Priceline, but it could be foolish to bet on a cruise company like Carnival or Royal Caribbean," Cramer said.

A United Airlines jet passes the air traffic control tower at Los Angles International Airport (LAX) during take-off in Los Angeles, California.
Getty Images
A United Airlines jet passes the air traffic control tower at Los Angles International Airport (LAX) during take-off in Los Angeles, California.
"I think the whole group is a steal, even as we know that the two airlines most impacted by the tragedy, Delta and American, could see some near-term earnings pressure from cancelled booking because of their substantial overseas business." -Jim Cramer

The difference for Cramer was related to another story in the headlines recently — Zika virus. The stocks Cramer found were most immune to Zika were airlines and online travel agents, with Delta, United, American and Southwest all trading at cheap levels.

Currently, airlines are actually profitable, and costs are contained, especially as Cramer does not expect the price of oil to rebound much higher than current levels. Additionally, companies are generating growth an trading with strong balance sheets.

Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer

Cramer Remix: This stock survives the election
Cramer: Stocks are incredibly undervalued
Cramer: Sherwin-Williams deal a 'shocker'

"I think the whole group is a steal, even as we know that the two airlines most impacted by the tragedy, Delta and American, could see some near-term earnings pressure from cancelled booking because of their substantial overseas business," Cramer said.

Cramer also had his eye on Expedia and Priceline, which sell at just 16 times next year's earnings estimates.

As for the cruise lines, Cramer's concerns over the Zika virus are too great. His reasoning stemmed from the fact that Zika began in Latin America and has been steadily moving its way north and could spread to the Caribbean, soon.

Given that the Caribbean represents a majority of Carnival's revenue and 43 percent of Royal Caribbean's capacity, it could be a big deal for these companies.

"As the Zika virus spreads, I worry that people who are young enough to have kids will try to avoid it, and that will likely mean they avoid cruising the Caribbean Sea, which could represent a major hit for these companies," Cramer said.

So, while Carnival and Royal Caribbean could present a picture of being historically cheap stocks, Cramer wasn't willing to gamble on them. Until he has a clearer picture of the potential damage that Zika could cause, he recommended investors to steer clear from this group.

Questions for Cramer?
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Want to take a deep dive into Cramer's world? Hit him up!
Mad Money Twitter - Jim Cramer Twitter - Facebook - Instagram - Vine

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com