Cramer determines if Whirlpool is a 'Trump stock' in a potential trade war

Ever since Election Day, Jim Cramer has noticed Wall Street using an entirely new rubric to analyze companies: is it or is it not a Trump stock?

A Trump stock refers to the probability that a company could benefit or be punished dramatically from the President-elect's agenda. Typically the assessment is done under the microscope of Trump's business tripod of lower corporate taxes, repatriation of foreign capital and deregulation.

One stock that has rallied immensely since Nov. 8 is Whirlpool, the maker of big appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and ovens. The stock was on a real roller coaster in 2016, and took off since Election Day, up 20 percent.

"The pros outweigh the cons here, meaning, Whirlpool is more of a Trump stock than a non-Trump stock," the "Mad Money" host said.

Cramer used Whirlpool as an example to teach investors how to analyze whether a stock is a Trump stock for themselves.

Whirlpool's Scan-to-Cook technology
Ethan Miller | Getty Images
Whirlpool's Scan-to-Cook technology

The key to understanding Whirlpool is to remember that it is a global company. While its biggest end market is the U.S., it only accounts for 44 percent of the company's sales, with the rest coming from overseas.

All of the international business means that Whirlpool will have exposure to fast-growing end markets, but will also be vulnerable to fluctuations in exchange rates. When the dollar becomes too strong, foreign sales will translate into fewer dollars.

And while Trump cannot do much to influence foreign exchange rates, he can help Whirlpool, Cramer said. This past year, Whirlpool claimed that South Korean competitors were dumping Chinese-made washing machines to create artificially low prices. Whirlpool appealed to the World Trade Organization (WTO), but the WTO ruled in favor of South Korea.

President Obama's Commerce department did institute an anti-dumping duty on Chinese-made washing machines sold by Samsung and LG, but overall, Cramer categorized Obama as being pro-free trade.

"Trump will be much tougher on our trading predators … which would be good news for Whirlpool," Cramer said.

If Trump can pass his pro-growth agenda and the U.S. economy accelerates, than interest rates will keep rising and the dollar will go even higher. This was a worry for Cramer, as Whirlpool could take an even bigger currency hit on international sales.

Another concern for Cramer is that the president-elect could become too aggressive for trading partners and spark a backlash, like China imposing tariffs on American-made appliances, which could hurt Whirlpool's numbers.

"The truth is, though, when you look at a breakdown of Whirlpool's international business, the company's unique footprint makes it much less vulnerable to a potential trade war than you might think," Cramer said.

Ultimately, Whirlpool weighed in as more of a Trump stock than a non-Trump stock for Cramer. His advice was to see if the stock pulls back ahead of reporting earnings next Friday and do some buying. If it sells off after the quarter, than he said to buy more of a stock that is more than likely not to be championed by Trump.

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