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Cramer on winter apparel plays: Columbia's steadier, but Canada Goose has momentum

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer looked at Columbia Sportswear and Canada Goose to see which winter wear play could heat up your portfolio.
  • Columbia Sportswear is an older retailer that has been getting its groove back through new initiatives. Canada Goose is new to the market, with more luxury products and good growth.
  • Cramer liked both stocks, but for different types of investors.

For those looking to winterize their portfolios, CNBC's Jim Cramer recommended looking no further than two cozy coat makers.

"I want to highlight two of the most prominent winter weather apparel plays. I bet you know these: Columbia Sportswear ... and its new challenger, although I think there's room for everybody, Canada Goose, which came public earlier this year," the "Mad Money" host said. "Both of these stocks are on fire."

After some serious gains — Columbia ran from the mid-$50s in August to over $70 on Friday and Canada Goose has seen a 64 percent gain since Cramer recommended it in March — Cramer wondered if they still have more room to run.

Columbia, a boot- and coat-focused manufacturer of high-tech gear that keeps you warm without making you sweat, has seen some tough times in the last few years.

In 2015, the retailer's growth dramatically slowed, kicking off an earnings decline that lasted until early 2017.

"Columbia had two main problems: the annihilation of bricks-and-mortar retailers that sell so many of their products and the fact that we had two really warm winters in a row," Cramer said. "However, after spending a couple of years in the penalty box, Columbia seems to be getting its groove back."

With the best holiday season in years underway, investors have once again warmed to the retail sector. Plus, Columbia has been helping itself by spreading brand awareness, expanding its direct-to-consumer channels and improving the customer experience.

When Columbia reported a top- and bottom-line beat in November but management cut its full-year guidance, the stock still rallied, showing Wall Street's confidence in the business.

Canada Goose, on the other hand, is more of a luxury brand, producing high-quality coats that sell for hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars.

The company came public in March, and while the stock sold off over the summer, it has made a roaring comeback, hitting a new high earlier this week.

"The beauty of this story is that there's really not much noise here. What you see with Canada Goose is what you get, and what you see are some truly fantastic earnings reports," Cramer said.

Canada Goose's earnings reports in June, August and November were all strong. Its most recent report showed sales growth of 34.7 percent, and management upped its full-year earnings growth forecast from 20 percent to 35 percent.

Better yet, Canada Goose is opening new stores to great enthusiasm, putting out well-received collections and is boosting its profitability.

"Put it all together and this company's growing like a weed and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon," the "Mad Money" host said.

So as what looks to be a cold winter gets going, Cramer liked the look of these winter wear plays, though Canada Goose's stock is very expensive at 62 times 2018 earnings estimates.

"You could do a lot worse than owning either of these stocks," he said. "But ... it depends on you, not me, frankly. Columbia Sportswear is more steady-eddie. Solid risk-reward here, although I'd like it more on a pullback. Canada Goose is a classic momentum stock: the potential rewards are much greater, but so is the risk if they somehow mess things up."

"If you bought Goose on my recommendation, here's what I think: I think you ring the register on some of the position, because no one ever got hurt taking a profit," Cramer continued. "Use it to go buy yourself a nice sweater, or maybe a Canada Goose jacket. And I'd still keep some on because the story is downright fabulous."

WATCH: Cramer on Columbia Sportswear vs. Canada Goose

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