Vive La France?

Ask Cramer a question, expect a contrarian answer. So it’s no wonder that when he was quizzed about what he thinks is the best market in the world, his answer was France. That’s because Nicolas Sarkozy, who’s one election away from maybe being president, is the type of leader who measures his success by earnings per share and not polling numbers.

But you’re probably thinking, “What about the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China?” Well, Cramer says Brazil could drop 5% to 10% if the U.S. Federal Reserve hikes rates, or even sits idly by doing nothing. And he just doesn’t trust the accounting practices in Russia and China.

So today Cramer’s offering up two French stocks worth looking at. The first is CGG Veritas, which is part of the geophysical services sector of the oil industry. Basically, that’s a really fancy way of saying CGV is a mapmaker. It maps the land and ocean floor for oil exploration companies using seismic equipment and sensors to collect topographic data. You can’t drill without a map, and CGV is the number-three provider of mapping in the world.

CGV may be number three in geophysical services, but it’s the largest supplier of the equipment is actually used to do all that mapping, holding 60% of market share. Together with competitor Input Output, the two control 87% of the market.

Cramer likes the fundamentals for CGV, too. In fact, business is so strong that the company’s clients have to wait about a year for CGV’s services. As of March 1, CGV had a $1.6 billion backlog, and that’s more than half the expected $3 billion in revenues it’s supposed to make this year.

Bottom Line: Cramer thinks France is the number-one market in the world right now – and it could get better if Nicolas Sarkozy is elected president on May 6. CGV is his first pick for playing the French Connection.

Questions? Comments?