NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With the two big U.S. automakers reporting earnings this week, is there still value to be found? TheStreet's Jim Cramer and Debra Borchardt discussed Ford Motor (F - Get Report) and General Motors (GM).
Both companies beat on top- and bottom-line estimates. Cramer said he was surprised by GM's results.
However, he still prefers shares of Ford, a holding in his charitable trust, Action Alerts Plus, to GM, in part because the U.S. government still holds a stake in GM. Although the company has said it won't do a large secondary offering, Cramer's still a bit leery.
Ford has been on a tear this year and that might not stop anytime soon. With analyst expectations still remaining relatively low, the stock could trade through $18, he said.
That level will likely be met with some investor skepticism, however, seeing as Ford traded up to $18 in 2011 before settling below $10 per share.
But Cramer said things are different this time around and Ford is much better off than it was two years ago, when investors thought Europe would be fine, causing estimates to be too high.
In general, he said, he remains bullish on the auto sector. If sales continue to impress, these stocks are going to remain value plays, with increasing dividends and strong buyback programs.
While Cramer said he expects GM to start offering a dividend, he likes how quickly the cash balance is growing at Ford and believes Ford's dividend will be raised soon.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.