Is the Drive-Up in Auto-Supplier Stocks Justified? - TheStreet

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Auto-supplier companies are off to a good start this year, with equity analysts heaping praise on the stocks and their sector with the advent of the new year.

It's no wonder then that they have become one of Jim Cramer's favorite stocks of late. On Cramer's CNBC "Stop Trading!" segment on January 8, for example, Cramer called the "new"

Dana

(DAN) - Get Report

"smoking" and "fabulous with lean inventories.

Just two days prior to that, Cramer made

bullish references to a number of other auto-supplier stocks

, including

Magna

(MGA) - Get Report

,

Lear

(LEA) - Get Report

,

Johnson Controls

(JCI) - Get Report

and

Tenneco

(TEN) - Get Report

, while lauding major auto-supplier customer

Ford

(F) - Get Report

as "the love affair between me and a better America."

Cramer also added the he believes that

Ford has the muscle to catch up overseas as well.

Cramer's thoughts emerged on "Stop Trading!" the same day that

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

raised the auto-supplier sector to overweight

in a note to investors. Its analysts said that the suppliers are positioned to exceed earnings expectations as 2010 unfolds.

Shares of Tenneco, Magna,

BorgWarner

(BWA) - Get Report

and Johnson Controls reacted positively to the news, advancing in the trading session.

While the

Detroit News

reports that U.S. car and light truck sales shrank 21.2% to 10.4 million in 2009, citing Autodata Corp., much of the investment community believes that the auto-industry is poised for a comeback; from the perspective of investors, auto-suppliers will clearly be revving up production and seeing a sales recovery in 2010.

Given all this, we ask readers of TheStreet: Is now the time to buy auto-supplier stocks?

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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>> Cramer's 'Stop Trading:' Jarden, Nucor, Dana

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>>Cramer's 'Stop Trading!': Citi, Ford

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