Big-oil companies like Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) are gearing up to report earnings on Friday before the open. What should investors expect?

"Chevron's going to be OK," TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer, who also manages the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio, said Thursday from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Until oil gets above $50 per barrel -- which Cramer doesn't view as likely any time soon -- oil stocks will "remain in purgatory," he reasoned. Chevron will likely "put a good face on it" when it comes to earnings, but 2018 is more likely to be the year for energy, not 2018, Cramer said.

When it comes to Exxon, management isn't worried about the stock and they aren't worried about the short-term, he reasoned. "They have a 50-year plan. They're not looking at the stock," Cramer said, adding that "Exxon is a company that you never got hurt buying, but is not anything that I feel compelled to recommend."

As for other oil names, Cramer said that continues to believe Apache Corp. (APA) will "get bought or start showing better earnings," while Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP) is great for income-hungry investors. Cimarex Energy Co. (XEC) is another top pick in the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio because it's the fastest growing company in the Permian.

Just remember, when it comes to energy stocks, it's all about "patience, patience, patience," Cramer said. There's reason that the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio has big gains in names like Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) and Facebook Inc. (FB) and it's because of patience, he concluded.

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At the time of publication, Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, MMP, APA, XEC, GOOGL and FB. 

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