Goldman Sachs: Buy these fast growers to beat market as overall earnings growth slows

Investing

In an economic slowdown, investors should look to companies with above-average sales growth as the rest of the market is weighed down by rising costs, according to Goldman Sachs.

The bank built a portfolio consisting of 50 stocks in the S&P 500 with the fastest expected 2019 sales growth based on consensus estimates. The median constituent is expected to increase sales by 10 percent in 2019, versus just 4 percent for the average S&P 500 stock. The portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 by 400 basis points so far this year.

“In a market characterized by modest, sales-driven EPS growth, investors typically reward firms with the fastest expected top-line growth,” Goldman’s chief U.S. equity strategist, David Kostin, said in the note.

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Fewer and fewer companies are able to generate additional sales growth on the heels of a global economic slowdown as slowing demand and rising costs put pressure on companies. Wall Street analysts have been aggressive when it comes to slashing their earnings expectations.

The estimates for the S&P 500′s first quarter earnings have dropped 6.5 percent in the first two months of 2019 alone, the largest cut since the first quarter in 2016, according to FactSet. Analysts now are projecting an earnings loss of 3.2 percent in the first quarter and a gain of 4.1 percent for 2019.

Netflix is the stock with the highest expected 2019 sales growth in Goldman’s basket, with the Street seeing a 28 percent revenue expansion this year. Google parent Alphabet, Amazon and Adobe are also among the dozens of stocks in the portfolio.

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