One of the world’s largest investment bankers, Goldman Sachs has long been a headline-maker. The bank is the largest dealer in US Treasury securities, making it a major player in the American investment market. Goldman Sachs even featured in the Great Recession of 2008 – but in a good way. The bank paid back its Federal bailout money (received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program) in full by June of 2009 – just 8 months after taking the loan.
Goldman’s reputation puts its analysts and bankers in high demand, and they have moved seamlessly between the financial and political worlds. Goldman employees have worked as financial advisors in the Treasury Department (current Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is a Goldman Sachs alumn), in the EU (European Central Bank President Mario Draghi came from Goldman Sachs), and in England (in the person of Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England). So, when a Goldman analyst speaks, investors will listen.
In the last few days, Goldman analysts have been speaking. Let’s give a listen to what they’ve been saying, and see how their stock picks measure up in TipRanks’ Stock Screener.
Allegheny Technologies (ATI)
The first stock on our list of Goldman picks holds a unique niche regarding modern technology and industry. Allegheny Technologies is a manufacturer of metal alloys, specialty metals, and complex metal components. The company’s top market is the aerospace and defense industry, but Allegheny is present in the oil & gas sector, the automotive sector, and the electrical industry.
Specifically, ATI is a market leader in the production of nickel- and titanium-based alloys and superalloys, as well as various grades of stainless steel. The company is capable of unique forgings and precision machining in the manufacture of specialty metal parts. In short, Allegheny is indispensable in the most modern industry.
An essential niche is a good place to be, especially for an industrial company. Allegheny, based in western Pennsylvania, is seeing benefits from that. Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Korn recently upgraded his firm’s rating on the stock, from Neutral to Buy. His price target on the stock, $25, indicates confidence in a 24% upside potential. (To watch Korn's track record, click here)
A stock upgrade is always a good thing. ATI got a quick jump in the markets after Korn said that, despite softness due to the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, the company’s fundamental market remains intact. Over 50% of ATI’s business is with the commercial aircraft industry, and Korn points out that globally, commercial demand for jet engines – and the specialty metals required in their manufacture – remains high.
Getting to the bottom line, Korn says, “ATI is one of few stocks in our coverage with top-line growth that does not depend on a commodity price recovery. With solid upside potential and attractive valuation, we upgrade our rating to Buy.”
When looking at Wall Street’s stance, Korn is not the only bull, as TipRanks analytics showcase ATI as a Buy. Out of 6 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 4 rate the stock a "buy", one says "hold," while another one suggests "sell." The 12-month average price target stands at $25.83 marking about 25% upside from where the stock is currently trading. (See Allegheny stock analysis on TipRanks)
Well all know Netflix. The streaming company is currently the leader in the online video-on-demand market, but how it will fare in the near future may be uncertain. Both Apple and Disney are launching streaming services, scheduled to go online next month, and each company brings unique challenges to Netflix. Apple will bank on its installed base of 900 million iPhone users while trying to undercut Netflix in price. Disney will open its famed Vault, a library of hundreds of films ranging from classics like Fantasia and Bambi to the modern Pixar films. Disney also owns the Star Wars and Marvel movie franchises.
Netflix won’t go down quietly, and has over $18 billion in annual revenues to use in meeting the challenge. The company currently spends the bulk of that – more than $15 billion – on content creation, and has come up with some true winners: Stranger Things and Bird Box come to mind. Netflix also spends nearly $2 billion annually on marketing.
With all of that in the background, the company’s volatile stock performance this year makes sense. It had gained 44% by May, dropped since and is now only up 3% year-to-date. The problem is not on the content side, or in low revenues. Rather, NFLX share prices fell when the company reported, in July, its first drop in the US subscriber base since 2011. Netflix is the established giant in this niche; maintaining its position against the coming challengers will require the company to maintain and increase its subscriber base. Investors are generally bullish on the company, but that is tinged with caution.
Heath Terry, one of Goldman Sachs’ 5-star analysts, remains sanguine of the company’s future, writing, “We expect Netflix to report 3Q results roughly in-line with the company’s previous guidance of 7.0mn net subscriber additions.” (To watch Terry's track record, click here)
Regarding the coming entry of top-tier competitors, Terry says, “We see the net competitive impact given the long history of competition as less signiﬁcant than programming declines in traditional television, where viewers still spend over 80% of their consumption time.”
Terry rates NFLX stock a Buy with $360 price target, which implies about 25% upside from current levels. This is slightly lower than the 33% upside indicated by the $382 average price target, but still impressive. The shares are selling for $296.90, and are up nearly 4% ahead of today's earnings report.
The stock’s Strong Buy analyst consensus rating comes from a whopping 25 buys given in the last three months, along with 5 holds and 1 sell. (See Netflix stock analysis on TipRanks)
This interesting tech company brings the cloud to human capital and financial management software. The company hosts its own software servers; customer buy subscriptions and access, and revenue per customer will accrue over the contract lifetime. It’s an interesting business model, that puts expenses up front while stretching the profits out indefinitely. Workday leverages the model successfully, and in 2016 recorded over $1 billion in revenue. For the fiscal year ending in January 2018, that number was up to $2.14 billion.
Strong revenues and a firm market position underlie Workday’s $36 billion market cap. The company’s stock has been slipping since mid-summer, however, and is down 34% from its July peak.
For 5-star Goldman analyst Heather Bellini, this actually makes WDAY a more attractive buy. She notes, “…the company's enterprise-value-to-sales multiple has fallen by more than 20% since its peak in July, compared to 14% for mid-growth software peers and 2% for high-growth software peers…” making it a more attractive entry point.
She adds, “While Workday has had success in cross-selling its Financials business to existing human-capital management (HCM) customers, reaching 25% penetration of its core HCM base, our industry conversations indicate that over the past year, Workday has had success landing new customers with Financials and is steadily building a list of referenceable large enterprise customers, while expanding the company's international market presence.”
Bellini also points to management’s optimism. She quotes company co-founder and CEO Aneel Bhusri: “This year, the company focused on product enhancements and the continued incorporation of new technologies such as AI/ML and blockchain to augment and automate processes, ranging from recruiting to accounting.”
Bellini’s bullish outlook led her to maintain a "buy" rating on WDAY stock with a $223 price target. Her price target suggests an upside potential of nearly 40% to WDAY. Bellini is impressed by the company’s obvious strength, business model, and clear-headed management, and sees the recent dip as a chance to enter a prime stock at a discount.
Workday holds a Moderate Buy from the analyst consensus, as some market watchers are cautious considering the stock’s recent slip. Still, WDAY has 12 "buys" given in the past 3 months. The average price target of $216 implies an upside of nearly 37% from the $158.39 trading price. (See Workday stock analysis on TipRanks)