Market Overview

25 Tactical Trades Goldman Sachs Is Watching Amid Earnings Season

25 Tactical Trades Goldman Sachs Is Watching Amid Earnings Season

  • John Marshall of Goldman Sachs identified the 25 most "out-of-consensus opportunities" ahead of earnings season.
  • Marshall noted that both call and put buyers benefited from the high volatility and low correlation theme last earnings season.
  • Marshall added expectations this earnings season are "low."
  • Earnings season unofficially kicks off on Thursday with Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA) to report after market close and the pace of earnings reports set to surge next week.

    In a report published Thursday, Goldman Sachs analyst John Marshall gathered his top 25 "out-of-consensus opportunities," noting that his "favorite trade" is buying call options as the "elevated level of fear priced into single stock options shows elevated potential for relief rallies."

    Marshall continued that during last quarter's earnings season, call and put buyers benefited from the high volatility and low correlation among stocks. S&P 500 stocks moved +/- 3.8 percent on their earnings day on average – the largest move in three years. The analyst added that he expects a similar move during the upcoming earnings season.

    "Coming into this earnings season, single stock put skew is high, showing that Micro investors are pricing another negative earnings season," Marshall wrote. "We believe expectations are low and look for stocks with relief rally potential.

    Related Link: Stock Buying Turns A Touch Tentative As Earnings Season Intensifies

    “In contrast to single stock options, we see evidence of bullish positioning in index options. We agree with shift towards a more positive view in Macro markets, but prefer to trade this view by buying single stock calls where expectations are lower and the opportunity to add alpha is great."

    Here are all of the analyst's 25 picks.

    Upside To Consensus Estimates

    Discretionary Stocks:

    • 1. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG): Upside will come from higher revenues and lower food inflation.
    • 2. Carter's, Inc. (NYSE: CRI): Bullish on the OshKosh segment, direct-to-consumer expansion and international expansion.
    • 3. Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F): "Sustained" performance from the new F-150, which improves the company's product and pricing mix.
    • 4. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM): Company beginning to see benefits from key gross margin drivers.

    Energy Stocks:

    • 1.ENSCO PLC (NYSE: ESV): A more efficient and improved expense management could yield earnings upside.
    • 2. Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO): Company turnaround is "genuine" and "sustainable," despite ongoing skepticism from some investors.

    Financial Stocks:

    • 1. Public Storage (NYSE: PSA): Underlying fundamentals of storage are "outstanding" and the stock represents the "top opportunity."
    • 2. SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI): Company should report better-than-expected expenses and lower delinquencies.

    Healthcare Stocks:

    • 1. Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX): Investors are still "missing" the underlying momentum in the product cycle; company expected to report better tomo sales this quarter.
    • 2. Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH): The company's core lab business is "growing stronger," which creates the potential for continued outperformance.

    Staples Stocks:

    • 1. General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS): Recent initiatives are beginning to "resonate" with millennials.

    Technology, Media, Telecom Stocks:

    • 1., Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): Company continues to accelerate market share gains and margin upside.
    • 2. Ciena Corporation (NYSE: CIEN): Higher packet functionality, software content and product mix will support a mid-40 percent gross margin rate.
    • 3. LinkedIn Corp (NYSE: LNKD): Growth in sales navigator to accelerate, creating a "favorable" risk to reward profile.
    • 4. Visa Inc (NYSE: V): Company should benefit from continued revenue acceleration and a potential update on a business combination with Visa Europe.

    Downside To Consensus Estimates

    Discretionary Stocks:

    • 1. Cabelas Inc (NYSE: CAB): "Tough" results will result in a negative estimate revision cycle.
    • 2. Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL): Recent challenges from peers are "symptomatic of a moderating selling environment" for Foot Locker's higher priced athletic footwear.
    • 3. Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC): The ongoing slowdown seen in the industrial business has been reinforced by "sluggish" monthly data reports by its peers.

    Industrials Stocks:

    • 1. Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR): Consensus estimates are "underestimating" the impact of "lower for longer" oil prices on the company's process business.
    • 2. Eaton Corp plc (NYSE: ETN): Street expectations are too high given a "more challenging demand environment.
    • 3. Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY): Company may present 2016 guidance that will fall "well below" consensus estimates.

    Staples Stocks:

    • 1. Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL): Management continues to reduce advertising expenses to "contain" earnings per share "erosion."

    Technology, Media, Telecom Stocks:

    • 1. Centurylink Inc (NYSE: CTL): Structural concerns about pressures to margins and free cash flow could "compress" the firm's dividends.
    • 2. IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI): Company remains "structurally challenged," further Tinder monetization will be "slower than expected."
    • 3. Infinera Corp. (NASDAQ: INFN): Continued initiatives and transitions "heighten" near-term revenue risk and margin pressure.

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