US technology stocks may be about to turn a corner after the Nasdaq 100’s biggest monthly decline this year, according to strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
(Bloomberg) — US technology stocks may be about to turn a corner after the Nasdaq 100’s biggest monthly decline this year, according to strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
They say the selloff has led to historically cheap valuations for the tech stocks at a time when earnings estimates are still rising. In particular, they point to a valuation metric known the PEG ratio, which calculates price relative to earnings and long-term growth.
Goldman’s analysis shows that the largest seven tech stocks have a PEG ratio of 1.3, compared with 1.9 for the median S&P 500 stock. That’s the largest discount since January 2017 and a level that has been reached only five times in the last decade, they said.
“The divergence between falling valuations and improving fundamentals represents an opportunity for investors,” strategists including Cormac Conners and David Kostin wrote in a note dated Oct. 1.
While tech stocks started the year with a blistering rally driven by hype over artificial intelligence, the optimism has faded in recent months and there’s growing concern that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher for longer. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 finished September with its biggest monthly decline since December 2022.
With the focus now turning to the third-quarter earnings, expectations around tech are holding up better than the rest of the market. A Citigroup Inc. index shows profit upgrades are still outnumbering downgrades for tech stocks.
Overall, analysts expect technology earnings to rise 4.3% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.
The Goldman strategists said history also bodes well for the sector’s performance during the reporting season. The largest tech stocks have outperformed the equal-weighted S&P 500 more than 60% of the time since 2016, typically by 3 percentage points, they said. That holds true even when forecasts have risen going into the season.
More generally, Kostin at Goldman has been turning more bullish on US stocks. The strategist expects the S&P 500 to end 2023 at 4,500 points — about 5% above current levels — and sees further upside over 12 months if the US avoids a deep recession.
His stance is at odds with RBC Capital Markets LLC strategist Lori Calvasina, who expects the weakness in US stocks to continue. She says there’s still room for investors to be more pessimisitic, citing readings from the AAII Investor Sentiment Survey.
Net bullishness from the sentiment index has dropped sharply since mid-August, but it’s not yet back down to levels that would indicate capitulation, Calvasina wrote in a note.
–With assistance from Farah Elbahrawy.
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