Goldman CEO: US economy 'envy of the world'
Shares of the venerable bank are poised to rise, though maybe not as much as Barron's suggests.
There are many reasons why investors should put their money behind Blankfein's mouth. For one thing, the U.S. economy is expected to grow 2.3% this year, beating the 1.8% gain seen in 2011, according to the OECD.
Take mergers, acquisitions and IPOs. Though global deal volume remains at a three-year low, the U.S. has bucked that trend, posting a 14% increase in the second quarter. With the S&P 500 up about 15% this year, stocks are now more useful as a currency in transactions. Assets in Europe are also getting too cheap for U.S. companies to ignore. As for IPOs, trends there are looking encouraging as well, according to Ernst & Young.
Shares of Goldman, which have surged more than 30% this year, remain attractively valued, even though they have outperformed rivals such as JPMorgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Citigroup (C). As Barron's noted, they are trading well off their 2007 peak of $248 and below tangible book value of $126. The reasons to buy Goldman don't stop there.
Though the bank trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.57, a premium to its peers, the valuation appears to be justified given how conservatively the bank is managed. Goldman Sachs' revenue is expected to almost double in the current quarter, surpassing its competitors, most of whom are expected to see double-digit declines. The average price target on the stock is $128.04, about 9% above where it currently trades.
Goldman has done a good job of keeping expenses in check and has managed risks fairly well. The company's latest earnings surpassed Wall Street's low expectations. Investors, though, are bound to expect more and the company is poised to continue to perform better as the economy slowly rebounds.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter@jdberr.
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