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Goldman says don’t jump into growth stocks yet, but start nibbling on these quality shares


The recent market turmoil has taken down growth stocks’ sky-high valuations to such a degree that some buying opportunities could emerge in the near term, according to Goldman Sachs. The technology sector took a beating this year amid fear of rising interest rates and slowing growth as the Nasdaq Composite has dropped 25% in 2022. Following the sell-off, the valuations of growth-oriented tech names have also fallen from record levels. The median valuation for a high-growth stock has fallen from a peak enterprise value-to-sales ratio of 14 times in 2021 to four times today, slightly below its median since 1995, according to Goldman. However, the valuation hasn’t bottomed yet if history is any guide, as growth stocks’ multiples troughed at roughly two times following the dot-com bubble and the Great Financial Crisis, the Wall Street firm said. “Growth stock valuations are no longer expensive, but not yet depressed,” Ryan Hammond, Goldman’s equity strategist, said in a note. “Consistent with history, we expect investors will reward higher quality growth stocks but continue to avoid unprofitable growth stocks that would be required to tap into financial markets at a time when the cost of capital is rising.” For investors looking to buy the dip, Goldman identified a number of growth stocks with a near-term path to profitability that carry reasonable valuations. These stocks are expected to generate positive earnings per share by the fourth quarter this year or sooner and are anticipated to have grown sales by 20% or more annually between 2021 and 2023. Additionally, these names trade at enterprise value-to-sales valuations below the long-term median of growth stocks. “We expect investors will reward profitable growth companies relative to their unprofitable peers,” Hammond said. Ride-sharing company Lyft was highlighted by Goldman. Shares of Lyft have tumbled 70% this year as the company provided light guidance for the second quarter and said it would have to keep spending on driver incentives due to surging gas prices. Cano Health was also one of the cheaper growth stocks with a path to profitability, according to Goldman. Cano Health, a senior-care facility operator, went public in 2021 by merging with billionaire Barry Sternlicht-backed SPAC Jaws Acquisition Corp . In March 2022, Third Point’s Dan Loeb took a 6.4% stake in the company , pushing Cano to put itself up for sale as investors have “a largely unfavorable view” of SPACs. Other growth names on the list include Vital Farms , artificial intelligence company Veritone , bitcoin miner Riot Blockchain and medical device manufacturer Zynex .

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