These profitable growth stocks are trading at ‘bargain valuations,’ Goldman Sachs says

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Investors looking for bargains may have trouble finding them in today’s market – even though the S & P 500 has shed 23% from its January peak, stocks are historically expensive, according to David Kostin at Goldman Sachs. Still, there are a few places that the firm recommends investors look for value and snap up stocks trading cheaply. “While Growth appears expensive at the factor level, at a stock level the sharp sell-off has created opportunities in select profitable growth stocks,” Kostin wrote in an Oct. 14 note. Overall, Goldman expects that growth stocks will continue to struggle, as unprofitable grown stocks have faced continued downside risk when they need to raise capital. “However, profitable ultra-growth stocks are now trading only slightly above the EV/sales valuation levels that have marked troughs during the last 30 years,” said Kostin. “While higher rates and the risk of recession pose headwinds to growth stocks in the near term, the low valuations of some growth stocks could represent an opportunity for stock pickers with sufficiently long investment horizons,” he added. To assess which profitable growth stocks are worth buying, Goldman screened for Russell 1000 stocks expected to grow sales at a rate of 10% compound annual growth rate through 2024, are expected to have at least a 5% net margin in 2023, now trade at less than 5 times enterprise value-to-sales multiple and at a minimum 20% discount to their 10-year median EV/Sales. The firm also excluded stocks with weak balance sheets using Altman Z-scores. Check out the names that made the cut below. Discounted growth stocks The stocks that Goldman found include big technology companies such as Meta Platforms and Alphabet, which have been hit hard this year but could surge going forward. For example, Meta Platforms has slumped more than 60% this year but is trading at a solid 66% discount to its 10-year median EV/sales. The list also includes TripAdvisor and consumer services company Booking Holdings , which have declined 17% and 29% so far this year. However, even though the stocks are down, the companies look profitable going forward and are set to climb in the future. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.

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