Goldman Sees These U.S. Stocks Faring Better If Inflation Rises

(Bloomberg) -- If the Federal Reserve is indeed able to boost inflation, stocks with high pricing power should benefit, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Fed officials have talked about the potential for adopting an average inflation targeting approach. If they did so and tried to let price pressures mount, the odds of near-term rate hikes will probably decrease. That’s assuming it even works, as economists and central bankers have been overestimating inflation potential for years.

Such an outcome would be favorable to U.S. equities because of the more-dovish rate scenario, but likely less favorable for their earnings, Goldman strategists led by Ben Snider wrote in a note Friday.

“With input cost pressures high and likely to keep rising, companies will need to be more aggressive in raising prices or accept lower profit margins,” the strategists said. “Stocks with low labor costs should also outperform as inflation expectations rise.”

Goldman Sees These U.S. Stocks Faring Better If Inflation Rises

Snap-on Inc., Weatherford International Plc and National Oilwell Varco Inc. are among stocks with high pricing power that could fare well amid the Fed pivot, Goldman’s report said. Stocks that could fare worse include Alaska Air Group Inc., ICU Medical Inc. and GoDaddy Inc., the firm said.

“Since at least 1985, high pricing power stocks have typically outperformed when the market perceived an imminent decline in corporate profit margins,” the strategists wrote. “In addition to companies with the pricing power to pass through rising input costs, firms insulated from those cost pressures should also outperform.”

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