Investing

5 Top Goldman Sachs Stocks to Buy for 2016

As 2015 slides into 2016, many investors have been making their portfolios positioned for less of a raging bull market than they have seen for the past six years or so. In fact, 14 strategists pretty much are predicting a positive but choppy 2016 for the S&P 500. Could it be that 2016 is the second year that selective stock pickers have a chance to handily outperform trackers and managers?

Goldman Sachs is one firm on Wall Street that will garner more investor attention than almost all other firms. After all, this is where the wealthy park their assets to be managed in the financial markets. That means that when Goldman Sachs analysts tell their clients to buy a stock, hundreds of millions of dollars or even billions of dollars might pile into the stock being recommended.

24/7 Wall St. has reviewed many analyst calls each day to find the hidden gems for 2016. It turns out that Goldman Sachs has seen many top stocks offering great rewards for 2016. The reason may be different for each, and the calls sometimes seem counterintuitive, but again this is what the wealthiest and most sophisticated investors have been told to buy.

In an effort to keep this list to those most likely to not be reversed just in the first weeks of 2016, we gave preferential treatment (but not exclusively) on calls in the final six weeks of 2015. These were all either new Buy ratings or they were reiterated Buy ratings with extra upside potential. Some were even selected from the prized Conviction Buy list.

Apple

In a late November call, Goldman Sachs added Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) to the Conviction Buy list with an initial target price of $163.00. Shares were trading around $117.00 at that time, so this call has not been a one-way ticket to profits. The big issue was that the firm is looking at Apple as a subscription model ahead with massive recurring revenues, rather than just being a seller of the top tech gadgets.

Before thinking that Goldman Sachs may have a straight line into the crystal ball views here, consider that Apple has seen several tempering of estimates, and 24/7 Wall St. showed how and why Apple may face more estimate cuts and downgrades going into 2016. Apple now pays a dividend yield of nearly 2%, and the Goldman Sachs price target, even if it is moderated marginally lower, would still imply lots of upside in 2016 if Goldman Sachs is correct. Just keep in mind that Apple’s consensus analyst price target has drifted lower and was seen at $148.00.


Amgen

Thought it has had its share of ups and downs over the years, Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) is now among the largest biotechs in the world. Some even consider Amgen a Big Pharma in the making. Goldman Sachs has had a Buy rating on Amgen for a while now, but the firm’s recent $213.00 price target would imply over 30% upside in total return (with dividends) from the $164.00 level, if Goldman Sachs is right.

Amgen’s Repatha cholesterol drug was one of the strengths cited here, but there is also an abundant return of capital plan from Amgen for its shareholders. Amgen’s all-time high is $181.81, and the consensus price target is almost $189.00. Keep in mind that Goldman Sachs actually has the highest reported price target for Amgen.