7/28/2009 – From Investment Postcards from Cape Town (http://www.investmentpostcards.com)

Bespoke: Goldman Sachs raises year-end price target – should we care?

“Goldman Sachs’ David Kostin raised his year-end S&P 500 price target from 940 to 1,060 this morning [Monday]. While this means Kostin has become more bullish since issuing his prior target, it’s important to remember that he started 2009 with a year-end price target of 1,100 (which would have been a 2009 gain of 18.6%). A couple of weeks before the March 9 index bottom, Kostin lowered that 1,100 target to 940 on February 26. At that time, the S&P 500 was already down more than 15% for the year at 752. Now that the S&P has moved back up to meet his 940 year-end level, he has upped the target to 1,060, which would be a gain of 12.55%.

“Below we highlight a chart and table showing Goldman’s year-end price targets going back to the start of 2008. At the start of 2008, Goldman’s Abby Cohen (who was replaced with Kostin in March of last year) predicted the S&P 500 would finish 2008 up 15.74% at 1,675. By the end of 2008, that price target was 85.44% above the actual year-end S&P 500 price level. When Kostin replaced Cohen in March of ‘08, he lowered Goldman’s 2008 price target from 1,675 to 1,380, which at the time would have meant a change of 4.33%. That target ended up being 52.78% above the index’s actual year-end level. On July 21, 2008, Kostin actually raised Goldman’s year-end 2008 target from 1,380 to 1,400, but then the market crashed in September and early October, and Kostin was forced to lower the target all the way to 1,000.

“From the time Kostin upped his ‘08 target from 1,380 to 1,400 to the time he lowered the target from 1,400 to 1,000, the S&P 500 fell 28%. In terms of market calls, 2008 was just as tough of a year for Goldman as it was for most.

“Today’s news that Goldman has raised its year-end 2009 price target is making headlines and potentially impacting the market on the upside. But based on both Cohen’s and Kostin’s recent calls amidst the current market environment, their prognosticating alone should not suffice to arouse the bulls.”


TW-GS1 Source: Bespoke, July 20, 2009