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Goldman Sachs Said These 10 Stocks Had the Most Growth Potential for 2020

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In January, Goldman Sachs released its predictions for the stocks in the S&P 500 index that were expected to show the highest percentage earnings growth in 2020. The stocks included in the list represented a range of sectors, from information technology to energy. Of course, Goldman could never have predicted the pandemic that gripped the world — and caused much commotion in the markets — just months later.

As the year comes to end, take a look at the stocks Goldman Sachs predicted would be top 10 performers — and see how they actually performed this year.

Last updated: Nov. 30, 2020
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Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 24%
  • Actual YTD growth: 62%

Qualcomm’s revenue has beat expectations, with the ramp of 5G networks and handsets driving its strong performance, CNBC reported.

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Fiserv Inc. (FISV)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 26%
  • Actual YTD growth: -2.96%

Goldman Sachs seems to have missed the mark with this prediction — financial technology company Fiserv has underperformed this year. MoffettNathanson analyst Lisa Ellis said that the stock has fallen out of favor with investors who appear to be worried about how Fiserv’s merchant-acquiring business will do now that the pandemic has people moving more toward spending online, as well as the recent leadership transition at the company, MarketWatch reported.

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Nvidia Corp. (NVDA)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 26%
  • Actual YTD growth: 119.08%

Nvidia has had a record-breaking year for revenue, driven by increased demand for graphics processing unit chips for games and artificial intelligence, CNBC reported.

The company has actually benefited from the coronavirus pandemic, which could explain how its performance far exceeded Goldman Sachs’ expectations. Its gaming and data center divisions have been boosted by an increased need for computers to work and play from home.

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Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 26%
  • Actual YTD growth: 64.35%

Amazon is another company that benefited from the coronavirus pandemic, with consumers relying on e-commerce to get many of their essentials. Amazon Web Services was also a big revenue driver for the company this year, TipRanks reported.

See: 10 Stocks Set To Soar From Holiday Shopping

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Adobe Inc. (ADBE)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 27%
  • Actual YTD growth: 37.77%

Adobe’s subscription-based business model helps with continuous revenue flow, which is good news for its stock performance. It was also boosted by the coronavirus pandemic, with an increase in demand for Adobe’s solutions as more people work from home, Forbes reported.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 34%
  • Actual YTD growth: -0.14%

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb did not see the projected growth Goldman Sachs anticipated, and this could be due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to a Forbes analysis, “the spread of coronavirus has meant increased social distancing, deferment of elective surgeries and fewer visits to doctors, impacting the overall pharmaceutical sales.”

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Facebook Inc. (FB)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 36%
  • Actual YTD growth: 31.18%

Goldman Sachs’ prediction for Facebook turned out to be pretty accurate. The company’s growth stems from a rise in users amid the pandemic’s initial lockdowns (though that has since dipped). And despite the StopHateForProfit ad boycott that took place earlier this year, the company’s advertising revenue did not seem to be affected, CNBC reported.

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ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 39%
  • Actual YTD growth: -41.10%

Anyone who bought shares of ExxonMobil at the beginning of the year based on Goldman Sachs’ predictions is probably pretty upset. The oil and gas industry took a major hit due to the pandemic, with fewer people traveling and commuting to work.

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Netflix Inc. (NFLX)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 63%
  • Actual YTD growth: 45.86%

Netflix outperformed the broader market in recent months as demand for streaming services increased as people stayed home during the pandemic, Forbes reported. Shares fell as lockdown restrictions eased up, but could rise once again as places around the world begin implementing new lockdown orders.

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Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR)

  • Projected 2020 EPS growth: 88%
  • Actual YTD growth: 33.1%

Charter Communications shares did go up this year, but not to the level Goldman Sachs was anticipating. The company benefited from an increased number of internet subscribers amid the coronavirus pandemic, plus increased media consumption as more people stayed at home, Zacks Equity Research reported.

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Year-to-date growth percentages were gathered on Nov. 23-24.