Amazon and Uber among the big winners coming out of earnings season, Goldman Sachs says

The top winners of the latest earnings season are large cap companies that are set up to weather a volatile environment, according to Goldman Sachs. The bank named Amazon — one of its top picks for 2022 — and Uber as two of the names that have come out ahead this earnings season. “We view [Amazon’s] recent EPS report as establishing a potential recovery path for growth/ margins in the core eCommerce business while sustaining operating momentum in AWS (cloud computing) and digital advertising,” Eric Sheridan wrote in a Sunday note. Amazon reported a revenue beat in July and gave a better-than-expected outlook for the upcoming quarter. Uber’s quarterly earnings also stood out. The company “produced a second consecutive quarter of progress on profit initiatives with stable end demand trends & overall industry competitive intensity,” Sheridan said. Two narratives in earnings He also noted that the earnings season was largely split across two broad narratives. First, digital advertising players were more cautious on growth due to factors such as output of macroeconomic activity, competition, industry headwinds from privacy changes and a slightly weaker brand advertising environment. On the flip side, companies such as Amazon and Uber with more direct consumer exposure – scaled eCommerce, travel, rides and delivery – were much more optimistic. These companies noted that they didn’t see any big shifts in demand but continued to digest a mix of outcomes depending on key themes such as stay at home versus reopening. Going forward, Goldman will continue to monitor risk themes such as watching enterprise and consumer spending trends for changes that would put earnings under pressure, regulatory scrutiny and increased competition in some vertices. In addition, investors continue to expect a recession in the second half of this year or early next year and so are in a more defensive mentality when it comes to the sector. Meta, Alphabet also top names Goldman also noted two other top names – Meta Platforms and Alphabet – as being top of their list post-earnings. Meta is seeing slower growth and margin volatility in the short term from its platform transition towards short-form video and shopping and growth headwinds from industry privacy dynamics. Still, the company remains focused on investing for the long-term into metaverse, which Goldman sees as producing a compelling mix of revenue growth and earnings per share. Alphabet is also seeing mixed performance – strength in search offsetting some headwinds in video. “Alphabet overall remains exposed to sustained growth and improved losses at their Cloud division in the coming years, long tailed initiative within Other Bets and continued compound shareholder returns in the form of the stock buyback,” said Sheridan. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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