Buy Goldman shares because market volatility will return: JPMorgan

Key Points
  • JPMorgan reiterates its overweight rating and raises its price target to $263 from $260. The new target is 9 percent higher than Tuesday's closing price.
  • Goldman Sachs "has shown excellent progress" on cost management and creating positive operating leverage, the firm's analyst writes.
  • The analyst says a pickup in volatility, "which we expect next year," will boost Goldman's shares.
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The S&P 500 just had its least volatile September ever, but one top Wall Street firm believes the recent sedate markets will not last.

JPMorgan reiterated its overweight rating for Goldman Sachs shares, saying the investment bank's trading results will improve as the markets get more volatile.

Goldman Sachs "has shown excellent progress when it comes to delivering shareholder value through strong cost management, creating positive operating leverage and thus maintained total capital return to shareholders," analyst Kian Abouhossein wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

He adds he expects volatility will pick up next year and Goldman will be able to improve its struggling commodities trading business.

Abouhossein raised his price target for Goldman shares to $263, which is 9 percent higher than Tuesday's closing price. The old target was $260.

Goldman's vaunted trading business is having a difficult year. Its second-quarter fixed income, currency and commodities revenue declined 40 percent from the previous year, and the bank said it was "a challenging environment characterized by low levels of volatility, low client activity and generally difficult market-making conditions."

The bank has been able to cut non-compensation expenses by 17 percent during the last five years. The analyst also predicts the company's Marcus online lending business can grow to nearly $1 billion in sales in three years.

Goldman Sachs shares have underperformed the market this year. Its stock is up just 1 percent year-to-date through Tuesday compared with the S&P 500's 13 percent gain. The shares are up slightly in midday trading on Wednesday following the report.