Can Amazon Lead Consumer Stocks To A Big Rally In 2023?

Can Amazon Lead Consumer Stocks To A Big Rally In 2023?

Key Points

  • Analysts expect the consumer discretionary sector to post strong earnings in 2023. 
  • This was the worst-performing sector in 2022, which could result in a rebound this year.
  • Amazon is expected to lead the way among consumer stocks, earning $1.86 per share this year, after a loss in 2022.
  • The best-performing sector in 2022 was energy, but analysts see earnings and revenue declining this year. 
  • 5 stocks we like better than Amazon.com

Is 2023 the year when the consumer discretionary sector, led by big names including Amazon.com Inc. NASDAQ: AMZN, Home Depot Inc. NYSE: HD, NIKE Inc. NYSE: NKE, McDonald’s Corporation NYSE: MCD and the beleaguered Tesla Inc. NASDAQ: TSLA will come roaring back?  

According to researcher FactSet, analysts expect S&P 500 companies, as a group, to report single-digit earnings growth in the calendar year 2023. However, the estimated year-over-year earnings growth rate is forecast to be 5.5%, which would fall below the trailing 10-year average earnings growth rate of 8.5%.

Drilling down further, the consumer discretionary sector is expected to post earnings growth of 35.8% this year, putting it at the top of the S&P’s 11 sectors. 

FactSet also reports that nine of the 10 sectors are expected to report double-digit growth in net income, with household durables being the only exception. That industry includes Tesla, as well as other automakers such as Ford Motor Company NYSE: F and General Motors Company NYSE: GM, as well as homebuilders including D.R. Horton Inc. NYSE: DHI and Lennar Corporation NYSE: LEN


Turnaround Expected At Amazon 

Amazon is expected to be the sector’s biggest earnings grower, with Wall Street eyeing earnings of $1.86 this year, up from an expected full-year loss of $0.10 for 2022. Amazon is slated to report results for the most recent quarter and full year on January 26 after the closing bell. 

Earnings growth, especially that generated by increased revenue and not merely cost-cutting, is one of the biggest drivers of price appreciation. For example, the best S&P 500 performers from 2022 hailed from the energy sector. Occidental Petroleum Corporation NYSE: OXY was the biggest gainer within the broad index, advancing 117% last year. Unfortunately, it hasn’t gotten 2023 off to an auspicious start, declining 3.08% in Tuesday’s session, although it was regaining some ground Wednesday.

Energy was far and away the leading sector in 2022, advancing 61.93%, but that strong rally isn’t expected to continue into this year. 

FactSet reports that energy-sector earnings are seen falling 13.10% this year, with revenue dropping 7.50%. 

The expected increase in consumer discretionary earnings and revenue could drive price gains in a sector that was the worst performer in the past year, posting a decline of 35.52% in 2022. But could a turnaround in the consumer discretionary sector’s fundamentals result in a “worst to first” price performance in 2023?

Going From Worst To First

The phrase “worst to first” should not be taken completely literally. Still, it refers to a common phenomenon of poor performers in the previous year staging big rallies the following year. 

There are some valid reasons why this happens. When stocks are beaten down after big selloffs, value investors or bargain shoppers often swoop in, particularly if the company is expected to improve its earnings and revenue performance. In addition, dividend yields on battered stocks often make an investment more attractive. 

In the case of a stock that has tumbled sharply, its subsequent percentage gains are often significant. For example, Wall Street has confidence that PayPal Holdings Inc. NASDAQ: PYPL can turn around a mediocre earnings performance. The digital payment specialist is expected to post earnings of $4.07 per share for 2022 when it reports in early February. That would be a 12% decline from 2021.

However, that’s expected to increase by 18% to $4.79 per share this year. Analyst data compiled by MarketBeat show a consensus rating of “moderate-buy.” In addition, the consensus price target is $124.93, representing a potential upside of 59.88%. 

Keep in mind: This would follow a decline of 62% in 2022, so it wouldn’t get shareholders back to where they ended in December 2021. If that rally does occur, new investors would be in the money. That’s not a recommendation, but is simply pointing out the basic math behind the projections. 

In general, beaten-down stocks with strong fundamentals and solid business models are good candidates to rally after a year of steep declines. Of course, none of this is guaranteed, but past market history makes the “worst to first” phenomenon one to watch. 

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Companies Mentioned in This Article

CompanyMarketRank™Current PricePrice ChangeDividend YieldP/E RatioConsensus RatingConsensus Price Target
Amazon.com (AMZN)
4.891 of 5 stars
$184.70+0.6%N/A51.74Buy$211.62
Home Depot (HD)
4.6927 of 5 stars
$344.21+0.4%2.61%23.09Moderate Buy$377.46
McDonald's (MCD)
4.8877 of 5 stars
$272.38-0.4%2.45%23.12Moderate Buy$317.74
Tesla (TSLA)
4.351 of 5 stars
$177.46+1.5%N/A45.27Hold$185.90
NIKE (NKE)
4.9303 of 5 stars
$92.18+0.4%1.61%27.11Moderate Buy$116.26
Lennar (LEN)
4.6155 of 5 stars
$165.88+0.4%1.21%11.62Hold$163.88
D.R. Horton (DHI)
4.6436 of 5 stars
$151.50+0.4%0.79%10.31Moderate Buy$157.82
Ford Motor (F)
4.6009 of 5 stars
$12.28-0.8%4.89%12.66Hold$13.74
General Motors (GM)
4.6116 of 5 stars
$45.76-0.2%1.05%5.59Moderate Buy$54.65
PayPal (PYPL)
4.5681 of 5 stars
$64.48+0.6%N/A16.24Hold$72.73
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Kate Stalter

About Kate Stalter

  • stalterkate@gmail.com

Contributing Author

Retirement, Asset Allocation, and Tax Strategies

Experience

Kate Stalter has been a contributing writer for MarketBeat since 2021.

Additional Experience

Series 65-licensed investment advisor, financial advisor, Blue Marlin Advisors; investment columnist for Forbes, U.S. News & World Report

Areas of Expertise

Asset allocation, technical and fundamental analysis, retirement strategies, income generation, risk management, sector and industry analysis

Education

Bachelor of Arts, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana; Master of Business Adminstration, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Past Experience

Founder, financial advisor for Better Money Decisions; editor, stock trading instructor for Investor’s Business Daily; columnist, podcast host, video host for MoneyShow.com; contributor for Morningstar magazine


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