Goldman Takes One-Time $5 Billion Hit From New U.S. Tax Law
Comment of the Day

December 29 2017

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Goldman Takes One-Time $5 Billion Hit From New U.S. Tax Law

This article by Neil Callanan and Michael J Moore for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The old tax regime allowed companies to defer U.S. taxes until they brought back earnings held abroad. Under the new law, U.S. companies’ overseas income held as cash would be subject to a 15.5 percent rate, while non-cash holdings would face an 8 percent rate. Companies can make the payments in eight annual installments.

Goldman Sachs, which gets more than 40 percent of its revenue outside the U.S., had $31.2 billion in earnings reinvested abroad as of the end of 2016, according to a regulatory filing.

Companies have to account for the tax changes in the period in which they were enacted. That’s left corporate accounting departments scrambling after President Donald Trump signed the bill into law last week.

Eoin Treacy's view

The end of the US tax year has individuals in high tax states scrambling to get a head start on next year’s taxes in an effort to lock in the more attractive deductions they have right now. At the same time the corporate sector is weighing how much of an effect the change to overseas income tax treatment represents.

I compiled a list on Bloomberg of the companies that derive all of their income from the USA on the basis that they will be among the greatest beneficiaries of the changes to the tax code. Here is are some of the more interesting charts:

Express Scripts has an attractive earnings yield but was plagued earlier this year with the loss of major clients and the threat that Amazon will begin to encroach on its business. Nevertheless, the share has rallied impressively over the last six weeks to break the medium-term progression of lower rally highs and a sustained move back below the trend mean would be required to question medium-term recovery potential.

Simon Properties runs outlet malls and the share broke out of a six-month base this week to break an 18-month progression of lower rally highs.

The pipeline sector is well represented in this list and may begin to attract investor interest again with oil prices back above $60. Enterprise Products Partners rallied from early December to challenge the year’s progression of lower rally highs and will need to improve on that performance to break the downward bias.

Elsewhere in the energy sector Phillips 66 broke out of an almost four-year range earlier this month and a sustained move below the trend mean would be required to question potential for additional upside.

PG&E runs the primary Northern California utility and has been deeply affected by wildfires which has forced the company to suspend its dividend. The share collapsed from $70 to $45 but is now deeply oversold and fires don’t last forever.

Banks are also well represented with Wells Fargo being the largest that does not have a significant overseas stake. The share is trading close to its all-time high but some consolidation of its recent powerful gain looks likely. 

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