BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- OK, we get it. The SEC's Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) suit is a major financial news event from a political perspective. But should you expect the fallout to actually impact your portfolio?
That's a question that most market pundits seem to be markedly less sure about. Here's a glimpse at the companies that could suffer from Goldman's legal troubles --
and those that could profit
In short, the SEC filed fraud charges against Goldman last week, alleging that the firm tricked investors into buying collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, that Goldman and its more-sophisticated clients had an economic interest in seeing go bust. The market reacted to the shock of seeing Wall Street's most-well-connected firm get charged by tumbling, and even worse off was Goldman Sachs' stock itself. The company fell nearly 13% on Friday, in the biggest single-day slide since January 2009.
But Goldman could be headed higher in spite of the added drama.
>> Who Owns Goldman?: Ken Heebner
While the company is facing a PR nightmare right now, its operations aren't largely affected by public perception. Instead, Goldman caters to more-sophisticated institutional investors who are bound to be less concerned with Goldman's blemishes as long as its financial health remains strong.
As far as Goldman's business is concerned, SEC fines and legal liability are the biggest threats presented by the suit. But any SEC-imposed fines are likely going to be immaterial to Goldman's fundamental prospects, and even legal liability is unlikely at this point. After all, Goldman had been well aware of the SEC's concerns over its CDOs. Had liabilities been a real concern, the company would have probably settled quickly and quietly.
I'd expect that the firm's counsel is fairly confident in their legal position. Given the fact that Goldman lost around $12 billion in market capitalization last week, this stock presents a strong value story right now -- particularly after doubling quarterly profits in earnings numbers released yesterday. At current levels, Goldman could be the stock with the most upside potential after last week's news.
That's not to say that other firms won't be affected by what's going on with Goldman right now.