Investors in debt-saddled companies beware, rising credit costs could pound your shares into the ground.
The cost of short-term borrowing has surged this year, points out Goldman Sachs. At 2.3%, three-month LIBOR is hovering around the highest level since 2009. LIBOR is now 100 basis points above its average in 2017. Goldman attributes a good piece of the rise to expected interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve this year.
No matter, the spike in credit costs is already starting to impact some stock prices. If credit costs stay elevated, big-name companies with a ton of debt could continue to lag.
"Stocks with high variable rate debt have recently lagged in response to the move in borrowing costs," notes Goldman Sachs strategist Ben Snider. "These stocks should struggle if borrowing costs continue to climb, but may present a tactical value opportunity for investors who expect a reversion in spreads."
With short-term rates rising this year, 50 stocks of companies with high levels of variable rate debt in particular have lagged the S&P 500 by 320 basis points (-4% vs. -1%) according to Goldman's analysis. The group now trades at a 10% price-to-earnings multiple discount to the median S&P 500 stock (16.0 times vs. 17.6 times).
Key names at risk of further under-performance: Disney (DIS) - Get The Walt Disney Company Report , General Motors (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report , Ford (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report , General Mills (GIS) - Get General Mills Inc. Report , General Electric (GE) - Get General Electric Company Report , Caterpillar (CAT) - Get Caterpillar Inc. Report , UPS (UPS) - Get United Parcel Service Inc. Report , Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report and Intel (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report .