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2023 GICS® Changes: Companies Impacted and What You Need to Know

S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI Inc. have published the full list of companies that will be impacted by changes to the Global Industry Classification Standards (GICS) structure scheduled to go into effect after the close of trading on March 17, 2023 when firms will be reclassified across five GICS sectors.

While the upcoming GICS changes are not as significant as the 2016 and 2018 GICS changes that created new sectors, they will trigger industry level changes, as industries are being both eliminated and created.



New GICS Changes: An Overview

If you are building and rotating sector portfolios, it’s important to know that these GICS changes will alter the composition of existing market segments across factors and fundamentals by:

  • Reclassifying Data & Processing & Outsourced Services companies from Information Technology to Industrials and Financials
  • Moving select companies that sell mainly consumable merchandise from Consumer Discretionary to Consumer Staples

Based on the full list of impacted companies’ new classifications published by S&P Dow Jones Indices in December 2022, the changes will impact the composition of five S&P 500 GICS sectors, with around 3% of the S&P 500 Index market cap to be re-classified at the sector level across 14 stocks, as shown below:

List of S&P 500 Companies to Be Reclassified

List of S&P 500 Companies to Be Reclassified

Given the changes and classifications published by S&P Dow Jones Indices, we constructed a new sector map for the S&P 500 to help investors consider the impact of these changes on S&P 500 sector exposures.

To do this, we re-allocated impacted companies to their new sectors and weighted them by market cap to create the proforma sectors. And as shown below, at a high level, the Tech and Financial sectors were significantly impacted by the reclassification of data processing firms. And although the changes to the other sectors result in a less than 1% change in market cap, they are still noteworthy given the names involved (e.g., Target Corp, Automatic Data Processing) and the nuanced impact at the industry level which we cover in the next sections.

Impacts on S&P 500 Sector Exposures

Impacts on S&P 500 Sector Exposures

Reclassification of Data Processing & Outsourced Services Companies

Information Technology will see the largest reduction in market capitalization among the 11 GICS sectors as a result of the removal of Data Processing & Outsourced Services stocks, which account for around 12% of the Information Technology sector. The change will make the Information Technology sector more concentrated with the weight of its top 10 positions increasing from 68% to 72%.

Some Data Processing & Outsources Services companies, including two of Tech’s current top 10 positions — Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc — will be re-classified into a newly-created GICS sub-industry: Transaction and Payment Processing Services, under Financials. As a result, Financials will receive the most new names. The Transaction and Payment Processing Services sub-industry will account around 19% of Financials and become the second-largest sub-industry in the sector, trailing the Diversified Banks sub-industry.

Other Data Processing & Outsourced Services companies that provide human resource support services, commercial data processing or business outsourcing services — such as Paychex Inc. and Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. — will move to Industrials, since these business activities are more aligned with business support activities.

While the additions will increase Industrials’ market cap by around $153 billion, they will only slightly increase Industrials’ presence in the S&P 500 Index. But more impactful changes may be at the industry level, as 55 firms classified under the existing Data Processing & Outsourced Services industry will be reclassified to Financials or Industrials based on the list published by the S&P Dow Jones Indices underscoring how nuanced the impacts might be once you leave the S&P 500 and travel further down the cap spectrum or take a finer cut at the industry landscape.

Changes to Retail-Related Industries

As more brick-and-mortar retailers adopt the omni-channel approach to meet changing customer needs, differentiation between internet & direct marketing and brick-and-mortar retailers has become less prominent. To keep up with the evolving retail landscape, S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI Inc. decided to discontinue the Internet & Direct Marketing Retail industry and reclassify companies such as Amazon and eBay into their respective retail industries based on the goods they sell. The Internet & Direct Marketing Retail companies in the S&P 500 will be moved to a newly-created Broadline Retail sub-industry under the same Consumer Discretionary sector. Therefore, there is no impact on the constituents at the sector level.

In addition, retailers such as Target Corp. and Dollar Tree Inc. that generate the majority of their revenue from consumable staple items will be grouped with other hypermarkets and supercenters like Walmart and Costco into a newly created Consumable Merchandise Retail sub-industry under Consumer Staples. The reclassification will increase the market cap of Consumer Staples by $153 billion but barely raise the sector’s weight in the S&P 500 Index.

Impacts on Sector Fundamentals and Macroeconomic Sensitivity

To understand the impacts on sector fundamentals, we took a bottom-up approach by aggregating stock-level fundamentals based on proforma constituent weight in the new sector. We found the impacts on most sectors’ valuations, growth and quality characteristics, as well as beta sensitivity to key macroeconomic indicators, such as 10-year Treasury yields, are minimal because of either the small weights of reclassified companies or their similarity to the new sector they are moving into.

However, a few changes on sector fundamentals are worth highlighting. Despite losing 12% of its market cap, growth stocks continue to dominate the Tech sector, accounting for 74% of the exposure.1 The sector’s historical revenue growth of its underlying companies and their consensus analyst growth estimates for the next three to five years are little changed, as shown in the chart below.

Changes to Tech’s valuation metrics, including price-to-earnings, price-to-sales, price-to-cash-flow and price-to-book ratios are also muted.

The Financials sector sees greater allocation to growth stocks based on the Morningstar Style Box classification, resulting in slightly higher historical revenue growth and estimated 3-5-year EPS growth, but lower historical EPS growth at the sector level.

Following the Sector Roadmap Ahead

The current GICS changes are less impactful at the S&P 500 sector level than 2018’s structure changes where companies with greater market cap of the S&P 500 Index changed sector classifications, resulting in significant shifts in sector fundamentals and performance dynamics.

But these changes to the sector map will result in more nuanced changes at the industry level. S&P Dow Jones Indices have updated certain select industry indices’ membership classification to align with 2023 GICS structure change. Please check the 2023 GICS Structure Changes FAQs for more details and stay current by visiting our dedicated sectors webpage.


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