Four Overvalued S&P 500 Stocks to Avoid

by: Whopper Investments

Previously, I've look for companies trading at reasonable multiples that could benefit from rising commodity prices and companies trading at extremely cheap multiples that could be a leveraged buyout target. Today, I thought I'd look at the most expensive stocks on the S&P 500 to see if there were any stocks there that I'd want to avoid or possibly short. The following is a list of the ten most expensive stocks on the S&P 500 on an EV/EBITDA basis.

Ticker Short Name EV/EBITDA T12M EV/Sales T12M P/E ROE LF
CRM SALESFORCE.COM 74.56 10.47 322.61 5.56
MWW MONSTER WORLDWID 71.23 2.40 N/A -2.86
LEN LENNAR CORP-A 49.65 2.23 31.50 3.77
RHT RED HAT INC 39.23 8.28 84.24 8.38
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC 35.50 2.05 68.49 19.02
GENZ GENZYME CORP 33.66 4.08 67.37 5.51
FFIV F5 NETWORKS 31.27 9.42 53.89 18.46
JDSU JDS UNIPHASE 30.98 3.30 493.40 1.43
PLD PROLOGIS 29.10 15.59 N/A -17.52
AVB AVALONBAY COMMUN 27.99 15.84 103.44 5.51

Looking at the stocks above, a couple of them jump out as potentially overvalued.

Salesforce (NYSE:CRM)

The most expensive stock on the S&P, Salesforce trades at nosebleed valuations despite massive dilution from options, significant insider selling, poor returns on equity, and looming competition from behemoth's like Microsoft, who plans on offering discount pricing to customers switching from Salesforce software.


Amazon recently sold off after Q4 revenue numbers disappointed. Despite the sell off, the stock stills trades for a shockingly high P/E of 68.5! The company recently announced plans to compete with Netflix in the online video world, but serious doubts remain whether the company can beat Netflix on its hometurf. While the company should grow nicely in the coming years, its multiple like prices in way more growth than possible. To put it in context, even if the company grew at the same rate for the next four years as it has for the past four years (unlikely, given its much larger size), the company would earn ~$5.83 per share in 2014... so the company currently trades for just under 30x 2014 earnings!

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT)

Another cloud computing company trading at nose bleed valuations, Red Hat trades for almost 85 times earnings despite a ROE of just over 8%. It was recently downgraded by J.P. Morgan, who cited the growth expectations priced into the stock as too lofty.

Monster Worldwide (NYSE:MWW)

The popular jobs site comes up as the second most overvalued company, just behind Salesforce. Revenues peaked in 2007 and have been in decline for several years now (as have earnings and cash flow), and the company faces fierce competition from The company's never been very profitable- their most profitable year was 2007, EPS came in at $1.12. That would give the company a price to peak earnings of over 15x, which seems extreme given the company's tenuous competitive positioning and declining revenues.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.