As the quarter draws to a close, I thought it would be useful to look at this quarter's best performing stocks from the Russell 1000.
|Ticker||Company||Total Return QTD||EV / EBITDA||Op ROIC||P/E|
|LVLT||LEVEL 3 COMM INC||55.10||12.45||-1.72|
|BIIB||BIOGEN IDEC INC||42.44||12.78||23.45||22.22|
|ULTA||ULTA SALON COSME||31.25||18.92||32.10||49.31|
|CPA||COPA HOLDIN-CL A||27.89||11.09||14.55||11.64|
|VSEA||VARIAN SEMI EQUI||26.03||13.45||30.73||18.01|
|TIF||TIFFANY & CO||24.81||12.95||22.80||25.04|
|DSW||DSW INC-CL A||23.80||8.10||29.86||19.70|
|FL||FOOT LOCKER INC||22.17||7.04||15.13||18.04|
|FRX||FOREST LABS INC||21.67||5.47||26.57||8.52|
|SBH||SALLY BEAUTY HOL||21.41||10.53||30.47||18.45|
With an average quarter to date return of over 30%, you'd certainly be up a pretty penny if you had invested in these companies at the start of the quarter. But that performance is in the past, and in the present, the stocks look awfully expensive, with an average EV/EBITDA of over 13 and average P/E over 25. So the real question is- is there any upside left from here?
The answer, as always with investing, is it depends what company you're looking at.
For example, Dillards (DDS) looks enticing at today's prices. Same store sales are rising and the company just completed a huge share repurchase plan, retiring over 25% of shares outstanding. Trading at a discount to its peers at just 5.7x EV/EBITDA, the company looks attractive despite an almost 30% run in the past quarter and more than doubling over the past year.
Forest Labs (FRX) also looks enticing. The company has a potential blockbuster in its pipeline in Daliresp and just initiated another big buyback program. There's also a nice little catalyst here, as famed investor Carl Icahn recently initiated a position and could push the company to increase shareholder returns or put itself up for sale.
In contrast, Fossil (FOSL) may be a bit ahead of itself at these prices. Its CEO unloaded a huge block of shares at prices well below today's price, and the company is trading for a hefty premium to its faster growing peers.
While investors today are unlikely to realize the same sort of returns going forward as they did in the past quarter, they could find a lot of value in some of these stocks even after the big run up.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.