So it appears that the markets are getting very top heavy at the moment and that investors have become incredibly speculative in their decisions to invest in equities and even in debt as evidenced by the rise in junk bond prices. Now may finally be the time to start planning your short book and to add to some short positions for the coming end to Quantitative Easing. Here are 15 "bubble" stocks that investors have good reason to consider short selling.
CRM -- Salesforce.com has long been affectionately dubbed "Salesforce.bomb" by those traders who understand 285 PE ratios and who lived through the last technology crash in 1999/2000. CRM exhibits many of the telltale signs of a speculative bubble in its share price -- slowing earnings, astronomical valuation, incredible excitement around their prospects, strong following on Wall Street, incredible coverage by Wall Street investment Banks, and large insider selling of the stock.
OPEN -- Opentable has become one of the leading "local deals" speculations lately, however the company has actually seen growth in new restaurant additions as well as local deal participation slow over the past few quarters. With only $100MM in sales and a market cap well over $2.5BN rational investors have to ask themselves "What the %^&$ is going on here?"
TZOO -- Travelzoo is another high flyer with a PE over 90X that is giving value investors a hernia while growth investors get rich. the company's meteoric rise over the current "Groupon Bubble" valuation has made the shares incredibly rich. Growth at this valuation Zoo is not that impressive. The only thing impressive is the parabolic chart, which qualifies Value Zoo as a bubble stock.
CMG -- Chipotle Mexican Bubble is the cloud computing stock of Mexican food. I doubt any Mexican restaurant would ever be able to convince a rational human being to buy their restaurant for 50X last year's earnings, but at CMG this trade happens every single day. Hey, why you longs are at it, I have a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee that I could sell you for only $200,000 -- just shoot me an email.
LULU -- Lulu-lemon is a retail and apparel maker in a speculative bubble in my opinion trading for an incredible 54X earnings. The stock appears to be strung up on "sky hooks" in this market where only overpriced stocks go up while everything else goes down or stays put. Bifurcated is an understatement!
GMCR -- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a coffee maker trading at 130X earnings ... Yes the coffee is good, but yes the stock is in an incredible speculative bubble! Earnings declined in the December quarter and CMG's patents expire next year! Again, email me about that $200,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee if you think that GMCR is a good deal at current levels ... It's red, with a life kit, and only has 60,000 miles on it.
SFSF -- SucessFactors Inc. - this one has no PE because, well, there is no earnings to speak of! Sound familiar tech bubble bag holders? Maybe because for $3BN at SFSF all you get is around 12MM of yearly operating cash flow ...
IWM -- The Russell 2000 is flat out scary from a bottoms up fundamental valuation perspective. Investors should buy puts and sell calls.
JNK -- Junk bonds are at levels not seen for quite some time (if ever) and remember, they are not called "Junk" for nothing! Investors who own these should consider buying PEP or KO instead as the yield is getting pretty similar and the risks are substantially lower in Soda pop than for investors in the junk bond bubble, which could seriously pop.
DRN -- REITS are all the rage again, even after crashing hard during the downturn. Real estate prices are moving lower while REITS are moving much higher -- go figure.
SPG -- Simon Properties is a REIT that I am short calls against because I don't think malls are all of the sudden safe investments. Malls were supposed to be ghost towns during the recession and some were calling for turning them into indoor farms (and one mall in Dallas was even turned into an indoor pot farm for a while before being busted!).
SIFY -- Sify Technologies - This Indian web bubble stock is ripe for a tanking after rising from $2.50 to $5.40 in a short period of time.
F -- Ford Motor Company - With $4 gas, that new F 150 just doesn't sound that appetizing anymore at 12 miles per gallon... Investors long the stock should consider selling calls against their position or simply getting out while the getting is good.
DAL -- Delta Airlines - Airlines are in trouble again because of high oil prices. Investors should recognize that historically airline stocks have been one of the very worst places to invest and should take that into account before moving "all in" on the sector.
QQQ -- With the qqq rebalanced out of the cheaper Apple shares and into the more expensive AMZN and GMCR shares, QQQ holders should hit the eject button before it's too late.
Disclosure: I am short CRM, GMCR, LULU, CMG, IWM, QQQ, SPG, DRN, SFSF.