It is a bull market and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index have both challenged new all-time highs recently. For the market to keep rising, more stocks have to keep being bought up by investors. The problem is that investors do not want to overpay for a stock above the fair value.
24/7 Wall St. found that four of the thirty DJIA stocks are overvalued if you look at the average estimates from Wall Street analysts. Stocks have to be assigned some sort of value, and the Thomson Reuters consensus price target is one metric which many investors use as a judge of a stock’s upside potential. This shows that investors have to start thinking about what to do in shares of American Express Company (NYSE: AXP), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT).
So what do you do when a stock is trading at or above the consensus price target? Some investors use that as a key to sell. Others try to see if the analysts will raise their price targets ahead. We wanted to take a look at the value now, and also to see if there was perhaps hidden upside in each.
American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) is worth almost $88 billion and its shares are very close to an all-time high. Friday’s closing price of $81.78 compares to a consensus price target of $81.83. AmEx has also traded in a range of $53.02 to $83.83, so the stock has even traded above the value that analysts think it is worth.
American Express gives investors a mere 1.1% dividend. That is low for a DJIA component and low for being a financial leader. We would point out that the street high on AmEx is $96 for a price target, so some analysts see the stock continuing to rise. Will investors buy an $81 stock just to make a $0.05 profit over a year, and is almost 17-times earnings a fair value for a financial stock?
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) has handled earnings season far better than most expected with such a weak PC climate. At $24.09, its 52-week trading range is $19.23 to $25.98 and the consensus price target is down at $23.82. Intel’s market value is almost $120 billion and the trends in smartphones and tablets have so far wrecked intel’s growth.
It seems that not all may be lost here. We recently showed how Intel could be a stealth value stock as many analysts actually raised their valuations. Some analysts are even thinking a $30 stock is possible again. Intel is starting to see some traction for its processors for smartphones and tablets. It is very late to the party, but it is happening. Intel also pays investors a whopping 3.7% dividend yield and is valued at less than 13-times expected earnings..
3M Company (NYSE: MMM) has done very well this year with a 40% gain and its stock just hit a new all-time high of $128.02 on Friday. At $127.99, 3M has a consensus analyst price target of $126.94 and a 52-week range of $86.74 to $128.02.
The issue to consider with 3M is that the stock just keeps managing to outperform the broad market. Its yield of 2.0% is not massive yet not insulting. The highest analyst price target is actually up at $142 as well, which means that someone thinks another 10% can be made here. With an $86 billion market cap, some have to wonder if 3M can make it into the mega-cap club worth $100 billion or more. 3M trades at about 19-times expected earnings for this year.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) managed to do incredibly better than expected with its earnings. Its market value is $315 billion and at $37.78 its consensus analyst price target is down at $35.77. Microsoft has even traded in a 52-week range of $26.26 to $38.22.
What is interesting about Microsoft is that Steve Ballmer is on his way out, and one analyst recently gave it a valuation of $45 and gave a path on getting the stock back to $50. Being valued at 14-times expected earnings is not too high on the surface, but the image from Wall Street is that Microsoft’s best days are behind it. Then there is the 3% dividend yield to consider.
We would also point out that this screen would have had six DJIA stocks trading above their consensus analyst values had the DJIA components not changed. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) closed at $25.94 and the consensus price target is down at $24.89 for H-P. Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was the other overvalued one at $9.06 versus a consensus price target of $8.47. We will leave evaluating those ex-DJIA stocks up to you.