Investing

Credit Suisse Says to Avoid These Crowded Momentum Stocks

Lee Jackson

The stock market looks wobbly and that may be starting to make many investors nervous. While in the short-term we may be looking at a correction, the long-term prospects for the equity market should be reasonably good, given the improving economy and unemployment falling. In a new report on mid-cap stocks from the equity team at Credit Suisse, they say investors need to avoid crowded momentum names. Their thesis is that momentum is overbought, and when selling starts in a big way these stocks could be the first ones out the door. We picked some of the high-profile names on the Credit Suisse list.

Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO) is a big energy play in the Permian Basin in West Texas. Concho is an independent oil and natural gas company engaged in the acquisition, development and exploration of oil and natural gas properties. The stock also may be a possible takeover candidate, but it would be a pricey move for a bigger fish. The company recently completed a secondary offering near the top of the market, and that often bodes bad for shareholders. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $142.96. Concho closed Thursday at $130.74, down almost 2.5%.

Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function. The company provides innovative sequencing and array-based solutions for genotyping, copy number variation analysis, methylation studies, gene expression profiling and low-multiplex analysis of DNA, RNA and protein. It also provides tools and services that are fueling advances in consumer genomics and diagnostics. The stock trades at a gigantic 98 times earnings and could get in hammered in a vicious sell-off. The consensus price target for the stock is $176.97. Illumina closed Thursday at $144.75 a share.

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Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) has been a hot retail name in clothing and clothing accessories, and it could be the epitome of the overcrowded name. Despite awesome sales and growth, the company could just be a straight valuation call. Trading at 31 times earnings is rich for even a hot retailer. The consensus price target is $105.04, and shares closed Thursday at $91.27.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) has absolutely been on fire and is a huge favorite of institutional manager. The company sells branded performance apparel, footwear and accessories for men, women and youth primarily in North America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The company offers its apparel in compression, fitted and loose fit types to be worn in hot, cold and in between the extremes. While their products remain hot, trading at almost 60 times earnings, it is not cheap. The consensus price target is $55.29. Under Armour closed Thursday at $46.32.

Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY) is another red-hot stock that looks like it could be ready to roll over. The company delivers human capital management, financial management and analytics applications designed for the world’s largest organizations. Hundreds of companies, ranging from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 50 enterprises, have selected Workday. While its growth has been stunning, the stock may be ahead of itself. The consensus price target is $106.96. Workday closed Thursday at $70.69.

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Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) has been a remarkable stock for investors, and really it just may be a candidate for a slump more in the short term. While the positives remain high for this top gaming stock, a sharp market sell-off will make portfolio managers sell their stocks with the best gains, and Wynn could be a candidate. Investors are paid a solid 2.5% dividend. The consensus price target is $251.45. Wynn closed trading Thursday at $201.72.

Most of the stocks on the Credit Suisse list are outstanding names, have tremendous market share in their various sectors and look like good long-term stocks to own. The whole focus is on the short term and the overcrowded nature of these holdings. Portfolio managers and hedge fund managers take a monkey-see, monkey-do approach. If they see these top names being sold on heavy volume, they will be right there adding to the selling.