The only reason that the Nasdaq is currently up for the year is the performance of some of the superstars in the technology-laden index. Now it seems as though some on Wall Street who have championed some of the mega-cap leaders for this long run may be starting to think that the top stocks are starting to look pretty fully valued at current levels.
In a new research note from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, analyst Bob Peck, who is one of the most respected on Wall Street, says it may be time to take profits on the huge run that Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has put up, and use that capital to buy another technology mega-cap leader. While momentum investors are always reluctant to sell stocks that are steamrolling, he may have a call that make total sense at this time.
Amazon is up an astonishing 98% this year, an incredible run for a company that many bears love to point out that, despite the huge growth in earnings, is plain and simple overvalued. Peck says that despite the huge growth in earnings, and the fact that Amazon has a cloud computing giant business in the form Amazon Web Services (AWS), trading at a gigantic 60 times free cash flow at this point, the company could very well be fully valued.
With the huge holiday season approaching, many investors may question the wisdom of selling this momentum giant now when perhaps the best earnings for the company could be posted in the fourth quarter. The important thing to remember is the number that was posted earlier. Up 98%, and that is gigantic, especially in a year where the markets for the most part are still down. The shares closed Monday at $608.61
So what stock does the analyst say to buy now? It’s another huge mega-cap leader that also posted outstanding numbers and has crushed short-sellers and those who thought that the growth trajectory had slowed, and slowed dramatically. The stock to move those big Amazon’s gains to is none other than Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), or the company formerly known as Google.
There are some good reasons that back up the analyst’s decision. The company hit the ball out of the park when it recently posted incredible 21% year-over-year revenue growth, a strong increase over the 18% growth in the second quarter. The strong mobile search report also should tone down bearish Wall Street analysts concerned about mobile monetization. Toss in a shareholder friendly $5 billion stock buyback and all systems are go. Lastly, trading at a very reasonable 12 times EBITDA, the search giant could be headed much much higher. The stock closed Monday at $731.12
Analysts are usually loath to say sell one winner and buy another, but the logic here makes total sense. The basic argument is to buy overall valuation, and to be frank, even if the call is wrong, it’s not like the argument to buy Alphabet is likely to turn out to be a losing suggestion.