But, despite the positive catalysts that have sent shares higher, all three stocks show signs of being overvalued. While investors in these companies have enjoyed great returns, further upside may be limited.
After a difficult year, Facebook shares have finally made it back to their $38 IPO price. And most of that gain has come in just the last five days — share are up over 44% since Friday.
But at its current price, is Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) overvalued? It’s trading with a price-to-earnings ratio of over 170, roughly nine times the broader S&P 500 index.
Aswath Damodaran, finance professor at NYU’s business school, says yes, the social network is overvalued at current levels. Based on his assumptions, he sees Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s intrinsic value at about $28 per share. Notably, Damodaran hasn’t always been a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) bear. Last August, he said the company was undervalued, and bought in near the bottom.
Damodaran believes that the reaction to the company’s recent quarter was excessive, and that little has changed. But I disagree.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s last earnings report fundamentally changed the sentiment surrounding the company. It eviscerated nearly all of the bear arguments — that the company would go the way of Myspace, that it could not profitably transition to mobile. Nevertheless, at these levels, Facebook’s financial metrics are far above its peers’.
Yelp is growing but losing money
Unlike Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) technically has no PE ratio as it continues to lose money. Forward PE is over 200, compared to around 15 for the broader S&P 500. Revenue is growing at a rapid pace, and loss per share has dropped significantly, but the company still isn’t profitable.
Besides better-than-expected earnings reports, Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) bulls have benefited from a persistently high short interest as well as takeover rumors. Yelp’s short interest has fallen, but still remains near 20%. As much as the stock has run, further gains may be likely as Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) bears are forced to cover their shorts lest they lose their shirts.
Meanwhile, Yahoo! has been on an acquisition spree, and further purchases may be likely. The company will get a big check when Alibaba IPOs, and that money could be used to purchase a company like Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP).
The only problem with that is that it might not make any sense for Yahoo! to buy the company. CEO Marissa Mayer has said she isn’t interested in getting into mapping, an area where Yelp could provide the most synergy.
Mayer’s former employer, Google, bought Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP)’s rival Zagat for the purpose of integrating it into Google Maps, and that’s something Yelp investors should fear. The new version of Google Maps is heavy on Zagat integration, giving it a key advantage over Yelp.
Tesla: $38 or $200?
Unlike Yelp or Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) isn’t a tech company in the purest sense. It’s an auto company, although, given that it derives its value from the promise of a revolutionary technology — electric cars — it’s hard not to think of it like a tech company.