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Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG), Google Inc (GOOG): The S&P 500’s Highest Priced Stocks

2. Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), $814

It’s hard to believe that the online travel portal giant traded so low in 2003 that it had to do reverse share split. Since then, the share price has jumped 35-fold, as Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) has outdueled its competitors with a combination of its unique name-your-own-price model and its early recognition of the importance of international travel to its overall success.

Priceline has only continued its massive run recently, and despite high earnings multiples and growth hurdles from weak economic conditions in certain overseas markets, the company continues to see its stock press higher. With a market cap of just $40 billion, Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) could easily continue to climb in its effort to overtake the tech giant in the No. 1 spot.

1. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), $909

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) went public at $85 back in 2004, and its roughly tenfold increase makes its position atop the S&P leaderboard seem almost undeserved. But the company’s dominance in online search and its resourceful recognition of the value of the data it has collected over the years has created huge amounts of value for shareholders.

Moreover, the biggest monetization opportunities for that data might still be yet to come. As mobile devices become more powerful and add location-based information to existing datasets, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) should be able to put its collection efforts to more lucrative use in identifying trends and finding opportunities for profit. Given enough success, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s potential might make even a $900 share price look quaint in future years.

Price isn’t value
Again, high share prices don’t automatically mean that a stock is overvalued. You have to look at the earnings and other fundamentals that drive valuations in order to determine the relative value proposition of these stocks. What’s certain, though, is that all four of these companies have produced strong growth over the years, and if they can continue to do so, then these high share prices could prove to be just the beginning of their long-term success.

The article The 4 Most Expensive Stocks in the S&P 500 originally appeared on Fool.com is written by Dan Caplinger.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter: @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Google, Intuitive Surgical, MasterCard, and priceline.com.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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