Basic supply and demand economics apply with regards to the movement of stock prices. Stocks in favor tend to have higher demand and vice versa. Of course, when demand for any item is high, you always have to question whether or not the price is truly a fair price. In most cases, you can perish the thought that the price will be a bargain.
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Going With the Flow
Instead going against the tide, many investors prefer to swim along with it. While valuation always serves as an anchor with respect to investment decisions, investors may want to consider these timely stocks. In all cases, prices are not bargains but they are at nosebleed levels either. And as long as the economy or stock market doesn't suffer a significant shock, these names may be decent plays for those who want to invest with the in crowd. Home furnishings retailer Bed Bath and Beyond (Nasdaq:BBBY) continues to deliver even today. Both sales and profits are growing nicely. Shares at $52 are near a 52 week high but trade at a decent 17-times earnings.
Of the big oil majors, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) may actually be both timely and cheap. While profits are surging thanks to high oil, CVX stills makes good money when oil prices are lower. The shares trade at a single digit P/E and yield 3%.
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Feeding the World
Despite the surge in all things agricultural related and recent pullback in commodities, the long-term story for food remains robust. The world will need more and more grains to provide the food needs of the world, especially as people shift from a vegetable diet to a protein rich diet. As the largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer in the U.S., CF Industries (NYSE:CF) should continue do perform well over the long-run. Shares trade for a digestible 17-times earnings for a quality business in a fundamentally sound industry. ETF investors could choose the Market Vectors Agribusiness (NYSE:MOO) instead and gain exposure to a wider variety of agricultural related businesses. Investors should be aware that even though MOO trades for 14-times earnings, the current share price of $54 is well above the per share NAV of $47. This premium reflects the current bullishnesses that the ag industry is experiencing. (For more, see Food Price Inflation Still A Big Deal.)
The Bottom Line
Growth is a lever of value creation. And when companies are growing investors tend to pile in and that can create price distortions. Those who buy purely on momentum or timeliness may experience an unpleasant result. But absent nosebleed valuations, the best quality stocks could be worth a shot. (For more, see The Value Investor's Handbook.)
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