3 Stocks Near 52-Week Highs Worth Selling

Nearly 500 companies hit new 52-week highs on the NYSE Wednesday as this rally continues to sprout new legs and shrug off any weakness. For bulls, these rallies may seem like a dream come true. For skeptics like me, they're opportunities to see whether companies trading near their 52-week highs really deserve their current valuations.

Keep in mind that some companies deserve their lofty prices. Discount grocer Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO  ) spiked dramatically this week after receiving a private equity takeover offer. Speculation now is that other suitors may follow, creating a potential bidding war. But some companies potentially deserve a kick in the pants. Here's a look at three companies that could be worth selling.

Patent problems
Biotech Forest Labs (NYSE: FRX  ) has crept to new 52-week highs this week despite what looks like a grim future for its pipeline. Forest Labs' two blockbuster drugs, Lexapro for depression and Namenda for Alzheimer's, accounted for more than 85% of total revenue in its most recent quarter.

Unfortunately for Forest Labs, both drugs are due to come off patent within the next four years, meaning generic competitors Teva Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: TEVA  ) and Mylan (Nasdaq: MYL  ) will be free to step in and eat away market share. Forest Labs' only saving grace is its cash reserve, which amounts to $13 per share. The company could use that money for acquisitions or further research and development. Until the future looks clearer, though, it seems like a sticky situation I'd just as soon avoid.

You've got mail
I have a hard time remembering the last time I mailed anything, but Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI  ) shareholders are celebrating as if the Internet never existed. The mailstream equipment, software, and services provider continues to dazzle investors with a premium dividend above 5%, but it hasn't delivered on the growth front lately. Operating margins have decreased sequentially four years in a row, and revenue has fallen in the past two years. Let's face it, the mail business isn't exciting, even with newer mail technology applications. Unless you're in Pitney Bowes for the dividend, it might be time to listen to the folks who've built up a 19.5 million-share short interest in the stock and exit stage left.

Look up here
Lamar Advertising
(Nasdaq: LAMR  ) is apparently good at what it does; the company has sold investors on the idea that it deserves a $3.8 billion market cap despite being unprofitable and saddled with nearly $2.5 billion in debt. My concern stems from its falling revenue over the past two years as well as uncertainty still related to the health of the small-business sector, from which Lamar derives much of its business. Until Lamar is turning a healthy profit or we see a strong rebound in small-business growth, I'd consider looking elsewhere.

Have an opinion on any of these companies? Let's hear about it in the comments section below. If you'd like to see future articles and information on these stocks, use our new Watchlist feature to track them.

Fool contributor Sean Williams does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this article. Although he is an avid shorter, he's actually quite tall. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong. The Fool owns shares of Teva Pharmaceutical. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy which never goes off patent.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1444390, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/31/2014 8:21:47 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement