On Wednesday, for the second time this week, the stock market more or less traded sideways. For holders of top stocks, there generally wasn't that much movement -- at least if your companies didn't experience anything newsworthy.
There was certainly some movement with the following two stocks, both of which took a few body blows during the day even though little of note actually occurred with the companies. With their price dips, are they now in buy territory?
salesforce.com (CRM 0.07%) is a leading company in the business software-as-a-service (SaaS) field, and has very attractive growth prospects in front of it. So its nearly 4% drop on Wednesday is worthy of a closer look.
Given that there was no obvious breaking-news item driving down the company's stock, I'd imagine the market is concerned about the company's valuations. After all, even with this latest price slide, its one-year forward PEG ratio is over 6.5. This suggests that the stock is more than six times more expensive than it should be if it were fairly priced.
Few analysts and pundits doubt that Salesforce has excellent growth potential ahead of it. The company offers many services that are useful, even crucial, to the operations of a modern, connected business. On top of that, Salesforce is a serial acquirer of assets that can usually be bolted on to its existing offerings without too much ado.
To me, Salesforce is one case of a good, solid company with loads of potential that everybody admires. But this admiration over the years has really pushed up its stock price, and despite Wednesday's slip in value, the company still looks too pricey to me.
Cybersecurity specialist CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD -0.28%) got hammered with a sell recommendation from a top bank on Monday. The resulting sell-off continued on Wednesday; the stock closed down almost 6% on the day.
Analyst Walter Pritchard at Citigroup inauspiciously launched coverage of CrowdStrike with a sell recommendation and a price target ($43 per share) well under its level at the time.
That's very discouraging, but it's important to note that Pritchard's opinion centers around the company's rich valuations (kind of like Salesforce, come to think of it) more than fundamental or strategic weakness.
CrowdStrike has been one of the hit tech stock IPOs of this year, with a $34-per-share IPO price nearly tripling at its peak. Since then, investors have collectively taken a breath and knocked down the stock by almost 50%.
I feel that the market's rush into the stock was a bit hasty, even though the company has a good reputation and operates in a hot segment of IT that will only get hotter (think of how many businesses worry about data breaches these days).
Like numerous peers, however, CrowdStrike is still a young enterprise and hasn't yet demonstrated it can be profitable. Analysts are predicting continued bottom-line losses into the near future.
Profitability still matters, even with cutting-edge tech enterprises in the right business segment. I like CrowdStrike as a company, but I'd have to agree with Citi's assessment that CrowdStrike's stock is expensive at the moment.