The market may have had its first cooling-off period in weeks, but there is still no shortage of stocks trading near 52-week highs. For bulls, these rallies may seem like a dream come true, but for a skeptic like me, I use these pauses as motivation to evaluate companies trading near their 52-week highs to see if they really deserve their current valuations.
Keep in mind that some companies deserve to be trading at 52-week highs. Home Depot
Roll back your purchases?
The United States' largest retailer, Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart rolled out news this week that it plans to offer healthier food choices at its stores. The problem is healthier foods often cost more, and as we saw from SUPERVALU, food costs are rising faster than some grocers can absorb. Tack on a dismal season for sales of electronics, and Wal-Mart's stock could be hitting the sale rack.
More foundation please
No amount of make-up can cover up insiders scurrying for the exit at Estee Lauder
From a growth perspective, I have to agree with these insider sales. Analyst projections call for Estee Lauder to grow by just 6% in fiscal 2012 despite its sporting a relatively aggressive forward price-to-earnings ratio of 22. It's far too early in earnings season to determine how well luxury brands performed, but I'm not overly excited about Estee Lauder's prospects.
Better ingredients, better pizza, better sell?
Don't get me wrong, I love a good pizza, but investors may not be able to digest the potential of rising food costs at Papa John's International
Hopefully, CEO John Schnatter can forgive me for what I'm about to say, but Domino's Pizza
Have an opinion on any of the above companies? Let's hear about it in the comments section below!
Fool contributor Sean Williams does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this article. He highly recommends the March Madness pizza at Oggi's in San Diego if you love a cheesy pizza. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong. Home Depot and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Papa John's International. The Fool owns shares of Wal-Mart, Domino's Pizza, and SUPERVALU. 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 needs to be sold short.