Your expectations can use a refresh button.
The best thing about growth stocks is that they often grow into their seemingly outlandish valuations. As long as earnings continue to grow, good things will typically follow.
Things get even more interesting when bottom-line growth outpaces gains in share price. Over time, that's a winning recipe for any investor.
The term "next year's earnings" now refers to 2012, and you may be amazed at how quickly some of the market's seemingly overpriced players are growing. Loftier profit targets translate into lower forward P/E multiples.
This Year P/E
Next Year P/E
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
Valuation is only a number
Many of these multiples -- even those clocking in for next year -- are chunky. You don't often hear something along the lines of "this stock is so cheap that it's trading for a mere 30 times next year's projected profitability."
Then again, there is more to this basket of presumably pricey stocks than meets the cynical eye.
Motricity doesn't seem like the kind of company that would be trading at a year ahead multiple in the single digits. The mobile data organizer is growing nicely, and the global smartphone boom is keeping Motricity busy.
The stock's been volatile since going public last year, but it's growing with every passing quarter. Earlier this month, Motricity posted a better than expected quarterly profit on an 11% top-line boost.
Entropic provides connected home entertainment solutions. It also knows how to make enemies, with more than a third of its outstanding shares sold short. That is not a bad thing, since a mere whiff of good news can trigger a short squeeze rally. Revenue nearly doubled in its latest quarter, soaring 91% as service providers rely on Entropic to enable the delivery of multiple streams of HD video and other content.
Chimera is popular with yield chasers given its plump 14.5% yield, but even then it's a relative weakling among mortgage REITs when pitted against American Capital Agency's
Not to be confused with the mortgage REIT with a similar name, American Capital is a private equity firm on the move. It may have taken its lumps during the darkest stretches of the recession but it's rolling these days. American Capital has come through with seven consecutive quarters of net unrealized appreciation on its investments.
Finally, we have Demand Media, the content farm that's had a rocky first few months since its IPO. Demand Media went public despite posting losses in the past. The future get brighter. It's hard to argue that Demand Media is cheap at more than 60 times this year's profit target or even 36 times next year's mark, but that's the kind of trajectory that often pays off for growth investors.
Adding it up
None of these stocks are immune to a market meltdown. If you're looking for bulwarks, you'll have to find them somewhere else.
These investments are largely high-beta growth stocks, and will likely remain that way for several more years. The key here, though, is that they aren't as expensive as pundits make them out to be.
It's the opportunity that you didn't know that you were waiting for.
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