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.
I've been taking a weekly look at five unexpected cheapies. Let's try a few more.
This Year P/E
Next Year P/E
National Bank of Greece
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 60 times next year's projected profitability."
Then again, there is more to this basket of presumably pricey stocks than meets the cynical eye.
Like many smallish Chinese companies, Yongye got slammed recently with fraud accusations. You know what trumps obscure critics questioning the company's acquisitions, product claims, and management compensation? Let's go with a $50 million investment from Morgan Stanley's
Rubicon Technology sells sapphire substrates that are used in the LED market. Its latest quarter was a beauty. Revenue more than doubled, and earnings grew even faster. Analysts see profits sliding after a sharp pop this year, but what do the pros know? Rubicon has beaten Wall Street's bottom-line targets by 13% or better every quarter over the past year.
Alternative energy has gone from speculatively expensive to downright cheap. Power-One makes DC-to-AC power inverters for the solar and wind industries. Despite the sky-high potential for alternative energy, Power-One's forward earnings multiple is in the single digits.
Qihoo 360 certainly stands out among these stocks. How can a stock selling for 60 times next year's net income be considered cheap? Well, Qihoo 360 is growing even faster than that. As the company behind China's second-most-popular Web browser, Qihoo 360 has made the most of its captive audience to introduce online games, antivirus software, and other services.
Qihoo 360 may have been barely profitable last year, but earnings will pop nicely this year before nearly doubling in 2012.
Finally we have National Bank of Greece. Yes, buying into Greece is as risky as it sounds. There is a sovereign debt crisis going on. However, National Bank of Greece is just coming off its fifth consecutive profitable quarter.
Adding it up
None of these stocks is 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 is that they aren't as expensive as pundits make them out to be.
It's the opportunity you didn't know you were waiting for.
Interested in reading more about any of these stocks? Add them to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis. And if you like these five stocks, check out the six stocks that Tom and David Gardner think you should be watching in a free special report.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Power-One, Yongye, and National Bank of Greece. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Yongye. 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.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz also believes that expensive stocks can get even more expensive, too. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.