Consensus earnings growth does not justify share price for AAPL, AMZN, NOK, VMW, or CRM

 We have been seeing a lot of price justification related to AAPL’s recent climb to near the $300 level. Arguments abound that despite trading at a P/E multiple of 25.3x, AAPL is cheap on a fundamental basis due on its growth trajectory and its cash position. Based on comparative multiples, this may be a flawed argument. A classic method to test whether the market is pricing appropriately for future growth is to calculate the PEG ratio (price-to-earnings-growth). If a stock had a PEG ratio of 1.0x, investors should consider future earnings growth to be fully priced into the stock, and that its growth trajectory is “fairly valued”. Below 1.0x, there is a gap between the stock price and future earnings, and there is a buying opportunity. A PEG ratio above 1.0x infers that the market is overpaying for earnings growth.