As two of tech's most watched companies continue to make new highs, in terms of valuation, Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) still present seemingly more attractive growth opportunities than the embattled Facebook (FB). Despite watching its stock price decrease by more than half since its debut in the last four months, the social network is still more expensive than the iPhone maker and search engine giant.
Investors of Apple have enjoyed a scorching return of over 60 percent year-to-date, and shares are still making new all-time highs. On top of that, the company also started paying a decent dividend earlier this year as well. With the recent patent win over Samsung and the upcoming release of the iPhone 5, investors have another major catalyst to hang their hats on.
As for Google, shares of the company hit over $700 per for the first time since 2007, but are still slightly off from its all-time high of $747. Though Google's stock price has gained just north of 6 percent year-to-date, it's up over 25 percent over the past three months.
Facebook's struggles have been well-documented as it's pretty clear now that the market may have gotten ahead of itself with this particular name. Yet, just how far and how much were optimistic buyers willing to pay for Facebook's potential?
Currently, Facebook's forward PE is still much more expensive than both Apple and Google's. Facebook is trading at 29.73 versus Apple at 12.65 and Google at 14.16. Looking at PEG--which looks at a company's forward earnings and growth rate over the next five years to determine its "true value"--Facebook at 1.42 is nice, but not nearly as low as Google's 1.06 and Apple's astounding 0.69.
Though for Facebook, much of the company's value proposition was the speculation that it can effectively monetize it's large membership. The social network has already rolled out several new products intended to do just that. How they perform and whether the company can transition its platform smoothly to mobile usage will still need some time to play out.
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