Glamour Stock Excitement Starting to Fade

Although in recent years glamour stocks — companies with “big expectations and pricey shares, but little or no profits”—have paid off big because their popularity has boosted share price, “there are signs that investors are beginning to lose their patience,” writes Bloomberg columnist Nir Kaissar.

“Some of the most highly anticipated initial public offering of glamour companies this year have been a bust so far,” Kaissar points out, reporting that 45% of the companies in the Russell 3000 Index posted a profit margin greater than the weighted average margin for the index, and their stock prices rose by an average of 2%. He also cites data from Dartmouth professor Ken French that shows glamour stocks are down 4.3% over the last year through August, while the “boring” ones—reasonably priced, profitable businesses–are up by 6.4%.

“Even if the recent reversals turn out to be a short-term blip, investors must also navigate the likelihood that many glamour stocks will disappoint eventually, if they survive at all,” Kaissar writes, adding, “Glamour stocks have beaten boring ones just 25% of the time over rolling six-year periods since July 1963, counted monthly.”