Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, vacation rental website HomeAway (NAS: AWAY) has received a distressing two-star ranking.
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at HomeAway's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.
Austin, Texas (2004)
Internet information providers
Co-Founder/CEO Brian Sharples
Trailing-12-Month Operating Margin
$172.1 million / $0
Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.
Earlier this week, cibient touched on HomeAway's seemingly unsustainable valuation:
Dangerous to short on P/E alone, I know. But as others have mentioned, I don't think this is the next big thing. It's a little awkward to consider staying in a stranger's house, both for the owner and the visitor. Sorry, but this is not going to be the next [priceline.com].
In fact, HomeAway currently sports a particularly lofty forward P/E of 60.2. That represents a clear premium to competitors Expedia (12.9), Priceline (17.5), and Wyndham Worldwide (12.0).
CAPS member MajorBob04 expands on the underperform argument:
The concept of renting someone else's house serves a special niche in the marketplace for people who want to feel like they're in a "home away from home". And it makes sense for people to make some money when they're away for extended periods of time. ... But how many homes are available for this service? And how many people would like to stay in someone else's house? Between Hotels, Motels and B&B's, the market is pretty well served already.
I don't see how they're going to grow into [their P/E] in the near future. So I expect that valuation to drop eventually, probably in the next quarter or two. Then this stock might be a nice value play. But not right now.
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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of HomeAway and Priceline. 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 Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.