With a current market cap of $27.5 billion, Salesforce.com trades at nine times sales and more than 51 times tangible book value. I admit that as a value investor, I seldom understand the way that the market prices growth names such as Salesforce.com. But I do understand that especially in technology, competitive forces are always finding ways to drive down costs, and to offer better products and services. CRM Price / Sales Ratio TTM Chart CRM Price / Sales Ratio TTM data by YCharts
CRM Price / Tangible Book Value Chart CRM Price / Tangible Book Value data by YCharts

Back in my Bloomberg days, several years ago, I noticed a consultant wearing something around his neck. It was a thumb drive, and the first I'd ever seen. As I recall, this amazing device could store 1GB of data, and cost in the neighborhood of $200. Now, you can buy one that stores 16GB for less than $10.

I admit it; I don't understand why investors are willing to pay so much for companies like Salesforce.com, which is now trading at all-time highs. What am I missing?

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Jonathan Heller, CFA, is president of KEJ Financial Advisors, his fee-only financial planning company. Jon spent 17 years at Bloomberg Financial Markets in various roles, from 1989 until 2005. He ran Bloomberg's Equity Fundamental Research Department from 1994 until 1998, when he assumed responsibility for Bloomberg's Equity Data Research Department. In 2001, he joined Bloomberg's Publishing group as senior markets editor and writer for Bloomberg Personal Finance Magazine, and an associate editor and contributor for Bloomberg Markets Magazine. In 2005, he joined SEI Investments as director of investment communications within SEI's Investment Management Unit.

Jon is also the founder of the Cheap Stocks Web site, a site dedicated to deep-value investing. He has an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and an MBA from Rider University, where he has also served on the adjunct faculty; he is also a CFA charter holder.

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