Is the Cochlear share price headed above $100 in 2016?

Credit: DubSnipe

The Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) share price appears well on its way to pushing through the $100 mark it has come tantalisingly close to several times in the past year.

Four times shares have reached above $90, only to fall back, including to a 52-week low of $76.73 in early August. Investors selling out then now look a bit silly, and will probably look even sillier in future if the share price continues to power higher.

Cochlear is the global leader when it comes to devices for hearing loss, including cochlear implants, bone conduction implants and wireless accessories. Continued investment in research of new products has allowed Cochlear to charge premium prices for its products – after all when it comes to something physically attached to your head, you don’t want to have any issues of any sort.

Cochlear’s market is a growing one too as more people around the world enter the middle class and are able to afford its products, particularly in countries such as China and India. The vast majority of the company’s revenues come from the Americas and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), with just 17% from the Asia-Pacific region.

Cochlear also estimates that penetration of providers into the global deafness and hearing loss market is just 5% with an estimated 360 million people worldwide affected.

The company recently confirmed its 2016 financial year guidance for net profit of between $165 million and $175 million. That compares to a net profit of around $146 million last financial year and equates to a P/E ratio of between 30x and 33x.

Foolish takeaway

If you were looking for a cheap company Cochlear is not it, but holding this high-quality company for the long term should see you beat the market. My self-managed super fund has held shares in Cochlear for more than 7 years, topping up when I can, and I’ll likely continue to hold for another 7 years at least. At some stage, shares will pass the $100 mark – the only question is how soon?

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Cochlear. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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