Corporate Travel Management Ltd share price hits a 52-week high: Is it too late to buy?

Credit: deeplimo

Shares in Corporate Travel Management Ltd  (ASX: CTD) soared to a record high of $14.55 this morning after the company announced the acquisition of USA-based Travizon Travel for US$21 million.

This deal has been priced at 5.5x Travizon Travel’s calendar year 2015 earnings of US$3.8 million and will deepen the group’s US footprint following on from the acquisition of Montrose Travel earlier in the year.

The latest purchase will be funded through a mix of scrip and cash, with the cash drawn from US operating earnings and short-term debt denominated in US dollars. This makes sense given the strong US dollar and as Corporate Travel continues to source more of its earnings outside of Australia.

The group’s chief executive Jamie Pherous also updated the market that he expects a “strong” second half of FY16 North American result, with an “excellent platform” now built for FY17 and beyond in the region.

The entrepreneurial Mr Pherous also recently announced a deal with Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) (the operator of Coles, Target, Kmart and more) to launch an online travel website for users to redeem flybuys loyalty rewards points against travel expenses like flights and hotels.

The flybuys rewards program is reported to be Australia’s largest loyalty rewards program and the deal looks a coup for Corporate Travel in effectively entering the retail travel market with a powerful partner and giant customer base.

More established operators in this space like Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) may now be looking nervously over their shoulder as they now have some extra competition backed up by the long reach of the flybuys rewards program.

How financially material this deal is to Corporate Travel is hard to know, but given management’s track record and the platform provided, I would not bet against it becoming a success.

The stock is up 36% over the past year and 560% over the past four years, with more strong earnings growth forecast for the current financial year. It looks a reasonable bet for growth-oriented investors, who could look to build a position in parcels to average out the entry price.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares of Corporate Travel Management Limited.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

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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