Is it time you bought Pro Medicus Limited shares?

Pro Medicus Limited (ASX:PME) reports a 98% jump in profits, but is it too late to buy this growth share?

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Shareholders of medical imaging company Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME) have had a great start to the week. Its share price has jumped 4.4% higher after the company released its FY 2016 investor presentation to the market.

Despite Pro Medicus reporting stunning full year results last week, its share price barely budged an inch. Revenue rose 56.9% to $27.6 million and net profit after tax jumped a massive 97.9% to $6.37 million.

Perhaps the most likely reason the share price failed to respond to last week’s results was down to the fact that in the last 12 months its shares had already climbed around 200%. The rampant buying of the company’s shares now means that Pro Medicus has a market capitalisation of approximately $626 million on just $27.6 million of sales.

That equates to a price-to-sales ratio of almost 23, compared to the market average of 3.3. Whilst this is clearly an above-average company with above-average growth prospects, can it justify such a premium today?

The company may only have sales amounting to $27.6 million, but the North American picture archiving and communication market it operates in is worth over $2 billion per year and growing according to management.

The company claims its market-leading Visage product suite to be number one for speed, functionality, and scalability. Judging by the number of key contracts it has been winning recently, I wouldn’t for a second doubt them over this claim.

But what are the chances of them winning a sizable market share that justifies the share price today? Well management believes the market it operates in is highly fragmented and in the process of consolidating. This puts the company in a great position in my opinion, especially with Pro Medicus being 12 months ahead of its competitors according to CEO Sam Hupert’s interview with Open Briefing last week.

This certainly bodes well for Pro Medicus’ future growth prospects and puts it in a great position to capture a growing share of the US market in my opinion.

But ultimately the next 12 months are going to be key to justifying the premium as far as I’m concerned. If the company can win further contracts and grow its share of the market then I would expect investors will remain bullish, but failure to live up to lofty expectations that the market has for it could result in the share price being cut down dramatically.

Although I am a big fan of the company, I would suggest investors restrict any investment to a small part of their portfolio. Pro Medicus undoubtedly has enormous potential like Impedimed Limited (ASX: IPD) and Nanosonics Ltd. (ASX: NAN), but should be classed as a reasonably high-risk investment.

Overall I wouldn’t invest in Pro Medicus today in the hope of another 200% return in the next 12 months, but I would consider making an investment in the company today for its long-term growth potential.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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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