Here’s why Class Ltd shares have gone gangbusters this year

Year to date one of the best performing shares on the ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) has been Class Ltd (ASX: CL1).

Shareholders of this high-flying provider of self-managed super fund (SMSF) software have seen the value of their holdings more than double with a 122% gain in 2016. In fact, since listing on the Australian stock exchange at the end of December 2015 its share price has risen a whopping 182%.

This incredible rise is not too surprising considering the company recently reported that it had increased its share of the SMSF market to an impressive 19.2%, following a 49.6% year on year lift in billable portfolios.

The strong growth in billable portfolios led to a 45% jump in operating revenue to $22.6 million and a stunning 71% increase in net profit after tax to $5.83 million. Its net profit margin of 25.8% was a 400 basis point rise year on year.

When it comes to judging the success of a company’s product or service I believe retention rate is key. It’s great announcing increases in subscriber numbers, but if you can’t retain them then you’ll never grow as a business.

Clearly users are incredibly satisfied with Class and its software. In FY 2016 the company posted a retention rate of 99.8%. This high retention rate underpins the strong recurring revenue stream of the business, with annualised licence fees increasing at a rapid clip.

Although its share price has risen meteorically this year and its shares trade at a significant premium to the market, I don’t believe it is too late to make a long-term buy and hold investment in the company. As far as I’m concerned there is still a lot of growth to come from this fledgling company that justifies paying over the odds for its shares.

Right now I would put Class up there with Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) and Catapult Group International Ltd (ASX: CAT) as one of the most promising tech shares on the Australian market.

Before making an investment in Class, have you looked to see if these three wealth destroying shares are in your portfolio? Now could be a great time to swap them out if you ask me.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Class Limited. 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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