Is it too late to buy Aristocrat Leisure Limited shares?

This year the Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) share price has been one of the standout performers on the local share market.

With its shares up another 2% today, the gaming solutions company’s shares have risen almost 50% since the turn of the year.

Is it too late to invest?

With its shares changing hands at approximately 29x annualised earnings, it certainly isn’t the bargain buy it was at the start of the year.

But for the level of growth it is producing, I feel it could be a decent option for patient buy and hold investors.

After all, in May the company posted a stunning 56.9% jump in half-year profit from ordinary activities after tax to $249.6 million.

The key driver of this strong result was its fast-growing digital segment. Profit in the segment grew 53.3% to $77.7 million thanks partly to the sustained popularity of its Heart of Vegas game.

I’m not the only one that has taken a liking to the company. A research note out of Citi this morning argues that Aristocrat Leisure’s shares are great value.

Its analysts believe that the continued success of its Lightning Link games collection could provide the company with stronger-than-expected growth this year.

Looking further ahead, Citi is of the opinion that Aristocrat’s pipeline of games will result in strong earnings growth for a good few years to come.

As a result, the investment bank has a buy rating and $25.45 price target on its shares.

Overall, I would have to agree with Citi on this one. Whilst I would love to invest at a cheaper price, there’s a reasonable chance that its shares are on an upwards trajectory and may not provide such an opportunity.

In light of this, I would suggest investors consider a long-term buy and hold investment today ahead of rival Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (ASX: AGI).

Finally, if you like growth shares like Aristocrat Leisure, then I think you'll love these quality growth shares as well.

Top 3 ASX Blue Chips To Buy In 2017

For many, blue chip stocks mean stability, profitability and regular dividends, often fully franked..

But knowing which blue chips to buy, and when, can be fraught with danger.

The Motley Fool's in-house analyst team has poured over thousands of hours worth of proprietary research to bring you the names of "The Motley Fool's Top 3 Blue Chip Stocks for 2017."

Each one pays a fully franked dividend. Each one has not only grown its profits, but has also grown its dividend. One increased it by a whopping 33%, while another trades on a grossed up (fully franked) dividend yield of almost 7%.

The names of these Top 3 ASX Blue Chips are included in this specially prepared free report. But you will have to hurry. Depending on demand - and how quickly the share prices of these companies moves - we may be forced to remove this report.

Click here to claim your free report.

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.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.