These 3 ASX shares just hit 52-week highs: Is it too late to invest?

Over the last 12 months the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has put on a gain of approximately 6.5%.

Whilst this is a solid gain, it pales in comparison to the three shares below which have just raced to 52-week highs. Can they go higher?

The Iress Ltd (ASX: IRE) share price reached a 52-week high of $12.98 this morning, bringing the financial technology company’s 12-month gain to approximately 17%. The main catalyst for this gain appears to be a solid FY 2016 result, which saw reported net profit after tax rise 7% to $59.5 million. Whilst I do like the company and think it is one of the better fintech shares on the local market, I’m not a fan of its share price. At 31x trailing earnings, I think it is a little on the expensive side right now.

The Pioneer Credit Ltd (ASX: PNC) share price hit a 52-week high of $2.68 today, stretching its 12-month gain to over 50%. It isn’t hard to see why the debt collection company’s shares have been on a tear. Yesterday the company increased its full-year net profit after tax guidance to $10.7 million thanks to the success of its disciplined approach to investing in purchased debt portfolios. Furthermore, management advised that it expects net profit after tax to increase at least 49% to $16 million in FY 2018. If it delivers on this then I believe its shares could still climb higher from here.

The Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) share price reached another 52-week high of $15.20 today. This means the insurance giant’s shares have gained over 19% since this time last year. The successful implementation of a new operating model is largely behind the improved performance and notable share price gain. Whilst I feel its shares are now looking close to fully valued, I still believe Suncorp would be a good buy and hold investment option.

Especially because Suncorp provides a strong fully franked dividend. Just like this hot dividend stock.

NEW! Dividend expert names his top ASX income stock for 2017-18

You probably don't know this market leader, but it's making waves in Asia and already boasts a term-deposit-crushing dividend of almost 5%. A debt free balance sheet and dominant market position at home and abroad mean this company offers investors income and some real-deal growth potential.

Simply click here to discover the name, code and a full investment analysis in our brand-new FREE report, "The Motley Fool's Top Dividend Stock for 2017-18."

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.