Is it too late to buy these high-flying shares?

Although the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has been struggling to break meaningfully through the 6,000 points mark, a number of popular ASX shares haven’t let that hold them back.

Two shares which have been racing notably higher in 2018 are listed below. Is it too late to buy these high-flying shares? I don’t think it is, here’s why:

Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)

The market may be sinking lower today but that hasn’t stopped the Appen share price from pushing higher again. At the time of writing Appen’s shares are up 1.5% to $9.62, extending their 12-month return to a staggering 263%. Despite this strong gain I think the machine learning and artificial intelligence dataset provider’s shares are great value for investors willing to make a patient buy and hold investment. In FY 2017 Appen delivered a 62% year-on-year lift in EBITDA thanks to strong demand for its datasets. Management expects this earnings growth to accelerate to between 77.9% and 96% in FY 2018. I don’t think 30x estimated forward earnings is overly expensive given the company’s impressive growth profile.

Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV)

Although it is in the red now, this morning the fast fashion jewellery retailer’s share price reached an all-time high of $9.61. I can’t say I’m surprised by its shares scaling to new heights after the company smashed expectations once again during earnings season. Lovisa reported half-year revenue of $118.6 million and net profit after tax of $24.8 million. This was an 18.9% and 22.5% increase, respectively, on the prior corresponding period. I expect more of the same in the future thanks to its international expansion and strong organic growth. Speaking of which, the company recently stepped foot in the U.S. market and, although it is still only early days, things appear to be going well. If the company is able to expand nationwide then I think there could still be many years of strong growth ahead for Lovisa and its share price.

Finally, if you're looking for the next Appen of Lovisa then take a look at these up and coming growth stocks.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Appen Ltd. 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 Scott Phillips.

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