Premier Investments Limited shares race to a 52-week high: Is it too late to invest?

Although it finished the day in the red, at one stage on Friday the Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) share price rose to an all-time high of $16.15.

This meant the retail conglomerate’s shares had climbed almost 15% over the last 12 months.

Why have Premier Investments’ shares being on a tear?

Investors have been fighting to get hold of the company’s shares since the release of a strong half-year result in March.

That result revealed half-year revenue of $634 million and reported net profit after tax of $78.6 million. This was an increase of 6.8% and 9.4%, respectively, compared to the prior corresponding period.

The main driver of this growth was the company’s Smiggle brand. It delivered global sales of $170.7 million, up 26.7% on the prior corresponding period. Strong like-for-like sales growth and the opening of 35 new stores were behind Smiggle’s strong performance.

Another driver was the performance of its online business. Total online sales grew by 71.2% during the period to $56 million. Which puts the company on course to achieve its $100 million online sales target during the 2018 calendar year. This is two years ahead of schedule.

The biggest drag on its performance during the half was arguably its investment in Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR). The value of this investment has fallen almost 70% due to Myer’s poor run.

Should you invest?

After their strong run higher over the last few weeks, Premier Investments’ shares are priced at approximately 23x trailing earnings.

I think this makes them about fair value given their strong growth potential of Smiggle, its online business, and also the Peter Alexander brand.

In light of this, I would put Premier Investments up there alongside Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV) as one of the best retail shares on the local market. Though, in respect to the latter, investors might want to wait for the dust to settle on its recent CEO resignation before snapping up shares.

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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 and has recommended Premier Investments 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 Scott Phillips.

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