The Motley Fool

Should I buy REA Group Limited (ASX:REA) shares for capital growth? 

REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) is a popular choice for many investors and understandably so. As far as company metrics go, it ticks all of the right boxes.

But we need to ask ourselves, despite how good the company appears to be, is the current share price worth it? 

REA Group is a media and publishing business that operates within the real estate industry. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would already know that the real estate market within Australia has been booming for quite some time.

REA Group has been a major beneficiary of this market upswing and as such long-term holders in this stock have been handsomely rewarded. The share price has doubled in the past five years with the company proving itself as an earnings juggernaut.

Comfortingly and broadly speaking, the company appears to be theoretically setup to withstand a house price correction via its simple business model. REA Group charges customers money to list on its website thus making money in a rising market, but also making money in a falling market. 

Since 2008, total revenue from the company has grown from $156 million to $671 million, whilst net profits have increased almost 10 fold from $22 million to $206 million.  

The company’s share price is approximately 43 times that of earnings which suggests that the market is expecting earnings to grow. Earnings per share for the 30 June 2017 financial year were $1.77 with the 30 June 2018 amount predicted to top $2.09.

Looking further down the track, REA Group is expected to return $3.06 per share in 2020, which if you bought on today’s price of $90.10, would result in a price to earnings ratio of 29x earnings in two years’ time.

Along with this rather expensive price tag, REA Group also has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63:1. The current interest rate environment is conducive for debt fuelled operations. However, these levels should be watched closely as an interest rate rise approaches. 

Acknowledging the hefty share price and presence of debt, it should also be noted that REA Group has been historically responsible with profits. Total earnings per share since 2008 are approximately $9.03 with the company paying out $4.10 in dividends.

What this means is that REA Group has retained and reinvested $4.93 in profits for book value per share to increase by $5.42. Ultimately, this is a positive equation and only adds to the company’s track record of high performance. 

Historically, the company has grown profits, dividends, net assets and importantly for the shareholders, market capital. If the past is any indication of the future, REA Group is a must for all long-term investors’ watch lists.

Foolish takeaway

Personally, I believe REA Group is slightly too expensive to invest in now. However, this media and publishing business holds a very firm position at the top of my watch-list. Another in the sector to watch is the recently listed Domain Holdings Australia Ltd (ASX: DHG), while other businesses may help you profit from the AI boom….

The Rocket Fuel of the AI Boom

One of the world’s richest people is sounding the alarm on what could be a trillion-dollar technology.

Everyone is talking about the artificial intelligence revolution.

Harvard Business Review calls it, “the most important general-purpose technology of our era.”

One Google Insider predicts AI, “will be as transformative as the discovery of electricity.” And it already is transforming industry after industry.

After all we have been hearing about AI for years…but it never really lived up to the hype…so what’s finally unlocked this huge tidal wave of innovation?

Click here to learn more!

Motley Fool contributor Matthew Breen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended REA Group 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.

One ASX Stock For An Estimated $US22 Billion Marijuana Market

A little-known ASX company just unlocked what some experts think could be the key to profiting off the coming marijuana boom.

And make no mistake – it is coming. To the tune of an estimated $US22 billion.

Cannabis legalisation is sweeping over North America, and full legalisation arrived in Canada in October 2018.

Here’s the best part: we think there’s one ASX stock that’s uniquely positioned to profit immensely from this explosive new industry… taking savvy investors along for what could be one heck of a ride.

AND, this is the first time The Motley Fool Australia has EVER put a BUY recommendation on a marijuana stock.

Simply click below to learn more on how you can profit from the coming cannabis boom.

Click here to find out more