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The SEEK Limited (ASX:SEK) share price just hit an all-time high: Too late to invest?

It has been another positive day of trade for the SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK) share price.

The job listings company’s shares have pushed higher today and reached an all-time high of $21.34.

This latest gain means that SEEK’s shares have now risen an impressive 30% since this time last year.

Why are SEEK’s shares up 30% in 12 months?

In the first-half of FY 2018 SEEK delivered revenue and EBITDA growth of 26% and 20% on the prior corresponding period.

This strong performance led management to advise that it expects reported full-year net profit after tax to be at the upper end of its guidance range of $225 million to $230 million.

While this will be a decline from FY 2017’s reported net profit after tax of $340.2 million, it is worth remembering that this included a $174.3 million fair value gain on its Online Education Services business and other one-off items.

Excluding these from the equation reported net profit after tax would have been $201.5 million, meaning this year SEEK is on course to deliver earnings growth of around 14%.

Is it too late to buy shares?

I think it could be. Based on its guidance for FY 2018, I estimate that earnings per share will come in at 60.5 cents. This means SEEK’s shares are currently trading at a reasonably lofty 35x full-year earnings.

While I do think SEEK deserves to trade at a premium due to its strong market position and growing operations both at home and abroad, I feel its shares are starting to look a little on the expensive side now.

Not that I am in a hurry to sell my shares. I think SEEK is one of the best buy and hold options on the market, but I just wouldn’t be a buyer if I didn’t already own shares unless I could get in closer to the 30x earnings mark.

The same arguably applies to fellow listings businesses REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) and Carsales.Com Ltd (ASX: CAR). Both are quality businesses but I would suggest investors hold out for a pullback before making a move.

In the meantime I would be snapping up these top four shares in a hurry.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of SEEK Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended carsales.com Limited, REA Group Limited, and SEEK 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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