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Why WAAAX looks back as Appen Ltd and AfterPay shares go gangbusters

After a terrible October for ASX growth shares and disruptive technology shares, in particular, it appears that some investor favourite technology shares have found their mojo today.

These include the WAAAX acronym shares of WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC), Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), AfterPay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT), Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO).

In fact today Appen Ltd shares closed 9.4% higher at a three-week high of $11.87, while AfterPay rocketed 11% to $14.45 after releasing an update to investors over its progress in the US market.

It revealed that it has already had 300,000 consumers use its buy now, pay later product that lets shoppers pay for goods in four equal fortnightly instalments.

It already has 900 active retailers signed up in the US and another 1,300 in the pipeline that have signed agreements, or are in the process of getting set-up operationally. In fact, AfterPay claims that the total addressable market by gross market value of all the US retailers signed up so far is already larger than all the apparel retailers it has signed up in Australia.

AfterPay’s bread and butter are the apparel markets in Australia, in particular, youth fashion as sartorially-conscious students and young adults use it heavily.

However, it has also recently branched out into other verticals in Australia such as the dentist, flights, and white goods. It reports it also has the potential to expand verticals like this in the US and UK.

While the breakneck pace of growth in the US is impressive for such a young company, AfterPay is still forecasting an EBITDA loss around $20 million in FY 2019 as it is forced to invest heavily into the giant and complex US market to achieve its growth.

Appen released no specific news to the market today, but momentum traders and others who feel the stock offers long-term value given its outlook and growth rates were snapping up shares today.

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Motley Fool contributor Yulia Mosaleva owns shares of Xero. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO, Altium, Appen Ltd, WiseTech Global, and Xero. 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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