3 ASX shares at 52-week highs: Is it too late to invest?

Although the Australian share market has come under pressure again this week, not all shares have sunk lower with it.

The three shares listed below have just hit 52-week highs or better. Is it too late to invest?

The BWP Trust (ASX: BWP) share price hit a 52-week high of $3.65 today. I suspect that investors have been picking up BWP Trust’s shares during the market selloff due to its defensive qualities. BWP Trust is a commercial real estate manager which has a portfolio of properties tenanted predominantly by Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) subsidiary Bunnings Warehouse. Although I think its shares look fully valued now, if the market volatility persists they could be a good addition to a portfolio.

The Inghams Group Ltd (ASX: ING) share price hit an all-time high of $4.57 today. This certainly is not good news for short sellers that have been targeting the poultry producer. Approximately 13.2% of its shares are held short at present, possibly due to concerns that the droughts could have a negative impact on its business through higher feed costs. Considering insiders have been buying shares on-market recently, I suspect that the company has not been impacted. However, I’m not a buyer right now as I feel its shares are fully valued.

The Mercury NZ Ltd (ASX: MCY) share price climbed to a 52-week high of $3.37 on Thursday. The New Zealand electricity company’s shares have been in demand recently due to the market volatility. As well as gold and the Japanese yen, investors will often buy utilities shares during a market selloff due to their defensive qualities. In addition to this, its shares were given a boost yesterday when ratings agency Standard & Poor’s confirmed Mercury’s corporate credit rating as BBB+/Stable. As with BWP Trust, if the market volatility persists, Mercury could be a good option for investors.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Wesfarmers 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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