Paladin Energy share price hits a 12-year high: Too late to buy?

Is this high-flying stock still in the buy zone? Or is it too late?

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The Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN) share price is having a very strong session.

At the time of writing, the uranium miner's shares are up 7% to a 12-year high of $16.74.

This means the company's shares are now up an impressive 155% since this time last year.

To put that into context, a $10,000 investment into Paladin Energy shares a year ago would now be worth approximately $25,500 today.

Why is the Paladin Energy share price at a 12-year high?

Investors have been scrambling to buy the company's shares over the last 12 months due to booming uranium prices.

There have been a number of catalysts for this. This includes production shortfalls in Kazakhstan, which is the largest producer of the chemical element, and forecasts for very strong growth in demand thanks to many countries embracing nuclear power as part of their decarbonisation plans.

In addition, recent news that the United States is banning Russian supplies has sparked further concerns over the supply/demand balance.

And while all this is happening, Paladin Energy has been busy restarting its Langer Heinrich Mine (LHM) in Namibia. In fact, it just recently announced that commercial uranium concentrate production and drumming were achieved at the LHM. It is now focused on its production ramp-up and building a finished product inventory, ahead of shipments to customers.

Is it too late to invest?

Unfortunately, most brokers now believe that the Paladin Energy share price has peaked or is close to peaking. At least for the time being.

For example, a recent note out of Bell Potter reveals that its analysts have a buy rating but a $1.65 (now $16.50 following its reverse stock split). This is a touch below where the company's shares are currently trading.

The broker highlights that "at full capacity LHM will be a top ten producer supplying 6Mlbs pa by FY26 (BPe)."

Elsewhere, the team at Citi put a buy rating and $17.00 price target on the company's shares last week. This implies a potential upside of just 1.5% for investors from current levels.

And finally, the most bullish broker is arguably Morgan Stanley. It has an overweight rating and a $17.45 price target on the uranium producer's shares. Based on its current share price of $16.74, this suggests a modest upside of 4.2% over the next 12 months.

All in all, based on these recommendations, investors may want to wait for a pullback before considering an investment in Paladin Energy's shares.

Citigroup is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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