Last December, I put Fleetcor Technologies (NYSE: FLT) through The Value Meter.
Fleetcor provides payment cards for its 100,000-plus customers to give to their employees so they can pay for corporate expenses, like fuel and lodging.
These cards increase the control those customers have over employee spending and eliminate the administrative costs involved in filing and processing expense reports.
Fleetcor was founded as a tiny business with less than $25 million in revenue by Ron Clarke in 2000.
Over the past two decades, Clarke grew the company into one that generated $3.4 billion in revenue and almost $1 billion in net income last year.
With this incredible growth, you won’t be surprised to learn that Fleetcor’s stock has performed incredibly well.
Since Fleetcor went public in 2010, the stock has increased eightfold and has vastly outperformed the overall market. Clarke still runs Fleetcor, and he personally owns more than $1 billion worth of stock.
Clarke has made himself and his shareholders rich.
I wrote, “Anytime we can buy shares of a company with those characteristics at all-time low valuations, we should do it. Opportunities like this are few and far between.”
Since then, Fleetcor’s share price has risen 44%, which is more than triple the 13% increase in the S&P 500.
A 44% share price increase is a very nice return over three years…
With Fleetcor, we saw a big jump in just over eight months!
A move this fast begs the question of whether Fleetcor’s valuation has increased as quickly as its stock price.
Last December, the stock was trading at 15 times trailing earnings.
That was a very attractive valuation point for a company with a long track record of growing earnings at an annualized rate of 10% to 15%.
With the sharp rise in Fleetcor’s trading price, the price-to-earnings ratio for the stock is now more than 21.
While I don’t think that is expensive for a company with Fleetcor’s track record, I do think it is a very fair valuation.
The tremendous quality of this company hasn’t changed since last December, but the attractiveness of the share price clearly has.
I am revising my Value Meter rating of Fleetcor Technologies shares from “Slightly Undervalued” to “Appropriately Valued.”
Rest assured, I’ll be keeping an eye on this long-term growth stock for another chance to acquire it at a better value.
Our 44% return in eight months was a tremendous success, and I’d love to do it again!
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