Is it too late to buy these FTSE 100 high-flyers?

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Burberry fashion AW16

Luxury fashion brand Burberry(LSE: BRBY) has without doubt been one of the great British success stories of recent times. It has an (almost) unblemished record of growth stretching all the way back to its 2002 IPO, when it was floated on the London Stock Exchange at 230p per share and valued at £1.15bn. It's been a story of steady and consistent growth ever since, with the company now worth almost £6.8bn and its shares changing hands at around 1,540p.

Great British brand

But the luxury goods sector as a whole has been finding it tough recently, with the slowdown in China in particular having an impact on Burberry and its peers. This was reflected in the group's results for FY2016, which saw pre-tax profits falling by £29m to £416m on slightly lower revenues of £2,515m.

Following the slightly disappointing, but not entirely unexpected, results the share price fell to three-year lows at the start of the summer. However, investors with a longer-term view were quick to buy up shares in the FTSE 100 fashion firm, and the subsequent rally means that Burberry's shares have gained around 50% since last June. So is it too late to buy this Great British brand, or is there more to come from Burberry?

The group's most recent trading update confirmed the challenging market conditions, with half-year revenues for the first six months of the current fiscal year slipping 4% on an underlying basis to £1.15bn, with adjusted pre-tax profits being hit much harder, down 24% to £146m. Clearly the group is operating in a tough trading environment with plenty of uncertainty with regards to the health of the global economy. And after the strong rally since June, the shares look fully valued at around 21 times forecast earnings for the year to the end of March.

Dominant position

Meanwhile another ex-Burberry stablemate from the former GUS (Great Universal Stores) retailing group, Experian(LSE: EXPN), has also seen its share price soar in recent months. Like Burberry, the Dublin-based information services provider has an excellent track record of earnings growth with shareholders seeing the value of their holdings rising to all-time highs of 1,594p in October.

The FTSE 100 group, which specialises in financial and personal credit data, is the best known name in this area as far as most consumers are concerned and continues to hold a dominant position in its market. It's also seeing further steady expansion into emerging markets and new products in areas such as fraud, health and analytics.

The shares have significantly outperformed the market over the past year, rising more than 40% in the last 12 months. They now look a little overbought, trading on a forward P/E rating of 22 when compared to much lower historical levels. In my view Experian remains a good long-term growth play, but I would wait for a better entry point and buy on weakness.

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Bilaal Mohamed has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Burberry. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.


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