Xero hits another record high

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Tech stock Xero, which hit a record high yesterday, can still rise higher, one analyst says.

The cloud-based accounting services company, which dual listed in Australia (ASX: XRO) last Thursday, jumped 50 cents on the NZX yesterday (NZX: XRO) to hit a record high of $6.30.

Xero started the year at $2.76.

Earlier today, Hamilton Hindin Greene director Grant Williamson told NBR ONLINE the Australian listing might push the price up "a little bit" further.

By 5pm he was proved right, with the stock lifting another 7 cents to $6.37 on trade of more than $920,000 – valuing the company at $683 million.

Mr Williamson says a lift in price was expected from the ASX listing but the degree of the rise was surprising.

"It's a relatively tightly-held stock so as you get more buyers, and you've now got the Australian buyers interested. It's just pushing that price up when there's not a lot of selling around."

Trading volumes in Australia were initially low – with 70,781 shares traded on its first day last Thursday and 62,378 shares on Friday. Yesterday 127,287 shares changed hands.

"This company hasn't turned a profit but they have been concentrating purely on the top line and selling product," Mr Williamson says.

"As the revenues gain a lot of scale then you would expect that to flow through to the bottom line."

Banking on hefty profits

Questions have been asked this year whether Xero is worth half a billion dollars, especially compared to other tech stocks.

Mr Williamson says similar companies would eventually trade on a price-earnings ratio of 10 or slightly more.

Given Xero's market cap of $675 million today, he says that equates to earnings of more than $60 million.

"Investors are obviously very confident it is going to produce some hefty profits in due course."

Forsyth Barr analyst Andrew Harvey-Green says a dual listing was unlikely to have a negative impact.

He says shareholders who bought early and are looking for a short-term profit might consider exiting because of the record share price. However, some shareholders will be in for the long haul.

"Xero's at the very early stage of its development. If it's able to achieve its goals and get well above one million customers, today's share price will look relatively low."

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