Afterpay (APT): How to grow your share portfolio in 2020

To celebrate Under the Radar Report's ninth birthday we are releasing case studies on nine stocks to showcase how important Small Caps are for growing your ASX share portfolio.


Under the Radar Report was one the few stock report's to first tip Afterpay (APT) in May 2017, when it was Afterpay Holdings (AFY) before the merger with payments group and 30% shareholders Touchcorp (TCH).

Read more about Investing in Small Caps. Why we picked these ASX Small Cap gems and their outstanding performance.

We saw growth potential

We covered Afterpay at $2.51 in May 2017. Now it is trading at $74.42, delivering a return of 2,888%.

Why did we choose this Small Cap?

What stood out was its fast and simple online approval process, proprietary technology and high customer and merchant growth.

What we saw was a strong balance sheet, a young management team, which had vision. To start with, we were wary and it was just one of a stable of companies with innovative point of sale technology. Its relationship with TCH was complicated and the companies were merging, with obvious related party concerns.

Why did Afterpay make money?

What Afterpay did have was a burgeoning base of high profile customers like Optus and 7-Eleven. Plus, it was exceptional that the company was profitable, even at that early point in its lifecycle, highlighting how big its gross margins were, although it was burning cash as it was spending to grow. In fact, it still is. Growth doesn’t come cheap.

In this week's stock report we have also recommened 9 best growth stocks to buy. Join today to gain access and start growing your ASX share portfolio.

Why is valuing these types of businesses difficult?

The market often gives ‘blue sky’ valuations to disruptors that are taking share from incumbents. Back in early 2017, Afterpay was capitalised at $450m with annualised revenues of $12m compared to around $360m for establish consumer finance group Flexigroup (FXL), which had a $700m market cap.

Are you ready to invest in ASX Stocks now?

Get access to our best stocks to buy now. 14 days free. No credit card required just enter your email and you're away.

What is the investment lesson from Afterpay?

What we learned as we gained more comfort was that millennials and merchants were falling in love with Afterpay, or at least the financial equivalent, allowing the company to establish a network effect.

Back in 2017 international opportunities were only being talked about. Now it is entrenched in the US and recently entered the UK. Consequently, expectations are very high, so we have taken profits a number of times. It is now capitalised at over $21bn, more than seven times the combined value of regional banks Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) and Bank of Queensland (BOQ).

Then again, Amazon has been unprofitable for most of its existence and is only marginally profitable these days, yet is valued at US$1.54 trillion (A$2.12 trillion). If you can keep growing for long enough and dominate the market space, almost anything is possible.

The Australian finance sector remains a growing market with increasingly attractive dividends. Learn more on how to time the market using greater insights to making a return.

What do we think of Afterpay now?

We don’t think Afterpay is another Amazon, but it does have first mover advantage in the small Australian market and its competitive advantage is strengthening and more important, has been gaining traction in North America. It now heads into an unprecedented time in its short life where its credit quality and ability to grow will be tested. Regulatory risks also remain. PayPal (market cap US$212bn) has also entered the BNPL scene, so life is getting much tougher at the top.
But if you got in early, you can watch all this with a degree of bemusement. It will take a lot to dislodge this Small Cap turned Emerging Global Payments Giant.

Want to access all of our ASX market research and analysis?

Join Now!

5 highest performing Oil Stocks on the ASX

Click Here!


Richard Hemming

Richard Hemming

Follow Richard on linkedin

Richard is a leading market commentator and expert on ASX Small Caps provides investment opportunities in Small Caps that you won’t get anywhere else.

Under the Radar Report is licensed to give general financial advice only (ASFL: 409518). The author does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned.

Under the Radar Report is licensed to give general financial advice only (ASFL: 409518). The author does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned.

Related Articles

Top 3 Small-Cap Stocks to Watch and Invest in for 2024 - Expert Picks


Buy ASX Shares that you know at the right price


GET RICH WITH RICH: 3 ASX Shares to invest in 2024