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This FTSE stock is up 70% in 12 months. Is it too late to buy shares?

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Some FTSE stocks have offered excellent returns in the past 12 months. Safestore Holdings (LSE:SAFE) is up over 70% in the past 12 months. Is it too late to buy shares for my portfolio or is the upward trajectory set to continue? Let’s take a look.

Storage demand on the rise

Safestore is the UK’s largest provider of self-storage solutions and the second-largest provider in Europe. Safestore has 176 stores across five countries including France and Spain. In the UK it has 125 locations with 47 in London alone.

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The rise in demand for self-storage space since the pandemic began has been linked to economic performance. The burgeoning housing market and e-commerce boom for businesses has led to the need for more space and storage solutions. Safestore is one of a number of FTSE stocks in this space that have benefitted. Others that spring to mind are Big Yellow Box and Clipper Logistics

As I write, shares in Safestore are trading for 1,340p compared to 12 months ago when they were 769p. A 74% return is impressive. Shares have also surpassed pre-crash highs of 854p in February 2020 and are currently trading at all-time highs.

Performance and outlook ahead

Safestore has a good track record of performance. I understand that past performance is not a guarantee of the future but I use it as a gauge when reviewing investment viability. I can see that revenue and gross profit have increased for the past four years including 2020, which was affected by the pandemic.

In its most recent trading update released on 18 November for Q4, Safestore’s impressive performance continued. Revenue, closing occupancy, and average storage were all up compared to the same period last year. There was progress in all locations nationally and internationally too. Full-year results are set to be ahead of expectations which is good news for potential investors and existing shareholders alike.

In addition to the positive financial news, Safestore confirmed plans for new sites and stores in the UK, Spain, and France, which is pleasing to see. There are also plans to extend other locations with more space to meet increased demand. FTSE stocks that have impressive performance coupled with a clear plan for growth are those I am on the lookout for.

FTSE stocks have risks

Safestore does have its risks too. Its recent performance has been linked to economic positives as mentioned earlier. The housing market could tail off due to the end of the stamp duty holiday as well as rising inflation and record house prices. This could affect demand. In addition to this, rising inflation and costs could eat away at margins for Safestore. Finally, with the Safestore share price trading close to all-time highs, if the demand were to tail off or negative news arose, it could result in a share price drop.

Overall, I believe Safestore’s upward trajectory is set to continue. I wish I had bought shares earlier to have achieved an even better return but I would still buy at current levels. I am tempted to do this before full-year results are announced in mid-January, as they are expected to be ahead of expectations.

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Jabran Khan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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