Is it too late to buy ARM Holdings plc, International Consolidated Airlns Grp SA and Fevertree Drinks plc?

In the last five years, shares in British Airways owner IAG (LSE: IAG) have soared by 116%. A key reason for this is the improving performance of the global economy, with air travel in particular becoming increasingly popular. This has benefitted IAG and has enabled the company to report an improved financial performance.

For example, after making a loss in 2012, IAG’s profit has soared and the company is expected to grow its earnings by 49% in the current year. That’s an exceptional rate of growth and with a rise in IAG’s bottom line of 11% pencilled-in for next year, it remains an exceptional growth play.

Despite this (and its share price rise over the last five years), IAG trades on a very appealing valuation. For example, it has a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of only 0.2 and this indicates that while buyers of its shares today have missed out on excellent gains, there’s still scope for another doubling of IAG’s share price over the medium-to-long term.

Not too late?

Also rising rapidly in the last five years have been shares in ARM (LSE: ARM). The technology company is now trading 80% higher than it was five years ago and an incredible 800% higher than it was a decade ago.

Clearly, such a rapid growth rate could indicate that ARM’s shares are due for a fall, possibly due to profit-taking, for example. However, despite being a much more mature business than it was five or 10 years ago, ARM remains highly nimble and able to focus resources on areas where top-notch growth rates can still be achieved.

For example, it has benefitted from the surge in smartphone ownership across the globe in recent years, with ARM being a dominant supplier of processors. While there’s scope for further growth in this space as the emerging economies of the world become more consumer-focused, ARM is also investing in new growth areas such as the Internet of Things, which could sustain its double-digit earnings growth rate over the coming years. As such, far from being too late to buy ARM, now could prove to be the perfect time to do so.

Pricey P/E

Meanwhile, shares in beverages company Fevertree (LSE: FEVR) are also up in the last five years. Rising profitability has caused the company’s valuation to soar by 310% during the period and with further bottom line growth of 47% and 12% being forecast for the next two years, respectively, many investors may feel that buying Fevertree is a sound move.

While the business is performing well, the market seems to have priced-in Fevertree’s upbeat outlook. For example, it trades on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 41.1 and this indicates that while its bottom line may soar, its shares may fail to do likewise. And while the beverages sector is historically relatively expensive, there appear to be better risk/reward opportunities available elsewhere.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of ARM Holdings. The Motley Fool UK has recommended ARM Holdings. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.