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If You Invested $5,000 in CoStar in 2013, This Is How Much You Would Have Today

The Motley Fool logo The Motley Fool 2/7/2023 Liz Brumer-Smith
If You Invested $5,000 in CoStar in 2013, This Is How Much You Would Have Today © Provided by The Motley Fool If You Invested $5,000 in CoStar in 2013, This Is How Much You Would Have Today

CoStar Group (NASDAQ: CSGP) is somewhat under the radar when it comes to "hot" growth tech stocks -- even though it has delivered incredible returns for investors over the years. Since 2013, the real estate tech giant has produced a 682% total return. In monetary terms, that means a $5,000 investment in CoStar Group in 2013 would have grown into roughly $39,500 today.

That's around $6,500 more than an investment in social media giant Meta Platforms would have netted from a $5,000 investment.

But past performance doesn't guarantee future returns. Does CoStar Group have what it takes to deliver similar returns on a $5,000 investment today? Let's take a closer look.

What led to CoStar's supersized growth since 2013?

CoStar Group is a real estate technology and analytics company that owns or has an interest in 24 different real estate listing platforms and brands, like commercial real estate platform and residential housing websites and Acquisitions have been the driving force of growth for the company. In its 36 years of tenure, CoStar has acquired over 30 companies.

These acquisitions mean CoStar has exposure to virtually every sector within the commercial and residential real estate industry, from hotels, buying and selling businesses, distressed assets, construction, land, and even asset management. The company makes money from fees for listings bought, sold, or rented on its platforms in addition to ad revenue on these sites and subscription fees for its analytics services. This means that the more sites it owns and the more people who subscribe to and use these platforms, the more money it makes.

Its acquisition model has proven extremely successful. Over the last 10 years, CoStar has seen its revenues grow by roughly 450% and its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) jump by 991%, while its earnings per share (EPS) has grown by over 12,000%. With growth at this clip, it's no surprise to hear its share price has grown similarly.

Can it duplicate its success?

CoStar Group is reliant on future acquisitions to continue to grow at its accelerated pace. It has plenty of cash on hand to fund the purchase of companies -- over $4.7 billion, to be exact. There's talk currently about CoStar Group acquiring in a $3 billion transaction; however, nothing has been confirmed as to whether this deal will go through.

Federal regulators like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could stop the deal from happening. The FTC has previously blocked several acquisition attempts by CoStar Group based on antitrust violations. Given CoStar Group's large exposure to the residential housing industry, there's a good chance this could send a red flag up for regulators. Luckily, there are still plenty of platforms available for acquisition opportunities -- especially in foreign countries.

CoStar Group recently acquired France's commercial real estate news platform Immo in 2022, in addition to adding Spain's largest commercial listing platform and Germany's online real estate platform Thomas Daily to its roster. The company has also been funneling a lot of its revenues into organic ad growth and expanding its services to gain more bookings on its existing platforms. This is driving organic growth for the company outside of acquisitions, something it should be able to continue doing, even if new acquisitions get blocked.

After taking a big hit in the market correction of 2022, CoStar Group has rebounded nicely, up roughly 10% since last year. Today the stock is trading around 88 times its earnings, which is a higher P/E ratio than other hot stocks like Tesla or Netflix.

Even with its premium pricing, I still feel an investment in CoStar Group is a smart move today. I believe CoStar will continue to deliver supercharged growth in the decades to come, and considering its financial position and diverse portfolio of assets, it's a high-growth stock worth owning.


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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Liz Brumer-Smith has positions in CoStar Group. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends CoStar Group, Meta Platforms, Netflix, and Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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