4 Jul 2013

Xero shares rise to record $16.75

7:04 am on 4 July 2013

Shares in Xero, a high-tech market darling, reached yet another record on Wednesday, taking the stock's gains over the past year to about 230%.

By contrast, the Top 50 Index has gained just 30% over the past 12 months.

Xero shares gained 35 cents to $16.75 on Wednesday, taking the value the market puts on the company to $1.96 billion.

The accountancy software company is yet to report a profit and lost $14.4 million in the 12 months to the end of March.

To put that in perspective, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which in May reported a 20% jump in annual net profit to $77.1 million, is valued at $1.86 billion.

And TradeMe, which in February reported a $35 million first half net profit, is valued at $1.88 billion.

Xero's founder and managing director, Rod Drury, said it's wrong to compare Xero with such companies.

He said Xero is a global company and investors from Australia and the United States are looking at the transition from the old technology architectures to what is happening in the cloud.

Mr Drury said they are finding Xero and seeing that it's delivered, has a world class team and that people love the product.

He said Xero has significantly disrupted the market in Australia and New Zealand.

"We've put small business software and accountant's software together on the same platform, we have the accountants on board, we have an eco-system now of over 200 other companies that connect to Xero."

Mr Drury said no one has come forward to raise money and provide the breadth of product that Xero has and other incumbents have faltered.

He said Intuit won't disclose how many online customers it has nor its online revenue.

"When overseas companies look at us with a global lens on and they see how we've executed so well over the last seven years, we are one of the players in this space."

Mr Drury said Intuit is a $20 billion company but it could be argued that Xero is executing better than Intuit on the cloud, it's winning customers and has a bigger footprint in markets overseas.

He said Xero will be focusing on New Zealand, Australia, Britain and US markets over the next year.