3 Things About Couche-Tard Stock Every Smart Investor Knows

Couche-tard stock (TSX:ATD) may be up 30% this year, but look at the leadership and history of the stock to see just how high it can rise.

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If there’s one thing that smart investors should have learned, it’s that leadership is everything. Think of it. We get so obsessed about who is going to be the next prime minister of president, and yet when it comes to investing we don’t seem to have that much interest.

Which is why today, we’re going to change that. Especially when considering an investment in Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD). There are three things that investors should know about Couche-Tard stock now, and each have to do with the strong leadership over the last decade.

Who’s in charge?

First off, who exactly is in charge of Couche-Tard? Chief executive officer Brian Hannasch joined the company 20 years ago, but recently celebrated 10 years in the CEO position. And what’s more, he’s been enjoying the benefits of the position immensely.

Within the last year, Hannasch has sold $172 million worth of shares, for a profit of $132 million! All from showing that the convenience-store company will not only survive during tough times, but thrive. And even better, there is more to come.

Now you might be wondering about that sale and think he’s getting out. But far from it. Again, he’s just taking advantage of the share price just as any one would. Hannasch still has plenty of shares in the company. But I mean, with shares up over 375% since he came on the scene a decade ago, I would want to make some sales too.

Tough times

While Hannasch may have come on in 2014 after the Great Recession, he didn’t have a smooth road ahead. There were higher oil and gas prices, leading to difficulties for ATD stock as many investors pushed back buying. Then, of course, there was the pandemic, when ATD stock plummeted from restrictions. Hence why Hannasch hasn’t sold any shares since before that time.

The pandemic could have been it for the stock. However, Couche-Tard stock went on to soar ever higher. This came from its purchase of Circle K locations, offering even more diversification for shareholders. What’s more, the company continues to expand globally. It now spans from North America and Norway to Asia.

It’s these aggressive acquisitions that have led to such success for the company over the last decade and beyond. Couche-Tard stock has a long history of these types of acquisitions after all, and Hannasch has continued the trend.

Doing what works

That history of acquisitions is likely to continue at Couche-Tard stock in the future. The Circle K venture alone added 2,290 stores. So if there are successful operations in business, it’s simpler to buy them up rather than try to open your own.

The company now holds a whopping 14,400 stores as of writing, backing a market cap at $81.5 billion. Shares now trade at 0.9 times sales, making it still valuable even as shares are up 30% in the last year alone.

So while Couche-Tard stock may look highly valued, think again. We have a strong CEO on deck that has continued the company’s history of aggressive growth. He’s seen the company through a pandemic, growing through high inflation and interest rates as well. So this is one company I would continue to consider on the TSX today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Amy Legate-Wolfe has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alimentation Couche-Tard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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