What happened

Shares of Copart (NASDAQ:CPRT) soared 90.3% in 2019, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the online automotive auction specialist repeatedly delivered strong quarterly results.

Gavel with folded car keys next to it.


So what

Copart started the year on a positive note, climbing more than 20% through the end of February after demonstrating decelerating revenue growth in its fiscal second quarter (up 5.6%) but much more impressive earnings growth, with its bottom line soaring at a greater-than-27% clip.

But Copart's momentum only gained steam after its top- and bottom-line growth accelerated with each of its subsequent quarterly updates in May and September. Shares more recently hit fresh all-time highs to end 2019 on the heels of Copart's impressive fiscal first-quarter 2020 results in November. Quarterly revenue climbed a solid 20% year over year, adjusted earnings rose 38%, and, during the subsequent conference call, management lauded the company's flexible approach to capitalizing on today's continuously evolving landscape for salvage and auction vehicles.

Now what

And that momentum is largely expected to continue into the coming year. Analysts' consensus estimates predict Copart's full fiscal-year 2020 revenue will increase 15.6%, to roughly $2.36 billion, translating to a healthy 24% bump in earnings per share to $2.79.

As it stands, investors should receive fresh color on Copart's ability to live up to those expectations with its next quarterly update in late February. But given its exceptional performance in calendar 2019, it was no surprise to see this top stock responding in kind.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. 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.