Best and worst performing tech stocks of 2016
Huge Group and Blue Label Telecoms top the table of best performing IT and telecoms stocks for 2016, while Ellies and Mustek saw their share prices plummet.
Huge Group's share price grew a whopping 93.9% year-to-date, as the telecoms service provider in March moved from the AltX to the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
Blue Label Telecoms also saw its stock rise by 55.14% in 2016, as its pending investment into Cell C sat well with investors. The company plans to invest R5.5 billion to gain a 45% stake in Cell C as part of a proposed recapitalisation of the mobile operator.
Blue Label's stock has risen 232% over the past five years, and it now has a market capitalisation (market cap) of over R12.7 billion.
Telkom's stock also grew by a healthy 16.59% year-to-date as the company works towards grabbing more market share in the mobile telecoms segment. Peers Vodacom and MTN, however, had a tougher year on the bourse, with both stocks falling by around 5% year-to-date. MTN remains the largest telecoms stock on the JSE, with a market cap of R241.7 billion, followed by Vodacom, which is worth R215.3 billion. In comparison, Telkom's market cap is only R39.5 billion.
Altron has made a surprising recovery during the year, coming in third place in terms of best performing stocks. Altron's share price rose 48.32% year-to-date, but over a long-term view, the stock has dropped 62% since this time in December of 2013, and 60.7% over the past five years.
This year saw strong stock performances from Jasco, which rose 45.9% this year so far, while Pinnacle and Datacentrix rose by 44.35% and 36.86% respectively year-to-date. This, as an imminent tie-up between Pinnacle and Datacentrix is on the cards, after Pinnacle announced in October it plans to acquire the remainder of shares in Datacentrix that it does not currently own. If the takeover is successful, it could mean that by this time next year, Datacentrix may no longer be listed on the JSE.
Adapt IT, EOH and MiX Telematics' share prices all grew by over 20% in 2016, while Cartrack saw a 5% gain.
On the other side of the coin, a number of listed IT companies struggled on the bourse, ending this year with lower share prices than when they began.
The biggest faller of the year was Ellies, which saw its share price crash 71.95% year-to-date. The stock has been in steady decline since May of 2013, dropping almost 98% from a share price of R9.50 on 17 May 2013 to now being worth just 23 cents per share.
Naspers remains the most expensive tech stock on the bourse, with each share worth R1 970, despite the media giant's share price dropping 7% year-to-date. However, if you invested in Naspers five years ago, you would have increased your investment by 473% by now.
Mustek's share price declined by over 37% in 2016, while Datatec's stock dropped almost 9%. Net1 UEPS saw a 21.36% decline in its share price year-to-date, but the stock has risen by 149% over the last five years. Reunert's share price dropped 1.58% over the year, but has gained by 8% over the past five years.
IT and telecoms stock performance 2016
% change YTD
Blue Label Telecoms
* Share prices are all as at the market close on 13 December 2016; data from Bloomberg.