Huge Group, Adapt IT and Net1 UEPS Technologies top the list of the best performing technology shares on the JSE in 2015. In a difficult economic environment, the three counters far outperformed the overall market, adding 95,2%, 58,5% and 55,5% respectively over the past 12 months.
And the three shares didn’t only perform well in 2015 — over the past three years, they are among the best performers, too. Over 36 months, Durban-headquartered Adapt IT has performed best overall, netting a return for shareholders before dividends of a massive 863%. Net1 and Huge Group delivered returns of 388,2% and 382,3% respectively over the same period, excluding dividend payments.
In a year in which many shares came under severe selling pressure, not least following President Jacob Zuma’s decision to fire his finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene, a move which sent markets reeling, technology and telecommunications shares delivered a mixed bag for investors.
Troubled technology group Altron was 2015’s worst performer, shedding more than 60% of its value. Over three years, the counter has plummeted by 71,3%.
MTN also had a terrible year, thanks mainly to the record-setting fine imposed on its Nigerian subsidiary by the Nigerian Communications Commission. The mobile telecoms group fell by 35,6% in the past year, the third worst performer in TechCentral’s list. Over three years, MTN shares are down by more than a quarter.
Other weak performers in 2015 included Ellies Holdings, down by 33,3% (and by an eye-watering 90% over three years), Telemasters (19,1% down) and Jasco Electronics (18,7% down).
However, those who invested in Silverbridge, Naspers and Blue Label Telecoms at the beginning of 2015 now have reason to smile. Silverbridge returned a healthy 41,1% over 12 months and 180% over three years, while Naspers — a strong performer for many years now — added a further 40,1% thanks largely to its strategic stake in China’s Tencent. Naspers has added nearly 300% over three years. — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media