Less than three months after topping R3 000 for the first time, Naspers’s share price on Monday touched the R4 000 level on Monday afternoon as shareholder optimism over Chinese Internet giant Tencent, in which it holds a 33.2% stake, continues unabated, and as the group said it expects core interim earnings to surge.
The JSE-listed technology and media group, whose other assets include pay-television broadcaster MultiChoice, now has a market capitalisation north of R1.7 trillion.
Since 1 January, Naspers’s share price has appreciated almost 100%. Over five years, it has delivered a return of 635%. An investment of R100 000 in Naspers a decade ago would now be worth more than R2m.
The robust performance by Naspers comes after Tencent last week posted its strongest growth in more than seven years, riding the success of games like Honour of Kings and a rapidly expanding Internet advertising business.
China’s largest social network operator reported a 61% rise in revenue to 65.2bn yuan (US$9.8bn) in the September quarter, outpacing the 61bn yuan projected. That also marked the biggest gain in sales since 2010, when revenue was a mere one-fourteenth of its current level. Profit also beat estimates.
Tencent, operator of the WeChat messaging and entertainment service that’s become near-ubiquitous across China, continues to deliver on hit games while pushing more and smarter advertising to its billion-plus users. The mobile battle game Honour of Kings helped it expand smartphone gaming revenues 84% in the period.
Net income surged 69% to 18bn yuan, also blowing past projections for 15.8bn yuan.
On Friday, after markets closed in Johannesburg, Naspers issued a strong trading update, saying it expects core headline earnings per share for the six months ended 30 September 2017 to be between 62% and 67% higher than a year ago. — Reported by TechCentral, with additional reporting by Bloomberg