Best and worst performing tech shares in 2015

Huge Group, Adapt IT and Net1 UEPS Technologies top the list of the best performing technology shares on the JSE over the past year. By Duncan McLeod.

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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.

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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

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