The best and worst performing tech shares in 2017

It was a particularly tough year for South Africa’s tech sector in 2017, with few listed companies managing to grow share value in what proved to be a challenging market.

Two large-cap tech companies stand out on both ends of a difficult 2017 – with media and internet group Naspers showing another year of outstanding growth.

Meanwhile ICT group EOH – which has historically been one of the best performers on the JSE, found its market value halved in 2017.

Naspers’ successes once again followed a strong performance by Chinese tech group Tencent, of which the SA media house owns over 30%.

This has not come without controversy however, as investors and shareholders have criticised the group for relying only on Tencent, while its other segments – such as media and pay TV – are not as successful.

Despite this, and also despite more recent scandals involving alleged payments made to influence government policies, the group’s share was up almost 63% in the past 12 months.

EOH did not fare as well, losing close to 58% of its value, after a hit piece was published amid the wider Gupta state capture scandal, accusing the company of being ‘captured’.

The ghost of the accusations reared its ugly head once again when retail group Steinhoff had a spectacular crash amid an accounting scandal, and forced sell-offs by EOH’s directors caused a panic over governance and liquidity at the company.

Other tech companies

Medium and small-cap tech companies come off a low base and experience low trades on their stock.

Net1 had a flat year in terms of share price, while both Mix Telematics and Cartrack showed massive increases in share value.

The year also saw two new tech companies listed on the JSE’s Alt-X, with Ayo Technologies and 4Sight joining, bringing sci-tech, machine learning and AI to the local bourse.

Here’s how SA’s tech firms performed in 2017:

Large-cap (>R10 billion)

Company January Share Price (ZAR) December Share Price (ZAR) Change (%)
Naspers 2120.02 3451.42 +62.8%
Datatec 50.30 55.97 +11.3%
Ayo Technologies 43.00* 45.00* +4.7%*
MTN 134.94 130.65 -3.2%
Vodacom 150.96 140.80 -6.7%
Blue Label Telecoms 18.00 14.50 -19.4%
Telkom 74.66 46.08 -38.3%
EOH 158.02 66.71 -57.8%

Medium-cap (R1 billion-R10 billion)

Company January Share Price (ZAR) December Share Price (ZAR) Change (%)
Mix Telematics 3.50 6.23 +78.0%
CarTrack 10.95 19.00 +73.5%
Net1 161.72 162.00 +0.2%
Alviva Holdings 18.64 17.60 -5.6%
Adapt IT 15.68 6.15 -60.8%

Small-cap (<R1 billion)

Company January Share Price (cents) December Share Price (cents) Change (%)
Mustek 490 570 +16.3%
Ellies 32 36 +12.5%
4Sight 250* 180* -28.0%*
Jasco 95 65 -31.6%

* Listed in 2017


Read: SA tech companies that would have more than doubled your money over the last 5 years

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The best and worst performing tech shares in 2017