Naspers share price surges towards R3,000

Shares in media and internet giant Naspers surged in morning trade on Monday, after the group reported strong growth in interim financial results late Friday.

In results for the half-year to September 2018, Naspers showed a 29% increase in revenue to $11 billion, driven by e-commerce ventures and its stake in Tencent.

Trading profit grew 34% year on year to $2.0 billion, while core headline earnings grew 39% to US$1.7 billion.

Diluted headline earnings per N ordinary share was up to 632 US cents, from 206 cents previously.

Shares in Naspers climbed nearly 7% in morning trade on Monday; however, its shares are still down 17% in 2018, tracking Chinese technology giant, Tencent, in which it as a 31% stake.

In an interview with Bloombeg, Naspers chief financial officer Basil Sgourdos said that company is targeting “significant investments” for its $10 billion cash pile in the next couple of months.

“In the first half of this year we have done about $750 million in deals, and there are some near-term opportunities coming up,” Sgourdos said by phone on Friday.

“With markets correcting and valuations coming down, that favours companies with strong balance sheets, and that’s what Naspers has.”

Bloomberg reported that Naspers is working to reduce its exposure to Johannesburg’s stock exchange as it seeks to narrow a valuation gap with Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The market values the stake at some $28 billion more than Naspers as a whole.

Shares in Tencent climbed 3.85%, to $324 in Hong Kong on Monday.

Every year, Naspers looks at about 700 deals, and completes 10 to 15, said Sgourdos. “Those are the ones that makes sense for a Naspers,” he said.

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Naspers share price surges towards R3,000