10 Winners And Losers From Johannesburg Stock Exchange Tech Shares In 2018

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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On the South African stock market in general, 28 of the top 40 stocks experienced a share price drop in 2018.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange saw mixed fortunes for tech stocks in 2018, with 17 out of 23 tech shares suffering overall losses.

While 2018 was a good year for a few select tech stocks, telecommunications firms such as mobile operators MTN and Vodacom saw a tumble overall.

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Even Naspers, Africa’s biggest company by market capitalization, suffered a decrease in stock price compared to the start of the year.

Here are the 10 winners and losers from Johannesburg Stock Exchange tech shares during 2018.

TeleMasters – Winner

The most impressive performer of the year among JSE tech stocks was cloud-based solutions service provider TeleMasters, which saw a 130 percent increase in its share price over the course of 2018, according to Moneyweb. That stat was particularly impressive considering that most of the tech stocks on the Johannesburg exchange struggled over the course of the year.

MiX Telematics – Winner

MiX Telematics, founded in 1996 in South Africa, is a global provider of driver safety, vehicle tracking and fleet management services and solutions in over 120 countries including the U.S., Brazil, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. The tech company’s stock experienced another impressive year of growth, with its share price increasing by 59.51 percent year-to-date on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, according to ITWeb.

Altron – Winner

Telecommunications service provider Altron‘s shares increased in value by 49 percent last year, building on the impressive momentum that the company experienced in 2017, when it rose 37.7 percent. This means that it has delivered an impressive 222 percent return for shareholders (excluding dividends) over a three-year period, according to Techcentral.

Mustek – Winner

Another of the winners on this list is personal computer and ICT product assembler and distributor Mustek. The firm’s share price experienced another positive year of growth, building on a 16.3 percent rise in 2017 by producing a 35.5 percent year to date return as of Dec. 13, with a 49.5 percent return over a one-year period, according to Sharenet.

Telkom – Winner

While Telkom would have been seen as a loser last year based on its performance on the stock exchange, 2018 has been kind to the South African partially state-owned telecoms company. Telkom saw a massive 38.3 percent percent drop in its share price in 2017, but in 2018 the telecoms company saw its stock rise by 30.40 percent year-to-date, according to SAShares.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange
Tech stocks did not perform fantastically well on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2018, but some companies still managed growth. Image – AP – Denis Farrell

MTN – Loser

MTN struggled this year, with the South African mobile operator taking numerous hits from Nigerian authorities in recent years, including claims by the Nigerian Central Bank that the group unlawfully expatriated $8.1 billion in dividends. The telecoms company, while not among the absolute worst performing tech stocks on the JSE, lost 35.74 percent year-to-date, and 28.56 percent from mid-December 2017 to the same time last year, according to Businesstech.

Naspers – Loser

Not one of the five worst, but considering its size and stature, it has been a poor year for Naspers in terms of the company’s performance on the South African exchange. Africa’s largest company by market capitalization provided some bad news for its shareholders, despite much activity and investment in other companies. The media giant experienced a 17.1 percent reduction in its share price from Dec. 13, 2017 to Dec. 13, 2018, according to Fin24.

Net1 UEPS – Loser

The third-worst performing tech stock of the year was Net1 UEPS, which saw its stock drop by 52.85 percent year-to-date. Net1’s former association with the controversial social grants contract through the South African Social Security Agency seems to be a big factor in the firm’s terrible results, according to ITWebAfrica.

Blue Label Telecoms – Loser

Blue Label Telecoms is another of the JSE tech stocks that failed to bring in positive returns over the last year, with a 65.31 percent loss since January in the company’s share price on the Johannesburg exchange, making it the second worst performing tech stock of the year, according to ITWeb. Worryingly for the telecoms firm, this is its second year of losses following a 19.4 percent decrease in its share price in 2017.

4Sight Holdings – Loser

New data technology company 4Sight Holdings was the poorest performer among tech stocks on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2018. The company saw its stock fall by 81.37% year-to-date until Dec. 13. Listing on in October 2017, the tech firm, which is incorporated in Mauritius, was the first new tech listing on the South African bourse in almost three years, according to Businesstech.