Tencent: Earnings its Stripes

05/11/2017 2:50 am EST


Paul Goodwin

Emerging Markets Specialist and Analyst, Cabot Heritage Corporation

Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) is a fairly easy choice, despite the competition from a platoon of strong emerging market stocks that are tracing excellent charts, notes Paul Goodwin, editor of Cabot Emerging Markets Investor.

Tencent Holdings, which started as a simple text messaging company, is now an integrated Internet messaging, social media and value added services giant with a market cap of $303 billion. Its Weixin and WeChat smartphone communities now boast 889 million monthly active users.

The company has a web of alliances with other online leaders that include JD.com (JD) for shopping, BitAuto (BITA) and Didi for transportation, Leju for real estate, the NBA, Warner Brothers and HBO. All in all, Tencent has built a huge community of rich content providers.

Tencent has also used its enormous cash flow to form alliances, acquire interesting competitors and take equity positions in lots of other companies. The company now owns a 5% equity stake in Tesla (TSLA).

All of these moves have shown up in Tencent’s quarterly results. The company’s revenue growth slowed to 28% in 2015, but rebounded to 40% in 2016. Q4 2016 results showed a 27% jump in earnings on a 35% gain in revenue, with a 28.1% after-tax profit margin.

CEO Pony Ma (no relation to Jack Ma) is also pushing Tencent into interesting new fields, including an investment in a Seattle artificial intelligence lab and the rollout of Tencent Cloud, a public cloud platform for both corporate and individual users.

On top of Tencent’s scale, rapid growth, aggressive moves into pretty much every related field and great financial results, TCEHY is also a stock in a short and long term uptrend.

TCEHY is an over-the-counter (OTC) stock, which means it doesn’t offer investors the protection that a full listing on a major exchange does. But TCEHY has earned its stripes over the years by its performance and its energetic rallies.

The OTC listing also keeps a lid on trading volume, as it excludes the stock from consideration by most institutional investors who would otherwise be quite interested.

We all know that this lovely bull market won’t go on forever, and that the uptrends we’re enjoying in many of our stocks will eventually go into consolidations and corrections. But we also know that bull markets are made to be used. We’ll buy a full position .

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