The tech sector boom showed no signs of slowing down in 2019. So who were the big winners and losers? Tim Knapton from tech advisory house TechVoyage analyses another very strong year for the sector.

Tech investor sentiment was very buoyant in 2019, more so indeed than for several years previously.

The TechVoyage index (of almost 500 ASX and NZX stocks) rose by 24% and five of our twelve sub-indices registered gains of 30% or more.

The most prevalent mood themes were warm generosity for sales traction and cold punition for missing guidance.

Classic examples of stocks harshly punished for relatively modest earnings mishaps were remote comms provider Speedcast (ASX:SDA) and knowledge management software provider Citadel Group (ASX:CGL).

A good exemplar of emerging value creation in healthtech is sleep apnoea solutions provider Somnomed (ASX:SOM).

The strongest sub-sector, again, was Health Tech, where our index surged by 60%, led by Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) which rose eightfold as its therapeutic skin restoration platform gained sales momentum in the US.

And PainChek (ASX:PCK) was boosted by the signature of distribution agreement for its smart phone pain assessment and monitoring device in the UK and the award of a US patent.

Numerous health tech mid caps rallied hard as they demonstrated strong global sales traction including:

As e-tailing continues to boom it’s no surprise that the eCommerce sector rose by 50% with several
stocks more than doubling, as:

Meanwhile, Fintech darlings included:

  • Isignthis (ASX:ISX) whose e payments onboarding solutions sales grew strongly enough to transition
    the company into cash flow positivity;
  • Neobank Wisr (ASX:WZR) which enjoyed very strong e loan origination; and
  • e-tailer payments provider Splitit (ASX:SPT) which more than trebled its customer base

And, always in the top few sectors, Software boasted standouts like:

  • IODM (ASX:IOD) which announced a US alliance with Western Union to drive uptake of its accounts
    receivables solution;
  • Dubber Corp (ASX:DUB) whose call recording platform for telcos enjoyed booming sales; and
  • BigTinCan (ASX:BTH) whose customer engagement platform generated strong growth in recurrent

Having been a laggard for the last few years the Comms sector put in a very solid performance driven by continual progression in enhanced service offerings:

  • Wireless and fibre telco provider Uniti (NASDAQ:UNIT) more than trebled revenues and met prospectus
    EBITDA forecast;
  • Kleos (ASX:KSS) was re-rated as the launch date approaches for its first cluster of Data as a Service RF
    satelllites and
  • Enterprise network as a service provider Megaport (ASX:MP1) doubled its customer base

And so….the outlook for this year? Surely more of the same – continued volatility as those who
report sales strength climb the ladder while those who lose momentum are in for a long slippery