Australia may not be known as a global tech hub, but there’s still plenty of activity on the ASX boards for companies which are tech or tech-adjacent.

The data team at Stockhead took a broad snapshot of stocks across the major tech sectors, and chopped up the data get a clearer picture of what’s working and what’s not.

A total of 159 stocks made the list. By industry, they created four separate divisions for further analysis:

  • Communications/Electronics Equipment;
  • IT Services;
  • Semiconductors/Tech Hardware; and
  • Software.

How did each sector perform? As ever in the world of small caps, there’s been some standout performers. But the broader thematic makes for relatively grim viewing, at least to this point of the year.

More than half (85) of the stocks listed are in the red for 2019, with 68 posting gains while the other six are flat on the year.

Factoring in some big gains, the average return across all four divisions was 11.1%, but the median return was a less-than-stellar -6.2 per cent.

One clear observation is that Australia’s tech scene is software-focused; no less than 91 companies were classified as software providers, comprising around 57 per cent of the total.

The rest were made up of IT Services stocks (41); Communications & Electronics Equipment (29) and Semiconductor/Tech Hardware (12).

Here’s a snapshot of the standout performers and key themes in each division.

IT Services

When measured by average gains, IT Services companies have ruled the most among Australia’s listed tech stocks so far in 2019.

That’s largely because falling within this category are the red-hot buy now, pay later (BNPL) stocks that have been surging up the boards.

New addition Splitit (ASX: SPT) joined the fray back in February when it listed at 20 cents per share. It’s up more than 300 per cent this year, but the stock has come back sharply since it surged all the way to $1.68 as the BNPL hype hit fever pitch.

Competitor Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) has climbed by a similar amount, with most of those gains realised in recent weeks after its Q3 figures revealed strong revenue growth in the three months to March.

Also hanging near the top of the pops is Fintech Chain (ASX: FTC), a somewhat colourful outfit based out of Hong Kong which claimed to have invented the word “blockchainisation” last year.

In 2019, the story of the day has Chinese commerce, with investors excited by a series of deals FTC struck with middle kingdom merchants to deploy its payments faciliation platform and point-of-sale checkouts.

All up, IT Services had the best win/loss ratio of the four tech divisions, with 15 companies gaining ground while 11 were in the red.

Here are the best (and worst) of the sector so far this year.

Code Name Industry YTD Return Price ($) Market Cap
SPT SPLITIT PAYMENTS LTD (listed Jan 29) IT Services 350.0% 0.900 237.54M
FTC FINTECH CHAIN LTD IT Services 327.1% 0.200 133.41M
Z1P ZIP CO Ltd IT Services 252.0% 3.840 1,352.5M
CNW CIRRUS NETWORKS HOLDINGS LTD IT Services 193.8% 0.050 41.52M
CV1 CV CHECK LTD IT Services 140.0% 0.120 32.76M
RHP RHIPE LTD IT Services 92.0% 2.380 330.78M
GBT GBST HOLDINGS LTD IT Services 79.4% 2.700 183.36M
DN8 DREAMSCAPE NETWORKS LTD IT Services 75.0% 0.140 54.44M
SVT SERVTECH GLOBAL HOLDINGS LTD IT Services 66.7% 0.010 9.38M
FCT FIRSTWAVE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY L IT Services 60.0% 0.280 78.63M
DTL DATA#3 LTD IT Services 22.6% 1.800 277.15M
CCA CHANGE FINANCIAL LTD IT Services 20.3% 0.070 7.02M
OTW OVER THE WIRE HOLDINGS LTD IT Services 8.9% 5.030 259.42M
CGO CPT GLOBAL LIMITED IT Services 5.7% 0.140 5.25M
CCG COMMSCHOICE GROUP LTD IT Services 4.4% 0.070 8.62M
TSN TRANSACTION SOLUTIONS INTERN IT Services 0.0% 0.010 16.89M
RXP RXP SERVICES LTD IT Services -6.2% 0.430 68.47M
CSV CSG LTD IT Services -8.6% 0.160 71.31M
ARQ ARQ GROUP LTD IT Services -11.7% 1.690 202.28M
IP1 INTEGRATED PAYMENT TECHNOLOGIES IT Services -16.1% 0.010 2.93M
TGO TRIMANTIUM GROWTHOPS LTD IT Services -18.8% 0.650 90.38M
DWS DWS LTD IT Services -20.0% 0.920 121.28M
EPD EMPIRED LTD IT Services -31.9% 0.270 43.63M
CRO CIRRALTO LTD IT Services -35.7% 0.010 5.94M
BUD BUDDY TECHNOLOGIES LTD IT Services -40.7% 0.050 97.38M
CGL CITADEL GROUP LTD IT Services -42.9% 4.120 202.95M
DXN DATA EXCHANGE NETWORK LTD IT Services -55.0% 0.050 19.51M

Communications/Electronics Equipment

Audio fidelity company Audinate (ASX: AD8) is still a market darling, almost two years after first listing in June 2017 at $1.53.

It’s now trading above $7, having gained more than 100 per cent so far this year. The company offers technology that improves the transition of media through standard IT networks, which it sells to equipment manufacturers such as Bosch and Panasonic.

While Audinate is the standout performer, the equipment sector has been the least volatile of the four divisions, with a smaller divergence between the best and worst performers.

A total of 12 companies are up for the year, with 16 others in negative territory.

Code Name Industry YTD Return Price ($) Market Cap
AD8 AUDINATE GROUP LTD Electronic Equipment 103.5% 7.020 430.98M
QTG Q TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD Electronic Equipment 75.0% 0.010 1.05M
CAT CATAPULT GROUP INTERNATIONAL Electronic Equipment 68.8% 1.300 248.16M
BCT BLUECHIIP LTD Electronic Equipment 48.2% 0.080 42.17M
BCC BEAM COMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS Communications Equipment 47.2% 0.260 14.01M
NTC NETCOMM WIRELESS LTD Communications Equipment 43.4% 1.090 159.50M
SM8 SMART MARINE SYSTEMS LTD Electronic Equipment 36.0% 0.020 5.22M
CT1 CCP TECHNOLOGIES LTD Electronic Equipment 28.6% 0.020 8.03M
NVX NOVONIX LTD Electronic Equipment 24.4% 0.510 62.80M
HYD HYDRIX LTD Electronic Equipment 20.0% 0.030 20.07M
SPZ SMART PARKING LTD Electronic Equipment 15.4% 0.150 53.88M
MOB MOBILICOM LTD/AUSTRALIA Communications Equipment 4.3% 0.100 24.92M
KKL KOLLAKORN CORP LTD Electronic Equipment 0.0% 0.010 1.89M
SP3 SPECTUR LTD Electronic Equipment -2.7% 0.180 10.12M
DTI DTI GROUP LTD Electronic Equipment -5.0% 0.040 8.18M
RDF REDFLEX HOLDINGS LTD Electronic Equipment -7.1% 0.390 58.59M
NVU NANOVEU LTD Electronic Equipment -8.5% 0.080 9.94M
HIL HILLS LTD Electronic Equipment -11.8% 0.150 34.80M
SEN SENETAS CORP LTD Communications Equipment -12.8% 0.080 81.10M
ELS ELSIGHT LTD Electronic Equipment -14.3% 0.600 57.53M
AVA AVA RISK GROUP LTD Electronic Equipment -15.4% 0.170 34.75M
CIO CONNECTED IO LTD Communications Equipment -16.7% 0.000 4.53M
WMC WONHE MULTIMEDIA COMMERCE Communications Equipment -20.0% 0.020 2.43M
TZL TZ LTD Electronic Equipment -21.1% 0.150 10.58M
SMN STRUCTURAL MONITORING-CDI Electronic Equipment -23.6% 0.820 95.21M
SRH SAFEROADS HOLDINGS LTD Electronic Equipment -29.2% 0.230 8.37M
PRZ PARAZERO LTD Electronic Equipment -30.8% 0.090 9.61M
AMO AMBERTECH LTD Electronic Equipment -31.0% 0.100 3.06M
CLT CELLNET GROUP LTD Electronic Equipment -35.9% 0.250 15.65M

Semiconductors/Tech hardware

As Stockhead‘s Rachel Williamson highlighted earlier this week, Australia was late to the party when it came to establishing a global semiconductor hub.

But there’s still a small number of listed companies from Australia, Israel and US with either direct or indirect exposure to the industry.

The best performer so far this year is Silex Systems (ASX: SLX) which, as it turns out, is primarily focused on uranium enrichment. But the company has a side-hustle selling component parts for semiconductors to a UK manufacturer.

The stock is up almost 90 per cent this year, following a surge in early February when it announced a licensing agreement in Canada for its laser uranium
enrichment technology.

On the other end of the spectrum is Brainchip Holdings (ASX: BRN), which says it utilises AI to design less chips that are less power-reliant, for uses such as big-data analysis and driverless car technology.

Here’s how the sector has performed so far this year:

Code Name Industry YTD Return Price ($) Market Cap
SLX SILEX SYSTEMS LTD Semiconductors 88.9% 0.340 57.96M
4DS 4DS MEMORY LTD Semiconductors 29.1% 0.070 74.91M
SE1 SENSERA LTD Semiconductors 4.8% 0.110 29.65M
PVS PIVOTAL SYSTEMS CORP INC-CDI Semiconductors -10.6% 1.430 159.36M
BLG BLUGLASS LTD Semiconductors -15.8% 0.160 66.95M
KTE K2 ENERGY LTD Semiconductors -16.7% 0.000 1.50M
WBT WEEBIT NANO LTD Semiconductors -17.1% 0.580 36.92M
DTZ DOTZ NANO LTD Semiconductors -25.3% 0.060 13.53M
BRN BRAINCHIP HOLDINGS LTD Semiconductors -61.9% 0.040 41.99M
QFY QUANTIFY TECHNOLOGY HOLDINGS Technology Hardware 33.3% 0.010 7.85M
NUH NUHEARA LTD Technology Hardware 0.0% 0.070 67.77M
SF1 STEMIFY LTD Technology Hardware -233.0% 0.003 1.12M

Software

Contrary to the semiconductor industry, Australia has an abundance of listed software companies (91 to be precise).

While the sector is more crowded, it’s not necessarily booming; no less than 50 companies have lost ground so far this year, against 37 gains.

Fintech 8Common (ASX: 8CO) got off to a solid start, and has been roaring ahead since mid-April following the release of some positive March quarter earnings results.

The company responded to a price query from the ASX in early May (nothing to see here) before signing a $544,754 contract with the federal government on May 10.

Three other companies have posted gains of at least 100 per cent; Netlinkz Ltd (ASX: NET), Dubber Corp (ASX: DUB) and BigTinCan Holdings (ASX: BTH).

Here’s the full rundown of ASX software performers in 2019. It’s a long list comprised of fields across crypto, blockchain, payments and cybersecurity:

Code Name Industry YTD Return Price ($) Market Cap
8CO 8COMMON LTD Software 371.4% 0.170 24.08M
NET NETLINKZ LTD Software 150.0% 0.080 111.79M
DUB DUBBER CORP LTD Software 134.6% 0.950 177.24M
BTH BIGTINCAN HOLDINGS LTD Software 115.9% 0.560 146.86M
IOD IODM LTD Software 84.2% 0.040 18.00M
EVS ENVIROSUITE LTD Software 83.8% 0.130 46.28M
EOL ENERGY ONE LTD Software 67.5% 1.750 37.29M
OOK OOKAMI LTD Software 66.7% 0.022 7.50M
YOJ YOJEE LTD Software 61.5% 0.100 88.98M
IRI INTEGRATED RESEARCH LTD Software 49.5% 2.600 446.84M
SMX SECURITY MATTERS LTD Software 45.8% 0.430 47.26M
IME IMEXHS LTD Software 44.0% 0.040 33.32M
DCC DIGITALX LTD Software 41.2% 0.070 40.90M
JXT JAXSTA LTD Software 39.5% 0.260 61.30M
OMN ONEMARKET LTD Software 39.5% 0.800 82.62M
RD1 REGISTRY DIRECT LTD Software 33.3% 0.040 5.17M
XF1 XREF LTD Software 31.9% 0.620 102.66M
BIQ BUILDINGIQ INC-CDI Software 27.5% 0.050 13.96M
ELO ELMO SOFTWARE LTD Software 27.2% 6.930 438.20M
RDY READYTECH HOLDINGS (Listed Apr 17) Software 26.7% 1.900 152.01M
GOO GOOROO VENTURES LTD Software 26.7% 0.060 6.27M
LVT LIVETILES LTD Software 26.6% 0.410 264.81M
ESV ESERVGLOBAL LTD Software 20.0% 0.100 116.24M
LVE LOVE GROUP GLOBAL LTD Software 20.0% 0.120 4.84M
DSE DROPSUITE LTD Software 19.2% 0.030 15.30M
SNS SENSEN NETWORKS LTD Software 17.0% 0.110 46.04M
KNO KNOSYS LTD Software 16.7% 0.070 10.03M
CWL CHANT WEST HOLDINGS LTD Software 12.7% 0.060 7.68M
SKF SKYFII LTD Software 12.5% 0.180 56.89M
OPN OPENDNA LTD Software 11.8% 0.040 9.13M
OCL OBJECTIVE CORPORATION LTD Software 7.7% 2.800 260.10M
9SP 9 SPOKES INTERNATIONAL LTD Software 7.6% 0.020 14.86M
CL1 CLASS LTD Software 7.5% 1.470 172.96M
VLT VAULT INTELLIGENCE LTD Software 5.6% 0.190 19.55M
3DP POINTERRA LTD Software 4.9% 0.040 22.41M
NOV NOVATTI GROUP LTD Software 2.8% 0.190 30.87M
ADA ADACEL TECHNOLOGIES LTD Software 2.1% 0.650 49.94M
TV2 TV2U INTERNATIONAL LTD Software 0.0% 0.000 11.36M
CXZ CONNEXION TELEMATICS LTD Software 0.0% 0.010 10.14M
DTS DRAGONTAIL SYSTEMS LTD Software 0.0% 0.190 48.36M
TYM TYMLEZ GROUP LTD Software 0.0% 0.160 20.91M
RUL RPMGLOBAL HOLDINGS LTD Software -4.8% 0.590 127.66M
JCS JCURVE SOLUTIONS LTD Software -5.0% 0.040 12.46M
IHR INTELLIHR HOLDINGS LTD Software -6.5% 0.090 11.80M
TNT TESSERENT LTD Software -7.0% 0.050 9.70M
RKN RECKON LTD Software -9.0% 0.610 69.11M
TBL TAMBLA LTD Software -9.1% 0.010 9.90M
PRO PROPHECY INTERNATIONAL HLDGS Software -10.0% 0.270 17.28M
AR9 ARCHTIS LTD Software -12.0% 0.110 13.54M
UBN URBANISE.COM LTD Software -12.5% 0.040 23.89M
MOQ MOQ LTD Software -13.0% 0.200 32.26M
MNW MINT PAYMENTS LTD Software -13.3% 0.030 20.42M
K2F K2FLY LTD Software -14.3% 0.120 9.04M
RCW RIGHTCROWD LTD Software -15.2% 0.280 55.41M
ISD ISENTIA GROUP LTD Software -16.1% 0.230 47.00M
MYQ MYFIZIQ LTD Software -16.1% 0.260 23.39M
COO CORUM GROUP LTD Software -16.1% 0.030 6.66M
RFN REFFIND LTD Software -16.7% 0.000 2.58M
JAN JANISON EDUCATION GROUP LTD Software -17.5% 0.330 55.67M
PIL PEPPERMINT INNOVATION LTD Software -18.8% 0.010 12.84M
PYG PAYGROUP LTD Software -19.3% 0.650 33.59M
ID8 IDENTITII LTD Software -19.3% 0.560 30.80M
XPE XPED LTD Software -20.0% 0.000 3.01M
IXU IXUP LTD Software -22.7% 0.090 13.47M
ESK ETHERSTACK PLC-CDI Software -23.3% 0.170 18.43M
TTL TRANSCENDENCE TECHNOLOGIES Software -23.5% 0.010 2.26M
BID BIDENERGY LTD Software -24.6% 0.830 91.57M
SYT SYNTONIC LTD Software -25.0% 0.000 14.66M
MPW MSL SOLUTIONS LTD Software -29.0% 0.110 27.48M
IAM INTIGER GROUP LTD Software -30.0% 0.010 11.75M
LVH LIVEHIRE LTD Software -30.2% 0.410 120.17M
TCN TECHNICHE LTD Software -30.6% 0.030 5.27M
KYK KYCKR LTD Software -31.3% 0.050 6.94M
SGO STREAM GROUP LTD Software -31.6% 0.010 2.85M
ADJ ADSLOT LTD Software -34.2% 0.030 42.88M
MBM MOBECOM LTD Software -37.1% 0.070 16.71M
PPS PRAEMIUM LTD Software -38.3% 0.400 160.09M
LNU LINIUS TECHNOLOGIES LTD Software -39.2% 0.030 31.37M
NOR NORWOOD SYSTEMS LTD Software -40.0% 0.000 5.46M
SCL SCHROLE GROUP LTD Software -40.0% 0.010 7.09M
OLV OTHERLEVELS HOLDINGS LIMITED Software -44.4% 0.010 4.30M
FZO FAMILY ZONE CYBER SAFETY LTD Software -46.8% 0.130 25.08M
HSC HOMESTAY CARE LTD Software -47.2% 0.020 13.20M
CAG CAPE RANGE LTD Software -47.9% 0.850 71.11M
FAM FAMILY INSIGHTS GROUP LTD Software -50.0% 0.000 2.08M
SRO SHAREROOT LTD Software -50.0% 0.000 1.57M
AO1 ASSETOWL LTD Software -53.9% 0.010 893.85k
SIS SIMBLE SOLUTIONS LTD Software -54.2% 0.040 3.92M
ODA ORCODA LTD Software -59.0% 0.080 8.16M
GSW GETSWIFT LTD Software -61.9% 0.160 30.16M
FGO FLAMINGO AI LTD Software -72.2% 0.000 5.60M