It’s been a stormy season for tech stocks, but there are fresh signs Tencent Music Entertainment is riding it out.
Less than six weeks after Tencent’s belated flotation on the New York Stock Exchange, JPMorgan has endorsed the Chinese streaming giant by upgrading its stock from “hold” to “buy.”
It’s more like a “full-throated yell” of support for Tencent Music, notes the Motley Fool, which notes JPMorgan, along with Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and others, acted as underwriters for the IPO on Dec. 12, but gave no rating at all at the time.
In the quiet, post-Christmas trading period, Stifel, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank, which also helped to underwrite the IPO, gave “hold” ratings, while Goldman Sachs and KeyBanc upgraded Tencent Music to a “buy”.
Analysts are apparently warming to Tencent Music, which operates the popular services QQ Music, Kugou, Kuwo and WeSing. Its “China-unique revenue model” will help it to expand in the world’s most populous market, enthuses JPMorgan’s Alex Yao in a note shared on TheFly.com. He also sees “sizable” long-term growth potential for Tencent Music, which he dubs the “largest online music streaming operator globally.”
Tencent’s top brass decided to push back its public ambitions by several weeks and sit out bad weather in stock markets for tech stock, which would have hurt its pricing. When it did launch, with the symbol TME, it was one of the biggest IPOs of 2018. After its first day of trading, the company raised about $1.1 billion with an opening share price of $13. Its market valuation of about $23 billion puts it in a similar frame to Spotify, in which the Chinese company orchestrated a share swap (Spotify owns 9% of Tencent Music, and Tencent owns 7.5% of Spotify).
“Adding to the stock’s attractiveness, free cash flow is strong,” with cash profits for the past year hitting $485 million, ahead of reported net income, the Motley Fool’s Rich Smith explains. And as for debt – there’s no red flag. “Flush with the proceeds of its IPO, the company boasts a balance sheet brimming with $1.7 billion cash, and not a lick of debt,” he continues.
TME’s share price closed up 10.6% last Friday (Jan. 18) at $14.35 per share.