Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Hong Kong — Tencent Holdings is silencing the sceptics.

The tech giant, of which Naspers owns 31.2%, had lost almost $100bn in value in recent months as investors braced for a squeeze from increased spending and investments. Instead, the company delivered record quarterly profit and better-than-expected margins. The reaction: the shares rose 3.7% in Hong Kong on Thursday for their biggest rally in five months.

History shows that riding out declines in the Chinese internet company has been a winning strategy. Buy-and-hold has been the only way to go on the stock, returning some 46,871% to shareholders, excluding dividends, in the 14 years since it first listed in Hong Kong, according to back-testing data compiled by Bloomberg. No other approach even comes close, with technical trading strategies based on moving averages and relative strength losing money for investors. The results are similar over the past one and three years.

This helps explain why it’s remained one of the world’s most loved stocks by analysts, with none recommending selling for more than two years. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Macquarie Group all boosted their 12-month target prices on Tencent’s shares after its first quarter report.

Options traders had prepared for a relief rebound, sending the cost of hedging against further losses to the lowest level of the year, while mainland investors also turned bullish — they were net buyers of the stock on Wednesday through a link with Hong Kong for the first time in five days.