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Should Investors Consider Buying Tencent Shares Now?

Tencent Holdings Ltd (SEHK: 700) is a leading internet services company in China with businesses across online games, communications and social, digital entertainment, content and more.

Listed in 2004, Tencent has since grown into a technology titan that is comparable to the likes of Facebook and Alphabet. During this process, many of its early investors have made significant returns. As an aside, Tencent's stock price has grown more than 150 times since its IPO!

But what about those who have missed the boat in the past? Should they consider the company's stock now?

Image Source: Getty Images.

Dominant business

Tencent is one of the most interesting companies in the world. To start with, its flagship social communications products – WeChat and QQ, have combined monthly active users of 1.2 billion. In particular, WeChat (also known as a super app) offers a comprehensive set of services in its ecosystem that range from e-commerce, gaming, news, payments, and more.

In China, it is said that one cannot survive without WeChat, which demonstrates how important such a service is to the Chinese population.

Next, its gaming business is the largest in China, generating significant cash flow for the company. Historically, this segment generates significant cash flow, which was directed into other new business ventures – including WeChat's development in the early days.

Both businesses above have been extremely profitable for Tencent. In addition, it has several other businesses such as WeChat payments, Tencent Video, Music, Content, and Cloud. All these businesses are either number one or number two in their respective fields.

In short, investing in Tencent is akin to investing in Facebook, Square, Activision Blizzard, Netflix and more – all combined in a single company.

Runway should continue

Historically, growth investors have benefited tremendously by investing in the company's stock. Its growth trajectory, however, is far from over.

In its latest quarter, revenue increased at 21% year-on-year while net profit jumped 24% year-on-year. Such performance was commendable, especially considering the slowdown in its core businesses like gaming and media advertising, both affected by temporary factors. In other words, these segments should resume their growth when the headwinds subside.

Despite the slowdown in growth in gaming, some businesses continue to grow well during the quarter. For example, social and other advertising revenues grew 32% year-on-year while FinTech and Business Services revenues were up 36% year-on-year.

In other words, there is no sign that the company is slowing down anytime soon!

Conclusion

In sum, I think investors should give Tencent a good look, especially since it has dominant market positions in its various businesses, as well as its growth potential for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, investors are reminded that it's important to carry out comprehensive research before buying its stock.

A version of this article originally appeared on our Fool Asia site. For more coverage like this head over to Fool.hk.en.

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Activision Blizzard, Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Facebook, Netflix, and Square. The Motley Fool recommends Tencent Hldgs and recommends the following options: short January 2020 $70 puts on Square. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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