According to the Economist, few countries have as many attractive economic conditions as Australia, whose attributes include affordability, low public debt levels and rising incomes.
To boot, the economy has not witnessed a recession in nearly three decades.
Permeating through the economy is a technology sector that is growing and innovating at a considerable clip. With advancements in fintech, 3D printing and more, AustraliBrowse revisionsBrowse revisionsa is home to tech darlings, including AU$9 billion logistics company Wisetech (ASX:WTC) and data centre heavyweight NEXTDC (ASX:NXT).
Amid this growth, the government of Australia has identified core areas that are projected to transform the country’s business and social fabric. Artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and internet of things are among the emerging technologies that will be implemented at a greater scale.
Gartner estimates that companies are slowly integrating AI and advanced technology systems into their operations. In one study, 30 percent of chief investment officers surveyed in Australia and New Zealand were found to be applying digital systems at their businesses. This represents a 70 percent growth opportunity in the future, the study explains.
To that end, here the Investing News Network is looking at the 10 top tech stocks by market cap on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), according to Listcorp. All numbers and figures were accurate as of market close on August 22, 2019.
1. Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC)
Market cap: AU$9.85 billion; current share price: AU$32.89
Logistics software company Wisetech Global takes the crown as the largest technology company in Australia. Serving multinational companies and small businesses, Wisetech has 12,000 clients in 130 countries. CargoWise One, Wisetech’s hallmark product, improves automation and visibility in supply chains. It is designed to help businesses scale, and also assists them in processes related to customs, tariffs, warehousing and freight container management.
Wisetech has completed a number of acquisitions as it continues to expand. In August, it acquired Ohio-based Depot Systems. Earlier in 2019, the company acquired Xware, a Swedish messaging company. This follows in line with a number of other deals in Argentina, Spain, Norway and Turkey. Since July 2018, the company has acquired over 12 global firms.
2. Xero (ASX:XRO)
Market cap: AU$8.82 billion; current share price: AU$62.43
Xero is a software firm that develops cloud-based accounting tools for businesses. Its suite of tools has over 500,000 subscribers and boasts over 700 integration capabilities. Among its accounting features are tools designed for project management, invoicing and payroll. For example, by integrating both PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and Stripe to its platform, Xero has added payment service features to its online invoices. This allows users to accept payments or pay directly when they receive an invoice.
Serving enterprise, small business and banking customers, Xero’s clients include the four largest banks in Australia: National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB), the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Westpac Banking (ASX:WBC,NYSE:WBK) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ). Xero has partnered with several international banks in countries from the UK to South Africa.
3. Computershare (ASX:CPU)
Market cap: AU$8.11 billion; current share price: AU$14.94
With principal operations in share registry services, Computershare helps security holders with redeeming electronic shares. On the enterprise level, the company assists businesses with share registry services, employee equity plans and corporate trust services, among others. Computershare had its beginnings in 1978 as one of the first tech startups in Melbourne. It has since grown to employ 12,000 staff, while managing over 125 million customer files.
Among all of its business divisions, the maintenance of shares remains Computershare’s primary generator of revenue. It has also branched out to mortgage services; growth in its US clientele, coupled with its acquisition of LenderLive, has strengthened its secondary market mortgage services.
4. Afterpay Touch Group (ASX:APT)
Market cap: AU$6.24 billion; current share price: AU$24.69
Afterpay Touch Group is made up of two primary business functions. Its first, Afterpay, is a service that allows customers to buy now and pay later using microloans. Over 30,600 retail businesses use the system, and its current customer base is close to 4.3 million.
Its second primary operation, Touch, is an online payment system. In its work with Switzerland-based Corner Bank, Touch has implemented an omnichannel system that includes services for Corner Bank-issued Visa (NASDAQ:V) and MasterCard (NASDAQ:MA) payment cards. Touch has also partnered with 7-Eleven to develop an app to drive customer engagement, integrating payments and security at the highest level.
5. Altium (ASX:ALU)
Market cap: AU$4.71 billion; current share price: AU$36.10
Having created an interface specifically for 3D printing, Altium works principally in 3D-printed circuit board (PCB) computer-aided design.
Included in its products is Altium Designer, which is targeted towards designers and engineers who want to transfer their designs to reality. It takes into account the limitation of materials, physics and the tools that manufacturers are using. Altium is the leading software interface of its kind in the world, and the company claims that the user base for Altium Design grows by 6,000 new clients a day.
Beyond this technology, Altium offers PCB design tools such as CircuitStudio, which enables individuals to design circuit board layouts. The industries that Altium serves include everything from automotive to entertainment.
6. Appen (ASX:APX)
Market cap: AU$2.98 billion; current share price: AU$24.66
AI data annotation company Appen provides translation services for over 180 languages. Appen has processed over 500,000 hours of audio to infer 3 billion judgements through its AI systems.
Appen also applies its AI services to search engine services, personalizing its service for clients to generate sales and leads. As social media sites and search engines update frequently over time, Appen meets these demands by evaluating the accuracy of a company’s search presence in a query and how the company compares to its competitors.
7. Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK)
Market cap: AU$2.63 billion; current share price: AU$4.92
Administration solutions company Link Administration Holdings has a network of global clients, with over 7,000 customers, including pension funds and corporation. Link provides a host of proprietary technology services. For example, its pension division provides data analytics and fund administration tools to its 10 million superannuation clients. Within its technology and operations department, Link applies predictive analytics for wealth management workflows and database management. Additionally, Link offers share registry services and employee share plans.
The international reach of Link includes Germany, France, India and the United Arab Emirates.
8. TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE)
Market cap: AU$2.36 billion; current share price: AU$7.43
Enterprise technology software company TechnologyOne has a client base of over 1,200, including the University of Melbourne, Sydney Motorway, GWM Water and the London School of Economics.
TechnologyOne’s software services cast a wide net. For example, in its work with La Trobe University, the company transferred paper-based processes for 36,000 students to digital. As part of the project, it also moved existing student management services onto the cloud, ushering in the first cloud-based service of its kind in Australia. Essentially, TechnologyOne helps companies adapt to online demands, providing a sophisticated infrastructure to deploy services and remove outdated systems.
In addition to student management, TechnologyOne offers the government, health and financial services sectors application management solutions. Via the digital transformation process, TechnologyOne helps improve bottom lines and addresses areas where clients can reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
9. IRESS (ASX:IRE)
Market cap: AU$2.26 billion; current share price: AU$12.95
Founded in 1993, IRESS is a financial software company with over 12,000 clients using its platform. Its software tools are organized into three main compartments: financial planning, investment management and trading and market intelligence. Its financial planning segment includes features that assist financial advisors with tasks like financial compliance.
Secondly, its portfolio management software is designed for managing large investment funds that participate in trade execution, allocation and risk management analytics. Integrating real-time market data, IRESS’ software encompasses both macro and local economic data.
IRESS’ software is designed for multiple markets and has embedded trading support.
10. NEXTDC (ASX:NXT)
Market cap: AU$2.22 billion; current share price: AU$6.45
Capping off the list is NEXTDC, a data centre company. Utilizing energy-efficient methods, NEXTDC’s data centres connect its customers to various cloud infrastructures. With several of the largest companies in Australia using its data and colocation services, NEXTDC operates nine facilities that power high-performance computing demands in addition to hosting services.
NEXTDC connects clients to some of the largest cloud providers in the world. The scale of its platforms includes names such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Cloud, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Cloud.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Dorothy Neufeld, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.