The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) had a spectacular year in FY2021, rising roughly 24%. ASX tech shares also had a top year and many would have handsomely contributed to this overall gain.
We looked at the best performing ASX 200 tech shares earlier today, which you should check out. But there wouldn’t be top performers without the inevitable losers too, albeit just a few. So here is a look at some of the worst faring ASX tech shares over the year that’s just passed.
FY2021’s 5 worst performing ASX 200 tech shares
Altium Limited (ASX: ALU)
Circuit board software maker and WAAAX share Altium is our best worst performer today. It started FY21 at $32.48 a share and finished up at $36.756 last Wednesday. Yes, that puts Altium in the green for FY21, with a 13.8% gain. But, rather paradoxically, this gain also makes Altium one of the worst-performing ASX 200 tech shares on the index
Altium has been a mixed performer for a while now. The company was left in the dust by other ASX tech shares in terms of performance during the 2020 calendar year and is still ‘only’ up 4.8% in 2021 so far.
But saying that, Altium had stellar share price appreciation in both 2018 and 2019, so long-term investors can’t complain too much. The pandemic disrupted Altium’s business model far more than other tech shares and the company’s growth has suffered in response. Still, there are worse things than a 12-month gain of 13.8%.
TechnologyOne Ltd (ASX: TNE)
TechnologyOne certainly had a wild ride over the 2021 financial year. The company rose more than 26% between September and November last year, only to fall back by 20% by January. Following this dip, the shares rose again, this time by 27% by April. But those moves are not accounted for in the FY21 bookend share prices.
TechnologyOne shares started the financial year at $8.79 a share and finished up at $9.30. That’s a gain of 5.8%, again making this company one of the worst performing ASX 200 tech shares despite the positive share price movement.
Investors may have had the company’s half-year results that we saw back in May on their minds recently. These numbers showed that TechnologyOne managed to grow its revenues by 5% over the 6 months to 31 March 2021. Profits were also up, this time by 8%.
EML Payments Ltd (ASX: EML)
One thing is for certain with EML. Its FY21 performance would have looked a lot different without that dramatic drop in value we saw back in May. On 19 May, EML lost more than 50% of its share price at one point after the company reported an Irish subsidiary was under investigation by Irish authorities over money laundering concerns.
The EML share price recovered somewhat after this but nowhere near enough to counter this dramatic drop. This means that EML finished the financial year at $3.47, still a good 3.9% above the $3.34 it started out at. Even so, EML is still a long way from its 52-week high of $5.89.
PushPay Holdings Ltd (ASX: PPH)
Now we get to the real ASX 200 tech losers of FY2021. And PushPay is first on this list. Pushpay started FY21 at a share price of $2.06. But last Wednesday saw the company close at just $1.66 a share, putting its loss for the preceding 12 months at 19.22%.
Like TechnologyOne, Pushpay has also had a volatile year. Its 52-week range at the time of writing is $1.40-$2.25, quite the disparity. Pushpay’s big FY21 announcement was its earnings report for the 12 months ending 31 March 2021, which the company delivered back in May.
These earnings detailed Pushpay was able to grow its revenues by 40% and earnings by a very impressive 133%. Judging by the share price performance over FY21, investors didn’t seem too impressed though. Perhaps they decided the Pushpay share price was high enough anyway after phenomenal 2019 and 2020 calendar years.
Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)
At last, we reach the worst-performing ASX 200 tech share of FY2021. And that would be human annotated dataset provider Appen. Things just did not go Appen’s way in FY21. The company started the financial year at $33.92 and finished up at a share price of $13.58. That represents a loss of 50.24%. Ouch.
A WAAAXer like Altium, Appen used to be regarded as a high-flying ASX growth share. It grew by more than 50% in calendar year 2018 and by more than 80% in 2019. However, 2020 and 2021 so far have seen these incredible share price growth rates stall somewhat. This has coincided with earnings downgrades and Appen getting the boot from the ASX 100 Index.
Investors were also displeased with the company in FY21. At the company’s May general meeting, 47.6% of voting shareholders gave the thumbs down to Appen’s remuneration report. Its CEO has also been selling some shares recently. None of these factors seemed to add up to a recipe for a higher Appen share price.