Historically, extreme speculation tends to correct sharply to the downside. Eventually, the market loses willing buyers at the top, causing the bubble to burst. Naturally, many have looked to tech stocks as the source for the next big collapse. Still, with the Nasdaq index recently hitting an all-time high, it’s not looking very encouraging for the bears.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the bulls have an easy way up to new plateaus. As the Wall Street Journal reported, a day after the Nasdaq’s record-breaking run on April 26, tech stocks edged away. It wasn’t a catastrophic loss, mind you, and the sector could still ride on its jets. Nevertheless, some interesting factors could see a discount popping up in the technology space.
First, the old enemy of rising bond yields returned. As the key benchmark interest rate rises, it puts pressure on tech stocks, particularly because so many have enjoyed lofty premiums, perhaps too lofty. Since the risk of bag holding is more prominent today, investors seek to rotate out of risk-on names and into safer vehicles. When rates rise, government bonds look more attractive as a reliable source of passive income.
Second, a growing understanding has developed that valuations of tech stocks have been stretched further relative to other sectors. This notion become rather conspicuous when much-celebrated innovative firms released strong quarterly earnings results, only to see their equity units print red ink or respond very modestly.
Again, it’s not a guarantee that tech-related companies are due for a correction. Nevertheless, a dip wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. If so, you should consider these tech stocks as a discounted long-term buying opportunity.
- IBM (NYSE:IBM)
- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)
- Panasonic (OTCMKTS:PCRFY)
- Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE)
- FinVolution (NYSE:FINV)
- Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU)
- Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW)
Despite the stretched valuations, we’re decidedly in the information age. Thus, if the technology sector suffers downside, it won’t be long before they start recovering due to their exceptional relevance. So keep these tech stocks on your radar: you just might get a tantalizing discount.
Tech Stocks: IBM (IBM)
An icon among tech stocks, IBM no doubt belongs among the pantheon of the sector’s greatest companies. However, this description has been more fitting of an inclusion in the history books as opposed to a contemporary investment thesis. This is a longwinded way of saying that analysts typically regard IBM stock as a boring play.
Nevertheless, the times could be changing. I recognize that I’ve been saying that for quite a while and it hasn’t panned out. And I don’t want to say those dreaded words of “this time, it’s different.” What I can say is that on a year-to-date basis, IBM stock is off to an auspicious start, gaining more than 15%.
Granted, that’s nothing compared to other high-powered tech stocks. But if you’re looking for a stable but relevant business, Big Blue might be it. Not too long ago, Gartner designated the company as a leader in two of its 2021 Magic Quadrant reports. This was thanks to IBM’s core competency in artificial intelligence.
I’m not sure when shares might go on discount, but you may want to add a position in this potentially resurgent under-the-radar company.
In recent years, Intel made multiple glaring errors that clashed with its long-held image as a leader among tech stocks. Further compounding matters, the company watched frustratingly as rival Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) continued to reach plateau after plateau.
You can just look at the charts and see for yourself. Over the trailing five years, INTC stock gained 90%. That’s not bad but it’s nothing compared to AMD’s astounding 2,267% return over the same period.
In 2021, Intel appeared to be getting its mojo back, with INTC stock up more than 37% for the year at one point. Unfortunately, AMD again stole the tech firm’s thunder, delivering another strong quarterly result and forward guidance. Additionally, AMD enjoyed broad-based growth across nearly every product line, which translates to the company encroaching on Intel’s turf.
Naturally, this contributed to the recent decline in INTC stock. On the surface, the picture looks grim. Nevertheless, Intel’s forward-looking vision and ample acumen in innovation should not be overlooked. If you don’t mind taking some contrarian risks, INTC may be attractive after it’s done correcting.
Tech Stocks: Panasonic (PCRFY)
Once a forgotten entity among tech stocks when Japanese consumer electronics products lost their luster, Panasonic has enjoyed a resurgence with its specialty in batteries for electric vehicles. Should e;ectric vehicles take off – and that’s the general assumption – PCRFY stock could do very well, potentially expanding its battery offerings to several automakers.
Further, Panasonic may turn out to be the smarter bet in the EV space. Eventually, you’d figure that with so many competitors, we’ll soon see brand commoditization. Where companies will distinguish themselves is through battery technology and capacity. By then, Panasonic should have a sizable lead in research and development, boosting the case for PCRFY stock.
But another reason to consider the tech firm is its acquisition of U.S. supply chain software company Blue Yonder. In a deal worth $7.1 billion, Blue Yonder became extremely relevant due to the novel coronavirus pandemic’s global supply chain disruption.
Since it’s Panasonic’s biggest acquisition in a decade, investors have been skeptical. But that might make PCRFY one of the more interesting dips to advantage among tech stocks.
Bloom Energy (BE)
Near the beginning of this year, Bloom Energy was off to a great start. By Feb. 8, BE stock was up 56% and it was no wonder why. First and foremost, you had the election of President Joe Biden. His victory wasn’t just a reflection of the public’s desire for a change in leadership. In addition, Biden represented a new way of thinking regarding environmental sustainability.
Sadly, though, the Texas winter storm took a bite out of the clean energy thesis. Not helping matters were media pundits blasting renewable energy for the grid’s failure. Of course, the truth is much more complex than that but if you repeat something loud and long enough, it becomes true. Suddenly, BE stock finds itself up less than 2% YTD.
But perhaps the selloff is overdone. Undeterred from the volatility, Bloom Energy recently announced that “in collaboration with its Korean partner, SK Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., an affiliate of SK Group, it has successfully deployed 100 kilowatts of solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC) powered solely by hydrogen in Ulsan, South Korea, generating zero-carbon onsite electricity.”
If advanced societies hope to achieve net zero emissions, they must explore a variety of solutions. Bloom Energy is one to watch.
Tech Stocks: FinVolution (FINV)
One of the reasons why tech stocks that specialize in payment and financial services like PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) are so popular is because they provide alternative means to access capital. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 5.4% (or 7.1 million) of U.S. households were unbanked in 2019. Likely, this figure will increase due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Now, you can acquire tech stocks that specialize in this field for the U.S. market. But for possibly greater gains, you may want to consider FinVolution. Billed as a “leading fintech platform in China connecting underserved individual borrowers with financial institutions,” FINV stock could become the next big fintech play.
Better yet, shares are not priced to the moon like other compelling tech stocks. Priced around $7, this has potential to catch fire with the social media crowd. Further, its financial performance backs up the hype. In 2020, it generated $986.3 million in revenue, up more than 42% from 2019 results.
Certainly, if you’re looking for a relevant, low-cost and long-term investment, FINV stock just might fit the bill.
Micron Technology (MU)
Over the last few days, chip manufacturer Micron Technology generated some weak numbers in its price chart. That’s not particularly surprising as the benchmark Nasdaq index has been slow over the same period. Nevertheless, the hesitant trading may be something that contrarian investors may want to advantage.
First, according to its latest fiscal second-quarter earnings report, the underlying DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) market is in severe shortage while the NAND sector appears to be stabilizing in the near term. This helped boost Q2 results above Micron’s original expectations due to much higher demand across multiple end markets.
Second, even without the dynamics resultant from the global chip shortage, Micron is forging a stronger footprint in two key markets: mobile MCPs (multichip packages) and automotive. According to management, Micron set revenue records for these two segments, boding well for MU stock once the global economy stabilizes.
Overall, the company delivered total revenue of $6.24 billion, up 30% from the year-ago quarter. Should MU still weaken from here, this is one of the tech stocks you’ll want to keep close tabs on.
Tech Stocks: Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
As companies rapidly scrambled to work-from-home platforms to address the Covid-19 crisis, Palo Alto Networks and similar publicly traded firms became one of the most obvious trades among tech stocks. Due to a wider footprint of access points, companies found themselves much more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
If there’s any overriding concerns that executives have about their employees clocking in from their living room, it’s vulnerability to cyber criminals. In a centralized location, you can better control your digital access points. When people are working from home, it’s a different story. Once an attacker gains access, they can wreak havoc on the network.
Thus, it’s not surprising that PANW stock enjoyed a strong performance over the trailing year. But will momentum carry forward now that coronavirus cases are declining in the U.S.?
Undoubtedly, some investors have been skeptical about PANW stock thanks to positive events like the vaccine rollout. However, late last year, CNBC reported that one in four Americans will still be working remotely in 2021. Therefore, I don’t think it’s out of the question that cybersecurity firms will hold onto their relevance.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.