Investing in tech stocks, superstar or not, in recent years has been a solid strategy. Most growth-oriented technology companies have seen their valuations balloon, even during the pandemic. With expectations that interest rates could stay lower for longer, with inflation remaining subdued, there was a lot to like about the deflationary thesis underpinning so many of these names.
However, alongside the incredible monetary stimulus and supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic has come inflation. With the highest inflation in approximately four decades now upon us, central banks everywhere are scrambling to hike rates. These interest rate hikes have the potential to reduce the valuation investors are willing to pay for growth stocks. In fact, most growth stocks have seen a marked decline in interest of late for this key reason.
However, the question is whether investors should take such an alarmist view of growth stocks right now. During previous hiking cycles, many growth stocks did well. Outside of the dot-com bubble, which saw many companies reach ridiculous valuations on the basis of relatively weak business models, most hiking environments have represented periods of otherwise strong growth.
For those who think that we’re in such a period, and the Federal Reserve has limited capacity to aggressively raise rates, perhaps now is a great time to look at select growth stocks. Here are a few of the top growth stocks I think are worth diving into right now:
- Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA)
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
- CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD)
- Concentrix (NASDAQ:CNXC)
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
- Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL)
- Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB)
Tech Stocks to Buy: Nvidia (NVDA)
Rising almost 150%, Nvidia was a key beneficiary of the bull market we saw last year. This computer chip manufacturing giant specializes in the production of graphics processing units (GPUs). Last year, Nvidia overtook its competitors, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), to become the industry leader.
Given its outperformance, NVDA is now in correction mode, falling more than 29% on a year-to-date basis at the time of writing. This stock’s downward trend is the result of a number of factors, including a recent cyberattack, which led to business data being stolen. Overall, such events are very bearish, especially given the timing. It’s not a great time to be an investor in high-growth tech stocks, and such events weaken the thesis behind owning such names right now.
That said, over the long-term, expectations are that this single event won’t impact Nvidia’s growth. This company’s growth profile, as highlighted in the company’s recent fourth-quarter results on Feb. 16, show a company that’s still in hyper-growth mode. Strong demand for semiconductors has boosted this company’s revenue by 53% on a year-over-year basis. Additionally, Nvidia grew its bottom line by 69% year-over-year, signaling even stronger margins than before.
Currently, Nvidia demands a strong market position in the global GPU market. Over time, I expect this position to be strengthened by the company’s focus on the metaverse and other key growth sectors. Indeed, this is a superstar tech stock I think is worth looking at right now.
What’s a list of top superstar tech stocks without Apple?
The largest company in the world, with a market capitalization of $2.6 trillion at the time of writing, Apple remains a core portfolio holding of many active and passive investors. That’s because due to its size, AAPL stock is the largest holding in most diversified index exchange-traded funds. Whether investors like it or not, Apple’s performance is a key driver of the market overall, and vice versa.
Apple’s stock price has been hit hard by the same macro conditions that have beaten down the overall market of late. However, this company’s unique position in the luxury consumer discretionary category is one I think is worth considering. Unlike many of its peers, Apple has pricing power the company has wielded to protect its margins. In this time of inflation, which will continue to drive input costs higher, Apple has defended its margins (and actually grown its margins) over time. As the company shifts its revenue mix toward services, I expect this trend to continue.
Overall, Apple’s results have been impressive, and I think this company is well-positioned to continue to grow in a steady manner over the long-term. Those looking for superstar growth don’t need to think too hard — Apple is a great long-term pick, in my view.
Tech Stocks to Buy: CrowdStrike (CRWD)
In this new age of war we’ve now entered with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, greater emphasis is being placed on stocks that may benefit in this environment. Of course, there are the standard defense stocks that are outperforming right now. However, cybersecurity stocks such as CrowdStrike have not gotten the same degree of love lately.
Indeed, cybersecurity is a key growth sector that will likely continue to grow, regardless of this conflict. However, with the powerful threat coming from Russian-based hackers both in the Ukraine and abroad, this company’s offerings are even more important today.
Crowdstrike is an interesting stock in that this company is actually down considerably over the past six months. In fact, CRWD stock has lost approximately 25% of its value over this time frame, as investors have mainly focused on higher interest rates and their impact on high-growth stocks.
That said, as far as companies with the ability to accelerate earnings through this crisis go, Crowdstrike is certainly a company worth considering. For investors concerned about this conflict, CrowdStrike offers one of the most defensive growth models on the Nasdaq right now.
One of the better-performing stocks I’d put in the superstar category in tech, Concentrix is a company that has generally outpaced the market over the past year. This stock is up considerably, as clients look for customer solutions providers like Concentrix to manage their way through this uncertainty.
Like other pandemic-driven stocks, Concentrix accelerated through 2021. However, this stock has not been hit as hard by concerns around valuation, given the company’s reasonable valuation multiple of 25-times earnings (and that’s after this recent period of capital appreciation).
The company’s business model of CX optimization, business transformation, analytics and other services have grown considerably. This is mainly due to the company’s impressive positioning among its peers as a leading provider of these services.
Over the long term, investors focused on optimization plays in this economy may want to consider CNXC stock. The company’s strong Q4 results highlight why this is a top stock on my watch list right now.
Tech Stocks to Buy: Amazon (AMZN)
Another absolute tech behemoth, Amazon is a company most investors have to put on their superstar list. This company has felt the same macro pressures as all companies on this list. Accordingly, AMZN stock is down more than 20% from last year’s peak.
In recent years, Amazon is a stock that has trended in only one direction — up. That’s because this company is among the fastest-growing at its size. With a valuation of more than $1.5 trillion at the time of writing, Amazon still manages to grow revenue in key segments such as its AWS cloud business by 40% per year. This is the key profit center for the company, and one investors remain tuned into.
The company’s recent fourth-quarter results provided a strong thesis for long-term growth investors to simply hold on tight. The company’s revenue grew by 9% overall, and the company’s stake in Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN) provided a massive earnings beat. Additionally, the company recently announced a stock split and massive buyback, something that has retail investors excited.
I think Amazon is a company that’s got too many positive catalysts to ignore. In a flight to safety, growth investors are likely to find themselves adding AMZN. Accordingly, this stock remains a top pick of mine in the tech space.
Shares of the parent company of the world’s largest and most used search engine, Alphabet, did not enter 2022 on a good note. However, Alphabet not only beat all Wall Street estimates, but it was another company that decided to share news of a stock split, which excited retail investors.
Like Amazon’s stock split, this move by Alphabet does not change the fundamentals of its business. One can think of a stock split as the equivalent of taking a company’s market capitalization (a pie) and cutting it into more slices. Investors own more shares (slices) of this pie, though their total percentage ownership of said company remains the same.
This move has been seen as a bullish one by investors, as it allows Alphabet to offer options to lower-income employees, as well as allow for employees to sell off a portion of their holdings without impacting the company’s share price significantly.
Of course, this news overshadowed otherwise strong Q4 results which further the long-term thesis on this stock.
Overall, I remain bullish on Alphabet as a long-term winner in the U.S. search market. Those looking for a place to hide right now have an excellent option with GOOGL stock.
Tech Stocks to Buy: Meta Platforms (FB)
Last, but certainly not least, we have Meta Platforms.
The parent company of social media platform Facebook, Meta is a stock that has been absolutely hammered by the market. Since its peak last year, shares of FB stock have lost more than 50% of their value, at the time of writing. That’s an incredible dip, given the pace of this company’s earnings growth of late.
Much of this recent decline can be attributed to a massive 25% drop in a single day on Feb. 3. The company impressively lost more than $200 billion in market value, marking the single largest drop in market capitalization for any stock in history.
This drop can be attributed to many factors. However, negative user growth for the company’s Facebook platform, also a first, drove most of this sentiment. Additionally, the company’s decision to pull out of Russia (for obvious reasons) has been seen as a likely driver of continued declining monthly active users in the coming quarters. Additionally, the company posted a massive loss for its metaverse division, something that has some investors concerned about where this company is banking on for future growth.
The thing is, Meta’s overall fundamentals remain strong. This company is one that I think has both a highly profitable business model and the ability to expand into verticals such as the metaverse. Time will ultimately tell how successful this strategy is. However, for now, I think this is a top-notch blue chip tech stock to buy at an incredible discount.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.