For the last two years, tech stocks have been weighed down by the Steet’s worries about elevated inflation and the Fed’s rate hikes in response to high inflation. But in the coming months, inflation is widely expected to drop sharply. With that, now is a good time for long-term investors to find technology stocks to buy.
For example, EY’s head economist, Gregory Daco, predicted last month that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) would tumble to 2.3% by the final month of this year. Meanwhile, in the wake of last weekend’s bank failures, some analysts predict that the central bank won’t raise rates anymore for the foreseeable future, while most others think that the Fed is only going to hike by roughly three-quarters of a percent for the rest of the year.
So with inflation sinking and the Fed getting ready to pause, again now is a good time for long-term investors to find technology stocks to buy.
Jabil (NYSE:JBL) manufactures electronic systems and components. Its customers include automakers, data centers, and defense and aerospace companies. According to Seeking Alpha columnist Mike Zaccardi, Jabil is well-positioned to benefit from China’s relaxation of anti-coronavirus measures. Moreover, the columnist thinks that the company is “leveraged to…EV, renewable energy, and broader infrastructure.” With all three of those sectors growing rapidly and China’s economy poised to accelerate, Jabil should report very strong financial results this year.
Meanwhile, the “smart money” appears to be very enthusiastic about JBL stock. Indeed, according to Investor’s Business Daily, the highest-rated 30% of stock funds over the last three years bought a fairly large total of $457 million of JBL stock in the last three months. Also noteworthy is that Jabil has a very low forward price-earnings ratio of just 10.
Eaton Corporation (ETN)
Another company that’s focused on electricity equipment, Eaton (NYSE:ETN), creates “electric components” and “power distribution” systems. It also develops “power reliability equipment and services,” and sells many components of commercial airplanes.
As a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, D.C. is poised to spend a great deal of money on improving the electric grid. In fact, the Biden administration plans to distribute $10.5 billion to bolster “the resilience and reliability of America’s electric grid.” Given Eaton’s focus on “electric components” and “power distribution” systems, those expenditures should greatly boost the company’s financial results and ETN stock.
In fact, the government’s spending may already be lifting Eaton’s financial results, since, last quarter, the company’s “Electrical sector backlog soared 75% year-over-year, and [overall] its free cash flow jumped 36% YOY.”
Meanwhile, the commercial airline sector appears to be thriving, as travel trends worldwide seem to be very strong. As evidence of the latter assertion, consider that General Electric (NYSE:GE) expects the bottom line of its Aerospace division to jump to $7.8 billion in 2025 from $5.5 billion in 2023, while Saudi Arabia is launching its own airlines and is reportedly “close to committing to a big order” of planes from Boeing (NYSE:BA).
Analysts, on average, expect Eaton’s earnings per share to climb to $9.13 next year from $8.29 this year. The company’s EPS in 2022 was $7.57. ETN stock trades at an attractive forward price-earnings ratio of 21.5.
Chip maker Tokyo Electron expects global chip demand to “return to an exponential growth path next year,” Bloomberg reported. Given the proliferation of AI, connected cars, and data centers, that assessment certainly seems legitimate to, and it’s positive for one of the world’s largest chip makers, Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO).
Meanwhile, despite relatively weak chip demand amid consumers’ goods-to-services shift, Broadcom on March 2 reported quite strong results for its fiscal first quarter. Specifically, its revenue climbed 15.7% versus the same period a year earlier to $8.9 billion, and its net income soared 54% year-over-year to $3.77 bullion. Multiple banks were understandably very upbeat about AVGO stock in the wake of its results.
For example. Bank of America wrote that the stock ” provides perhaps the most compellingly valued exposure to the fast-growing generative AI market.” The bank raised its price target on the shares to $725 and kept a “buy” rating on the name. Trading at a forward price-earnings ratio of just 14.8 and giving investors a dividend yield of 3%, AVGO stock looks like a great bargain at its current levels.
Global cybersecurity spending will climb 13% this year, research firm Canalys has predicted. That’s very good news for Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT), one of America’s largest and most successful cybersecurity firms.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s decision to develop a “comprehensive plan to regulate the security practices of cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Oracle” looks poised to generate a great deal of additional growth for Fortinet.
FTNT expects its product sales to climb 15% this year, and the company says that its ASIC chip enables it to offer more comprehensive, lower-cost products than its competitors. Analysts, on average, expect the company’s earnings per share to increase to $1.41 this year and $1.67 next year versus $1.19 in 2022. Also importantly, the “smart money” appears to be enthusiastic about JBL stock. That’s because Investor’s Business Daily reports that the highest-rated 30% of stock funds over the last three years bought a fairly large total of $102 million of FTNT stock in the last three months.
A small quarterly revenue miss and an abrupt CEO change have caused iCAD (NASDAQ:ICAD) stock to drop sharply. The company markets its AI-based system that detects breast cancer. On March 13, the company announced that its CEO, Stacey Stevens, was stepping down due to “personal reasons.” On the same day, iCAD disclosed that it expected to report Q4 revenue of $6.5 million, slightly below analysts’ average estimate of $6.6 million.
In typical Street fashion, large investors decided to sell first and think critically and strategically later, causing ICAD stock to tumble 35% on March 13.
But long-term investors should consider a few important points about ICAD. First, after the decline of the shares, the stock has a tiny market capitalization of just $39.2 million. Secondly, as I pointed out previously, Alphabet signed a deal to incorporate its AI technology into iCAD’s products, likely validating iCAD’s technology and probably giving Alphabet a financial incentive to market iCAD’s systems.
As for the departure of Stevens, iCAD’s CEO, I think the development likely reflects Alphabet’s desire to work with a CEO with which it already has a solid relationship. And in a positive sign for ICAD stock, one of its board members, Rakesh Patel, on March 9 activated options on over 48,000 shares of ICAD stock “with an exercise price of $3.03.” With ICAD trading around the $1.60 level, investors should take a hint from Patel and exploit the overdone decline to acquire its shares. In my view, ICAD is definitely one of the best technology stocks to buy at this point.
Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) stock tumbled nearly 10% last week on news that 26% of its cash had been deposited at Silicon Valley Bank. Unfortunately, Roku’s shares have not recovered much this week. However, after D.C. guaranteed that depositors would immediately receive all of the funds that they had at the failed bank, the decline of Roku created a good buying opportunity. Worth noting is that Roku is the leading operating system for streaming TV, which has become the most prevalent form of TV. Moreover, streaming TV continues to grow rapidly.
Roku has faced a number of challenges in recent years. Specifically, the TV ad market has weakened amid recession fears and supply chain issues have hindered Roku’s ability to procure enough of its set-top boxes to meet demand.
But, as I’ve stated in previous columns, I think that worries about a recession are far overdone, and a number of well-regarded economists, including Ed Yardeni and Jeremy Siegel, have expressed similar views. As marketers become less nervous about the economy later this year, TV ad spending should surge. Meanwhile, supply chains are improving. And after the recent retreat of ROKU stock, the shares traded at a very attractive trailing price-sales ratio of 2.75.
Like Roku, PubMatic (NASDAQ:PUBM) should get a big boost from accelerating advertising growth amid brightening views about the economy later this year. Last quarter, PubMatic’s total top line inched down 1.7% year-over-year to $74.3 million. But it remained profitable, as its net cash from operating activities came in at $19.4 million.
There were other, very encouraging signs within its Q4 and 2022 results. Specifically, its “Revenue from the omnichannel video” climbed 25% year-over-year last quarter, while its “Net dollar-based retention was 108% for the year,” indicating that its customers are very happy with its products.
“Our business model is unique with respect to our ability to consistently generate cash and maintain 30% plus annual adjusted EBITDA margins while also investing in future growth opportunities,” CEO Rajeev Goel said on the company’s Q4 earnings conference call, held on Feb. 28.
PUBM’s trailing price-earnings ratio is a very attractive 27., given its strong, long-0term growth outlook. Given its strong, positive, long-term catalysts, PUBM is one of the best technology stocks to buy at this point.
As of the date of publication, Larry Ramer owned shares of PUBM, GE, and ICAD. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.