The market is full of legacy technology companies whose stocks have fallen on hard times. Some of these companies have been around for nearly 100 years and are well-known household names. In their heyday, they led technological advances that transformed our lives and pushed society into the future. From personal computers and software applications to microchips and wireless internet. However, now that they are mature, established, and entrenched, many of these once-leading names have fallen out of favor with investors who are preoccupied with the new, shiny thing in tech. This is a shame as many legacy tech companies continue to be great businesses. It wouldn’t take much for their stocks to turn around and rise again. Here are seven legacy tech stocks primed for a comeback.
Let’s begin with Oracle (NYSE:ORCL). Co-founded in 1977 by Larry Ellison, Oracle is a software company whose products help companies manage their human resources departments and supply chains, as well as other areas of their business. The company may have gotten a little long in the tooth, but it remains the third biggest software company in the world with annual revenues of more than $40 billion. Additionally, Oracle continues to issue strong earnings reports.
Yet, the stock does not get as much love from investors as competing software concerns. So far in 2023, ORCL stock has gained 15%, which is half the 30% advance seen in shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Long-term, Oracle’s stock performance appears better, with the share price doubling over the past five years. More recently, the stock has struggled a bit due to Wall Street’s negative views of its $28 billion acquisition of electronic medical records company Cerner. However, it may not be long before Oracle’s stock has a big breakout.
Texas Instruments (TXN)
Many people still think about calculators when they hear the name Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN). And for good reason. Calculators were the company’s bread-and-butter for much of its 93-year history. However, Texas Instruments today has gone well beyond the calculators it sells to middle and high school students. The company is now a major manufacturer of semiconductors and integrated circuits. In fact, Texas Instruments is one of the top 10 semiconductor concerns in the world.
With more than 30,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues north of $20 billion, Texas Instruments is a formidable technology company. It also has more than 45,000 patents to its name and is a major holder of intellectual property rights. Yet TXN stock continues to drift sideways for the most part. In the last 12 months, the stock has declined 2%. While the stock has risen 50% in the past five years, it continues to trail other tech names.
In addition, TXN stock offers a robust quarterly dividend that pays $1.24 a share for a yield of 3.05%. The shares look undervalued with a price-earnings ratio of 18. Most tech stocks the size of Texas Instruments trade at 25 times future earnings, or more, and offer no dividend payout.
American Tower (AMT)
American Tower (NYSE:AMT) is technically a real estate investment trust. However, it is also a major technology company given that it owns the largest portfolio of wireless Internet towers in the U.S. American Tower is now adapting its infrastructure and towers to handle fifth-generation (5G) wireless as demand for the most powerful Internet skyrockets across the U.S. In business since 1995, American Tower today has more than 6,000 employees and revenues of nearly $10 billion.
Despite the essential nature of its business, AMT stock has struggled. The share price is down 16% over the past year, including a 10% pullback so far in 2023. Through five years, the share price has gained a tepid 39%. As with Texas Instruments, American Tower pays a strong quarterly dividend that yields 3.22% or $1.56 per share. So what’s holding the stock back? Analysts claim it is the slow adoption of 5G wireless outside the U.S. That and higher debt servicing costs due to rising interest rates are expected to grow by $315 million in 2023.
Big Blue could be the poster child for legacy technology companies. In continuous operation since 1911, investors would be hard-pressed to find an older technology stock. Yet International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has undergone quite a bit of restructuring in recent years in an effort to improve its financial and stock performance. Changes have included the spin-off of its managed infrastructure business into Kyndryl (NYSE:KD), and the repositioning of the core IBM business as a cloud computing firm.
IBM also continues to focus on the development of supercomputers through its quantum computing division which is focused on both commercial and scientific applications. Interest in the company’s quantum capabilities is growing with the rise of artificial intelligence. Yet all the changes have not been enough to move the needle on IBM stock. The company’s share price is down 10% over the past 12 months, bringing its five-year decline to 12%. A renewed focus on AI might be just the thing to finally push IBM stock higher.
AT&T (NYSE:T) is another technology company that is a household name in the U.S. but has struggled to gain traction with investors in recent years. The legacy company, which was founded in 1983, recently reported abysmal quarterly results that caused its share price to plunge 10%, marking the biggest one-day drop in T stock since the technology bubble burst back in 2000. Poor subscriber numbers hurt AT&T’s earnings and led to a big selloff in the shares.
However, T stock has been on the downslope for many years. In the past five years, the company’s share price has declined 30%. Alternating business strategies in recent years have sowed confusion among investors. The company first prioritized diversification, then shed its non-core assets, including WarnerMedia, to focus on growing its wireless internet service. But now, AT&T says high inflation and rising interest rates have made consumers reluctant to spend money on 5G wireless. The good news is that T stock may have finally bottomed.
HP Inc. (HPQ)
Technology company HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) is a personal computer company that is best known for making printers. In business since 1939 and formerly known as “Hewlett-Packard,” the home where HP was founded in Palo Alto, California, has been labeled a historical landmark and marked with a plaque that reads: “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.” Now that’s a legacy tech company! Today, HP is still involved in its core business of computer hardware and printers, though it is increasingly focused on cutting-edge 3D printers.
HP stock is another one that has lagged behind its peers in recent years. Over the last 12 months, HPQ stock has slumped 18%. Its five-year gain is only 33%. Yet HP is another old tech company that pays a very attractive dividend to its stockholders. Currently, the dividend yield on HPQ stock is 3.47%, which is high for any stock but exceptional among tech securities. Also, HP’s shares look significantly undervalued trading at a P/E ratio of only 12. Again, most tech companies the size of HP trade at more than double that rate.
If any legacy technology stock is due for a rebound, it is microchip and semiconductor company Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). The company has been struggling mightily as it moves to transform its business to fabricating chips and semiconductors for other companies. Intel is spending more than $20 billion to reposition its chip factories as foundries. The effort is seriously impacting the company’s bottom line, resulting in Intel reporting the biggest loss in its 55-year history for this year’s first quarter.
Specifically, Intel announced a 133% annual reduction in its Q1 earnings per share and reported that its revenue in Q1 fell 36% from a year earlier to $11.7 billion. This year’s first quarter marked the fifth consecutive quarter of falling sales at Intel. Owing to its big investments aimed at a turnaround, and the poor earnings, INTC stock has declined 45% in the last five years, including a 32% decrease in the past 12 months. However, once the transition to manufacturing microchips is complete, Intel could end up being a winner.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in MSFT. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.