Technology was one of the top performing sectors in 2012, with many companies from the group hitting new 52-week highs. Many mega-cap technology companies such as International Business Machines and Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) reached new all-time highs in 2012 and in turn lifted the Nasdaq 100, an index of major technology companies, to a new all-time high.
The industry is sitting on record earnings as well. Earnings of big technology companies are well ahead of 12 years ago, when the Nasdaq crossed the 5,000 mark and after 12 long years of a bear market in technology, strong earnings growth has many former high-fliers trading at record low valuations.
So far, 2013 has been a record setting year, but tons of obstacles still exist. Big technology looks well positioned to navigate this volatility, and this trend should set the foundation for another strong performance in the latter half of 2013.
3 Stocks to Consider
Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) has been down in 2013, and closed last week at a share price of $32.75 – much lower than its 52-week high of $36.43. This downtrend could be a good entry point for investors looking for growth, as fiscal-year 2014 earnings are expected to increase 12% to $2.88 per share. That has shares trading at a discount compared to its peers and the market.
In February, the company bought Acme Packet for $2.1 billion, gaining networking gear that helps corporations securely transmit information over the internet. The effects of the deal are not yet clear, but expanding Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)’s unified communications portfolio and expanding Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)’s relationship with large telco service providers will only help the company in the long-term. More recently, Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) announced in a June press release that Salesforce is going to “standardize” a number of Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) products — including hardware. This standardization would merge the cloud capabilities of the two companies, which would only increase the cloud competencies of both companies.
Additionally, its stock yields 1.5% and it has announced big stock buybacks.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) was a big-time high flyer in the 1990s. But now, 15 years later, the company looks more like a solid blue chip in technology with a very respectable dividend yield of nearly 2.60%. Hardware has been a tough segment for the past few years, with the desktop space becoming largely commoditized. But Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)’s position in higher-end networking gear protected it from some of the price erosion in desktop hardware. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is another big technology company that looks undervalued, trading with a forward P/E of 12.51, a nice discount to its peer P/E average of 15.