The task at hand for this article is to find some tech stocks that are screaming buys right now. Given the S&P 500 tech sector is down 16.4% year-to-date through Aug. 25, that shouldn’t be too difficult.
The big question: Where do you start?
Based on the 47 tech stocks in the index, 37 are down more than the 16.4% mentioned earlier. However, just because a stock is down significantly in a given year doesn’t mean it’s a screaming buy.
As I look at some of the names down more than 30% in 2022, I see many names that would look good in a diversified buy-and-hold portfolio.
In mid-August, MarketWatch discussed the best way to invest in tech stocks with Robert Stimpson, the co-manager of the Red Oak Technology Select Fund (MUTF:ROGSX), a fund that invests in large caps that have “attractive valuation, high-profit margins, and an ability or willingness to support and recognize shareholder value.”
So, respecting this process, I’ll select seven stocks from ROGSX — it only holds 26 stocks, so that won’t be easy — that are down more than 16.4% YTD.
The tech stocks selected are listed in descending order of their YTD performance.
|CTSH||Cognizant Technology Solutions||$67.03|
Skyworks Solutions (SWKS)
Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS) is down 32.15% YTD.
The company, which produces semiconductors for wireless handsets and other devices used for wireless connectivity, reported good third quarter 2022 results in early August. On the top line, sales increased 10% year-over-year (YOY), while on the bottom, non-generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) earnings per share were $2.44, 13.5% higher than a year ago.
You’ll notice that its non-GAAP net income only increased by 9.7% during the quarter. However, share repurchases grew its EPS by 380 basis points more. In the first nine months of fiscal 2022, the company bought back $806.5 million of its stock at an average price of $141.30, considerably higher than its current share price.
On a positive note, it’s paid out $1.08 billion for dividends and share repurchases through Q3 2022, 143% higher than last year. It also increased its quarterly dividend payment by 11%. With the September payment, its annualized payment of $2.48 yields a reasonable 2.3%.
That’s an ode to shareholder value.
As for a valuation, it has an earnings yield of 7.54%, making it cheaper than it’s been since 2018. On the profit margin front, its non-GAAP net margin in the third quarter was 31.9%.
Some companies don’t even have a 32% gross margin, let alone a high net margin.
Cisco Solutions (CSCO)
Cisco Solutions (NASDAQ:CSCO) is down 25.16% YTD.
It is the Red Oak fund’s fifth-largest position. With only 26, it suggests Stimpson and his co-managers are confident in the ongoing transformation of the networking hardware and software company by CEO Chuck Robbins.
In mid-August, Cisco announced its fourth quarter 2022 and full-year results.
Just looking at the top line, the results aren’t that impressive. But, if look more closely, there’s quality here. Its Q4 revenues were flat compared to last year, up just 3% for all of 2022 YOY. However, its annualized recurring revenue (or ARR) was $22.9 billion in Q4 2022, 8% higher than a year earlier.
On the bottom line, it had non-GAAP EPS of $3.36 a share, 4% higher than a year earlier. That doesn’t seem like much until you consider that it has Remaining Performance Obligations (RPO) of $31.5 billion, with 54% of it in the next 12 months.
The cash flow will continue to be there. In the fourth quarter alone, it paid out $1.6 billion in dividends and repurchased $2.4 billion of its stock. It finished the quarter with $15.2 billion remaining on its share repurchase program.
Robbins discussed the company’s backlog after it released its Q4 results:
‘We’ve been saying all along that we have a record backlog, and when the supply chain begins to ease that we would begin to see the revenues flow through,’ Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told CNBC’s ‘Squawk on the Street’ on August 18. ‘We saw some early easing in the supply chain which is positive, and we look ahead to the next year, and we feel like it’s going to continue.’
It’s hard not to like the direction that Chuck Robbins is taking Cisco.
Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH)
Cognizant Technology Solutions (NASDAQ:CTSH) is down 25.16% YTD.
The provider of technology consulting and outsourcing services is having a solid year in 2022 after a solid year in 2021. Despite the difficulties attracting and retaining employees in the current labor market, Cognizant has managed to deliver for shareholders through the year’s first half.
Its revenues in Q2 2022 increased 9.5%, excluding currency fluctuations, to $4.9 billion, while its adjusted EPS jumped 15.2% to $1.14 from $0.99 a year earlier. For all of 2022, the company expects revenue, also excluding currency fluctuations, to increase by 9.0% at the midpoint of its guidance. If successful, that would put its annual revenue over $20 billion for the first time in its history.
The company finished the second quarter with TTM bookings of $23.2 billion and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.2, which means it’s getting more new bookings in a particular period than it’s billing for. Anything above 1.0 is good news for shareholders.
In the second quarter, it generated $485 million in free cash flow (or FCF), leaving plenty to pay out $141 million in dividends and repurchase $318 million of its shares. In the TTM that ended June 30, Cognizant generated $2.33 billion in FCF. Its current market cap of $34.71 billion has an FCF yield of 6.7%. That suggests it’s approaching value territory.
Accenture (NYSE:ACN) is down 23.93% YTD.
When I think of Accenture, I envision a bunch of consultants sitting around a room coming up with solutions and strategies to charge their clients an excessive amount of money. I don’t think of tech geeks.
However, it is the company’s tech expertise that makes it so valuable because the digital transformation of business remains ongoing. It has more than 7,000 clients worldwide, serviced from offices in more than 200 cities and 50 countries.
The company’s latest fiscal year was a big success, with revenues exceeding $50 billion and an adjusted EPS of $8.80. It returned $5.9 billion to shareholders for dividends and share repurchases.
So far, in 2022, the business has been stellar for Accenture. Through the first nine months of the fiscal year, its revenues increased 24.4% to $46.17 billion, with a 16.1% increase in net income to $5.21 billion.
Accenture’s new bookings were $17 billion during the third quarter, 10% higher than a year ago. Excluding currency fluctuations, new bookings increased 15% YOY. Revenue growth occurred across all geographic regions and industry groups. It expects revenues to grow by at least 25.5% in 2022, 150 basis points higher than its previous guidance.
In the trailing 12 months (TTM), Accenture’s operating margin was 15.20%. That’s higher than it’s been at almost any time in the past decade. The company’s TTM FCF is $7.41 billion, leaving plenty to return capital to shareholders.
NXP Semiconductors (NXPI)
NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) is down 22.58% YTD.
The Dutch-American semiconductor company focuses its business on four main segments: Automotive, Industrial & Internet of Things (IoT), and Communications Infrastructure & Other.
By end market, the automotive industry is NXP’s biggest meal ticket. In Q2 2022, it generated $1.71 billion in revenue, or 52% of its $3.31 billion overall. Not only is automotive its biggest end market, but it’s also the fastest growing. In the second quarter, its revenues grew 35.7% over Q2 2021.
The company’s bread and butter are geographically in China and the Asia Pacific region. In the second quarter, its sales from this region were $1.83 billion, or 55% overall. As China goes, so goes NXP.
As of July 3, NXP’s TTM FCF was $2.37 billion. That’s good for an FCF yield of 5.0%. Anything between 4% and 8% is considered to be fair value. A few more quarters, like Q2, and the yield will be in value territory above 8%.
In July, NXP announced a partnership with Hon Hai Technology Group, better known as Foxconn, to develop platforms for smart connected vehicles jointly.
Fisker (NYSE:FSR), which starts production of its electric Ocean SUV in Austria in November, recently suggested that it’s looking into making some of the SUVs in America, in part, because of the electric vehicle tax credits offered as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. If it does, Foxconn could be its manufacturing partner.
That’s excellent news for NXP’s automotive ambitions.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is down 21.46% YTD.
KeyBanc analyst John Vinh recently had a conversation with Qualcomm’s management, which convinced him that his overweight rating and $220 target price are right on the money. Vinh believes that investors have unfairly labeled Qualcomm as a “smartphone” company, forgetting that its moves to enter non-handset growth markets are working.
In other words, patient investors will be rewarded.
The analyst believes the price-to-earnings multiple of 10x 2023 earnings is an attractive entry point. The 32 analysts covering Qualcomm have a 2022 EPS estimate of $12.56 and $13.01 for 2023. That’s 11.2x 2023 EPS for all 32 analysts. That’s still very cheap.
As for target price and rating, the analysts rate QCOM overweight with an average target price of $180.81, 24% higher than where it’s currently trading.
Qualcomm reported Q3 2022 results at the end of July that were more than acceptable, with revenues $80 million higher at $10.94 billion, while its adjusted EPS was $2.96, seven cents higher than the estimate. YOY, revenues, and EPS were 36% and 54% higher.
However, investors did not like its outlook for the fourth quarter.
The analysts are expecting revenue of $12 billion and $3.30 EPS. Qualcomm management’s outlook calls for $11.4 billion and $3.15. The difference in revenue is the more troublesome figure. The company did say that its automotive and IoT chip sales remain solid.
With a 2.1% yield, patient capital will continue to pile into this leader among tech stocks.
Akamai Technologies (AKAM)
Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) is down 19.47% YTD.
Like Qualcomm, Akamai’s latest quarterly report was a case of the glass being half full or half empty, depending on what figures you were looking at.
The security and content delivery company’s revenues were slightly higher than the analyst estimates at $903 million, $5 million above the consensus. On the bottom line, analysts were expecting $1.31 a share. It delivered an EPS that was four cents higher.
However, the company expects full-year revenue of $3.59 billion at the midpoint of its guidance, down from $3.65 billion. In terms of earnings, it’s projecting at least $5.19 a share in 2022. That’s 13 cents lower than its previous guidance.
A significant positive from the report: CEO Tom Leighton said its security business will pass content delivery as its largest unit in 2023. In the second quarter, its security software revenue increased 17% YOY to $381 million, $36 million shy of its content delivery business.
Although the average analyst rating for Akamai is “overweight,” the mix of ratings is interesting. Of the 19 covering AKAM, 10 rates it a “hold,” while nine have it either as a “buy” or “overweight.” No analysts rate it a “sell.” As for the target price, the average is $111, 17% higher than where it’s currently trading.
It will be interesting to see what the company can do with its compute solutions business. While it’s a small piece of the total pie at the moment, its $900 million acquisition of Linode puts it squarely in the cloud game.
That’s something to watch.
On the date of publication, Will Ashworth 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.