As I have talked about many times before, investing in companies that can grow corporate profits over the long term is essential when it comes to becoming a successful investor. Sometimes, though, it does pay to be a contrarian and go against the herd.
One sector that has been hit hard lately is technology stocks. Technology stocks, especially those that build hardware for personal computers (PCs), have seen corporate profits erode substantially over the past decade.
After a shift by consumers toward tablets and smartphones, the technology stocks that have not been able to adapt to these new product forms have seen a gradual but significant drop in corporate profits. The question to ask: is a turnaround possible?
The latest data indicate that technology stocks in the PC sector will face significant headwinds. For the first quarter of 2013, global PC shipments declined 13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). (Source: “PC Shipments Post the Steepest Decline Ever in a Single Quarter, According to IDC,” International Data Corporation web site, April 10, 2013, last accessed April 19, 2013.)
This is the worst drop year-over-year for PCs since IDC began tracking the market in 1994. This is also not an aberration, since the market has now witnessed four consecutive quarters of declines.
However, since technology stocks in the PC sector have sold off dramatically, is it possible that these stocks now offer a value trade? The recent takeover attempt on Dell Inc. (NASDAQ/DELL) might shed light on this question.
There have been several interested parties looking to take Dell private. However, recent … Read More
When it comes to the recent pullback in the market, many people naturally wonder if this is the time to start accumulating certain companies, especially technology stocks. The answer, of course, is far more complicated. Obviously, each individual must assess their goals and risk profile before considering any investment.
My goal is to be on the lookout for companies that can continue to grow corporate earnings over a very long period of time. One area that has interested me for a long time because of this ability to grow corporate earnings is in technology stocks.
Recently, many technology stocks have not benefited from the surprisingly strong rally in the overall market. A major reason for this is that many investors are focusing on dividend yield rather than corporate earnings growth. Additionally, many technology stocks are not seeing exceptional corporate earnings growth, as the global economy is still somewhat weak.
Not all technology stocks are the same. There are vast differences between technology stocks, and an investor needs to dig deep when evaluating which firms can grow corporate earnings over a full decade.
One company that I have liked over the past few years has been eBay Inc. (NASDAQ/EBAY). While many people believe eBay is still primarily a place to sell your knick-knacks, they’re wrong. During the latest quarter, the company reported total revenues were up 14% year-over-year. (Source: “Q1 2013 financial highlights,” eBay Inc. web site, April 17, 2013.)
eBay is transitioning into a real powerhouse through its “Marketplace,” which is where retailers sell fixed-price online goods. The company is now looking at adding same-day delivery services for these goods, … Read More
With capital shifting into the perceived safety of blue chips and large-cap stocks, small-caps and technology stocks have been declining on the charts.
Given the advance so far this year in the equities market, it’s understandable to expect some hesitancy.
The Dow is up 13.4% as of April 12, and it’s on pace for a gain of 47% on an annualized basis.
I doubt this will happen and expect market adjustments in the equities market along the way. The same goes for the S&P 500 and the other key market indices.
Small-caps in the equities market have also fallen off since the end of the first quarter.
At the back of the pack is the technology sector; but there has been a lack of strong leadership from any sector, including the semiconductor, Internet, and technology sectors, in general.
The following chart shows the recent movement of the three sectors (semiconductor, Internet, and technology) since March and their sideways direction.
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
Without any leadership in the equities market, the NASDAQ and technology stocks will continue to drift. However, there are some opportunities for speculators searching for contrarian situations.
The Internet sector is flat and lacking a clear direction.
In the stock chart below, the First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index (NYSEArca/FDN) fund shows the sideways channel that has been in place since late January.
Extrapolating on this data, I don’t see any strong and clear signs of a breakout at the top channel line, but if you think longer-term, there are opportunities in the equities market.
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
The “Best of Breed” in the Internet sector … Read More
I just took a look at my friend’s Samsung “Galaxy III” smartphone and must admit that it looks pretty impressive compared to my “iPhone” by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/APPL). However, the applications available for the iPhone are what will keep me from switching, at least for the time being.
Apple was trading at $705.07 on September 21, but the stock made a steady decline down to the $505.00 level on November 16 prior to rallying back to the current price of $578.00. Based on my stock analysis, there’s profit-taking in Apple shares, which is not a surprise, given the enormous rip-up in the share price.
My stock analysis tells us that institutional ownership shows a 0.76% net sale of Apple stock over the last quarter-to-quarter, representing 4.8 million net shares sold by institutions, according to information from Thomson Financial.
In fact, my stock analysis shows that technology and growth stocks have been the focus of the market selling so far in 2012. The NASDAQ is down four percent as of Monday, versus a 0.07% advance by the S&P 500 and blue chips.
What I’m getting at is that growth stocks are being sold by institutions.
Following where the professional money is flowing helps gives us another tool to evaluate the stock markets and get a sense of what is happening.
Behind the concept of following the money of institutional investors is the belief that these experts are likely to understand the company’s situation more than anyone outside of the executive management group. My stock analysis is that, by looking at the flow of money from institutional investors and monitoring what stocks … Read More
The market is moving lower, and there’s nothing that appears to be supporting it. The S&P 500 has lost nearly eight percent since its peak of 1,465 in September.
The fact that the S&P 500 failed to hold above 1,400 was not a surprise, based on my technical analysis. In May, the break at 1,400 was the S&P 500’s fourth top above 1,400 since 2008.
Since the election, the market has edged lower in six of seven sessions due to heightened stock market risk.
On average, only about 37% of U.S.-listed stocks are trading above their respective 200-day moving averages (MAs), versus 61% a month ago. The short-term weakness is even more prevalent with about 19% of stocks above their respective 50-day MAs, versus 61% a month ago.
What happened to what were supposed to be the best six months of the year for investment gains?
Based on historical records, investing in the six months from November to May has produced the best returns for stocks versus the June to October period, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac.
So far, November has been horrible, with the key stock indices down more than four percent. But as I said when I previously discussed this pattern, things could be different this time around, given the abundant stock market risk, including the financial crisis in the eurozone, a stalling economy in China, tension in the Middle East, and the presidential election and upcoming fiscal cliff in the U.S.
We are seeing some selling capitulation in the market because of the abundant stock market risk and lack of any positive news that would encourage … Read More