These six tech stocks can be counted on to move higher over the next 12 months. This is due to the quality of their earnings, dividends, and free cash flow, pushing their target prices higher.
It turns out technology companies can avoid the worst effects of a recession, especially if they are not related to consumers. For example, enterprise software companies and certain types of technology hardware companies often won’t see that much of a downturn in their earnings.
However, their multiples will contract and the valuations will contract. That is what seems to be going on now with many tech stocks. Many of them are selling well below their historical multiples and traditional valuation metrics. This is list will try to list some of the best on this list.
Let’s dive in and look at these.
|MFGP||Micro Focus Int’l Plc||$4.265|
|HPE||Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company||$13.52|
Tech Stocks: Micro Focus Int’l PLC (MFGP)
Market Cap: $1.47 billion
Micro Focus Int’l Plc (NYSE:MFGP) is an international enterprise software company based in the UK but with business clients in the US and Europe. It has 11,000 employees worldwide and 7,500 business partners and bills itself as one of the world’s largest enterprise software companies.
The company’s revenue was slightly lower for the year ending Oct. 31, 2021, at $2.9 billion, down from $3 billion. Analysts now project slightly highly earnings per share at $1.47 per share vs. $1.44 for the October 2021 year.
Moreover, 2023 earnings are forecast to dip slightly to $1.38. Maybe because its earnings are not growing that well, the stock is on a very low price-to-earnings multiple. For the October 2022 year, it’s on a price to earnings multiple of just 2.84x and 3x for October 2023.
That is incredibly cheap for such a profitable company. Moreover, it pays two dividends a year, most of which come in the final dividend. But it seems to average about 28 cents to 29 cents annually. That gives MFGP stock a high 6.8% dividend yield at today’s price of $4.22 as of June 17.
These are the kind of value metrics that value investors like. They just assume that when things turn around the stock will garner a higher valuation — certainly much higher than 3 times earnings. In fact, just a slight bit of growth will probably cause the P/E multiple to double. That makes this one of the best tech stocks to move higher over the 12 months.
Market Cap: $1,810 billion
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been hit hard along with other large-cap tech stocks. As of June 17 at $249.22, MSFT stock is down 25.9% year-to-date from $336.82, where it ended in 2021. Moreover, it’s down 28.9% from its peak of $343.11 in Nov. 19, 2021.
This is deflation of its forward multiple even though it’s not losing money. MSFT’s earnings are forecast to rise by 15.5% this year (ending June 30, 2022) to $9.30 per share, up from $8.05 in 2021. Moreover, next year’s earnings are forecast to grow by another 15.5% to $10.74.
So, at today’s price, MSFT stock has a cheap P/E multiple of just 22.7 times earnings. That is significantly lower than its historical 5-year forward P/E average of 27.96x, according to Morningstar.
Moreover, Microsoft’s buyback and dividend program rose by 25% in its latest quarter and the company spent $12.5 billion on dividends and share repurchases. At this pace, it could spend $50 billion per year or 2.76% of its market cap on return of capital. That will act as a significant catalyst helping to push MSFT higher over the next year.
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)
Market Cap: $1.417 trillion
Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) is too cheap now, with its stock at $2,158.47 as of June 17. With 18.8% earnings growth forecast next year, and at a 16.6x multiple, it is much lower than its historical average.
For example, Morningstar reports that its 5-year P/E multiple was 26.4x. So the stock’s multiple has fallen significantly.
Moreover, Alphabet will do a 20-for-1 stock split, to take effect on July 15. It could potentially push the stock higher, even though there is no financial reason why this should happen.
For example, at today’s price of $2,158.47 for GOOG stock, the new price will be 1/20th of that or $107.9 per share.
After this smaller investors can more easily buy its shares. One share only will cost $107.9 rather than $2,158.47.
It also becomes easier to purchase options. Post-split one option contract (covering for 100 shares) represents just $10,615. A covered call play or an out-of-the-money short put play is easier to finance. It requires less money to earn income on GOOG stock after the split.
No wonder the average price target of nine analysts surveyed by TipRanks is $3,146 per share, or 45.37% higher than today. That makes it one of the tech stocks most likely to move higher over the next 12 months.
Market Cap: $181.488 billion
Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) is very cheap. Earnings at this cloud platform and software company are forecast to rise 12.3% to $5.93 per share in 2023.
That makes ORCL stock, at $68.02 on June 17, cheap at just 13x earnings. That is well below its 15x average forward multiple in the last 5 years, according to Morningstar.
Oracle just came out with its earnings on June 13 for its fiscal Q4 ending May 31. Revenue was up 5%, mostly from cloud services and support, up 19% YOY. Its non-GAAP EPS was $4.9, also up 5% YOY (+4.925% from $4.67 a year earlier).
So far there is no downturn in earnings on the horizon. Analysts are still very positive about its future earnings forecasts.
Oracle spent $674 million in its fiscal Q4 on share buybacks, according to Seeking Alpha. That works out to an annualized rate of $2.7 billion or 1.58% of its $171 billion market valuation.
Combined with its dividend yield of 1.84%, this means shareholders get a total yield of 3.44%. Analysts surveyed by TipRanks expect it will rise 29% to $88.71 over the next 12 months.
Market Cap: $4.079 billion
Avnet (NASDAQ:AVT) is an electronics distributor with a nominal growth rate forecast for the next year. Seeking Alpha shows that nine analysts project its EPS will rise nominally from $6.85 this year to $6.98 next year.
But at $42.11 per share as of June 17, the stock has a low 6.5x multiple of earnings for 2023. That is very inexpensive, especially since Avnet is making profits.
Moreover, AVT stock sports a 2.32% dividend yield with plenty of free cash flow (FCF) to cover the dividend. For example, last quarter ending April 30, it produced $232.2 million in FCF. That covered its dividend payment of $25.6 million as well as share repurchases of $43.4 million.
Expect AVT stock to rise over the next year once fears of a recession start to recede.
Tech Stocks: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (HPE)
Market Cap: $17.405 billion
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (NYSE:HPE) an enterprise software company forecast to show modest revenue and earnings growth this year (ending Oct. 30, 2022) and next.
For example, sales are forecast to rise 2.8% from $28.3 billion to $29.1 billion. In addition, EPS is forecast to grow 7.4% from $2.03 per share to $2.18 by October 2023.
As a result, HPE stock has a modest valuation of just 6.9x earnings this year and 6.1x next. That is very cheap for such a large and profitable software company.
In addition, with its 3.6% dividend yield, HPE stock is a favorite of value investors. They are willing to wait for the stock’s valuation to move higher pushing the stock up over the next 12 months.
On the date of publication, Mark Hake did not hold (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.