The technology space has taken it on the chin recently. Investors have not been kind to the major tech stocks after many companies reported bleak earnings, not to mention dismal guidance.
With that, the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLK) has slid more than 3% over the last week. And while Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) shares have been rising 20% or so over the last month, fan favorite Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been heading in the opposite direction.
Some of the big standouts in terms of tech disappointments last week include Apple, IBM (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO). All four are down more than 3% over the last week.
Apple barely missed earnings expectations and the stock took a sizable hit. Although Apple took many investors by surprise, the biggest disappointment has been IBM. Shares of this $157 billion market-cap company fell 8% over the last week.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that IBM is one of the major holdings of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B). One of IBM’s biggest woes was currency headwinds, however. That interim headwind might be artificially overshadowing its turnaround.
Microsoft managed to post its worst quarterly loss ever, losing $3.2 billion. We already knew that PCs and hardware were in trouble, but Microsoft is showing weakness with software sales.
However, I’m not going to lay out what’s wrong with every tech stock that missed earnings. Rather, the selloff of tech-related stocks may well be creating buying opportunities.
Two Tech Plays
A couple of the more interesting plays also happen to be the cheapest stocks in the tech industry. And as an added bonus, the two stocks below also offer the top dividend yields in the industry.
To start, there’s Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), which posted a winning quarter a couple weeks ago, beating on the top and bottom lines while also upping guidance. But the market has quickly forgotten this, as well as some of the growth opportunities that Intel has in the fast-growing Internet of Things market.
Intel is the largest semiconductor company in the world. It owns 80% of the market share for microprocessors used in personal computers. But it still has opportunities to grow its presence in the smartphone and tablet microprocessor market. In the meantime, its presence in data center servers is supporting its strong free cash flow generation.
That’s money that Intel is putting to work rewarding shareholders. Intel’s dividend yield is an impressive 3.4%. It has upped its dividend for five straight years and is only paying out 45% of its earnings via dividends.
Cisco Looks Attractive
Another big tech play that’s enticing is Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), which has actually held up pretty well against tech selloff. However, it’s still cheaper than the likes of Microsoft and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL). Cisco is trading at a forward P/E (price-earnings ratio based on next year’s earnings estimates) of under 14.
Cisco’s dividend is right in line with Intel as one of the best in the industry, yielding 3%. Cisco has upped its dividend for four consecutive years and just 43% of its earnings are paid out via dividends.
Cisco has strong earnings thanks to its stronghold in the router and switches market, which is supporting that dividend. While that doesn’t sound sexy, that segment continues to generate strong free cash flow for the company as it makes a shift toward the cloud. Being successful in the cloud shouldn’t be all that hard for Cisco; it is the data networking leader after all. The demand for moving more data, faster and across longer distances, will continue to rise, which is a long-term positive for Cisco.
In the end, Google is still an impressive stock and the new darling for tech investors. And it might be paying you a dividend soon, but with the stock up close to 20% over the last month, I wouldn’t fault you for looking for “cheaper” tech plays. The two above aren’t just cheap, but offer impressive dividends. In contrast, this is at a time when the Technology SPDR ETF pays a yield of just 1.8%.
Tesla, Apple and Google are creating this
When people think of Tesla, what immediately comes to mind is the world’s first electric car. It’s an astounding achievement. But what few people realize is that Tesla’s next technological wonder could easily put it to shame. Morgan Stanley says this breakthrough could save the American economy $1.3 trillion each year. And Tesla’s not the only one racing to get it out the door. Apple and Google are working on their own versions too. Get the whole story right here.