4 Tech Stocks Buffett Might Buy This Year

 |  Includes: BRK.A, BRK.B, CHL, CSCO, MIICF, MSFT
by: Investment Underground

What if Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) did decide to add some technology names to its portfolio? Here are 4 names to consider.

Cisco Systems (CSCO): Buffett has brought tech executives to Berkshire's board, including Susan Decker. As well current board members Bill Gates, Walter Scott, Jr. and lawyer Ronald Olsen are not strangers to old and new technologies. Cisco is the dominant player in data networking produces tons of cash-flow and will continue to as this growth story keeps growing. We think there's a value story here, and we estimate shares are worth north of $30 apiece.

China Mobile ADR (CHL):
China Mobile enjoys its 70% market share due to well respected brand, excellent coverage and scale efficiency. As mobile phone penetration continues to grow at rates of other emerging markets, CHL will be an obvious benefactor due to its size ($70 billion in sales) and its dominant position in the PRC: The firm has 575 million subscribers, making it the largest mobile phone carrier in the world. The company has 3 times the subscriber base of its nearest local rival.

Along with its competitive moat, the company has a strong balance sheet, only $5 billion in debt and $46 billion in cash. The company is essentially government run, and so we think the risks of it losing its competitive advantages are low given entry barriers and substantial government investment to CRL's benefit. The upside the increasing mobile penetration rates in China and an appreciating yuan relative to the dollar make CHL an intriguing buy.

Millicom International Cellular (MICC): Another mobile carrier focused on emerging markets, MICC is the market leader in six of the thirteen countries in which it has wireless service: Chad, Paraguay, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In total, the company provides mobile phone services to close to 40 million people. Though this is a great play on emerging market cellular growth, the company does face many geopolitical risks, especially in the Africa, where the company operates in war-torn countries such as Rwanda. However, for investors looking for high yielding (2.40%) exposure to frontier markets in Africa, MICC could have a place in their portfolio, at the right price, of course.

Microsoft (MSFT): Of all the companies on this list, given Buffett's close relationship with Bill Gates, Microsoft is the most likely candidate to be added to the Berkshire profile, in our opinion. MSFT has an excellent record of producing solid returns on invested capital, yields 2.24%, and continues to throw off a tremendous amount of cash (more than $1 billion in cash flow per month) and remains very profitable, with operating margins in the mid-30% range. Though the company has dominated the software world for much of the past 20 years, the new era of cloud computing threatens the firm's competitive advantages around the Office and Windows franchises. However, because of its strong balance sheet and operating history, we believe it's likely that Windows Azure will help the firm transition from a software giant to a cloud computing powerhouse of rivaling stature.

Disclosure: I am long BRK.B.