Recent Sell-Off Makes Tech Yields Attractive

by: Bill Maurer

Over the last several trading days, the Nasdaq composite has lost nearly 5.80%. Fears over Europe and the failure of the U.S. super committee to reach a debt deal have weighed heavily on the market. Investors are looking to trade in some of their risk for safer assets, and some tech names are becoming attractive at this prices.

More importantly, these dividend payers have seen their yields go up, making now quite an attractive entry point. Here's the recent performance, with the recent high number being the highest point in the last couple of weeks.

Stock Recent High Current Change
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) $27.50 $25.00 -9.09%
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) $19.19 $18.00 -6.20%
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) $25.50 $23.57 -7.57%
IBM (NYSE:IBM) $189.97 $181.48 -4.47%
HP (NYSE:HPQ) $28.59 $26.86 -6.05%
Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) $33.81 $29.91 -11.54%
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) $57.97 $54.27 -6.38%
Click to enlarge

These big names have not been immune to the sell-off, but that's good news for you. IBM was recently close to its all-time high, but it seems rather attractive now that you know Warren Buffett is in. Qualcomm seems to be a great value given its involvement with the IPhone. I haven't included HP's gains in after hours trading, because they may not last by today's close. Anyway, here's how the recent sell-off has pushed up the yields on these names.

Stock Dividend At High Now
Microsoft $0.80 2.91% 3.20%
Cisco $0.24 1.25% 1.33%
Intel $0.84 3.29% 3.56%
IBM $3.00 1.58% 1.65%
HP $0.48 1.68% 1.79%
Oracle $0.24 0.71% 0.80%
Qualcomm $0.86 1.48% 1.58%
Click to enlarge

Now a five-year treasury note is offering just 91 basis points in yield, so all of these names except for Oracle pay higher than that. In fact, Microsoft and Intel are paying more per year than the current 30-year treasury bond. The yields on Microsoft and Intel have gone up nearly 30 basis points in just a few weeks.

Now these aren't the highest yielding names out there, but there were times when none of these paid dividends. In fact, Cisco wasn't paying a dividend at this time last year, and now, you're getting a yield close to a seven-year treasury note.

Given the yield increases, now appears to be a great time to get in. The first five of these seven names are also buying back massive amounts of stock, so you're getting an added benefit there (recent cash concerns with HP could derail a buyback eventually, but not at the present time). Why not invest in Microsoft or Intel, companies yielding over 3% and buying back billions? Or why not get into Qualcomm, which offers a smaller dividend but decent growth potential.

Use sell-offs like these to get into names like these, and use specific yield points to mark your entry prices. For example, enter Microsoft at 3.25%, or $24.61, which is just 30 cents below Monday's low. These names will rebound, so why not get paid while you wait? You're getting more now than you were just days ago.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.