2011 was a very difficult year for many investors and many stocks ended the year much lower. The constant volatility, concerns over systemic risk of a banking and credit collapse emanating from the European credit crisis has led many investors to give up hope. With so many factors at work that no investor has any control over, it's easy to see why so many investors have decided to hit the sell button and walk away. However, this lack of interest is helping to create some very cheap valuations in the stock market. In particular, it makes sense to look at some tech stocks that have been sold down to bargain levels. Technology will continue to play a big role globally and the average person and business is likely to grow more dependent on technology in the future.
I have researched a number of tech stocks that are trading well below the 52 week highs and found a few that have solid fundamentals and rebound potential. Stocks that have underperformed in a given year often see substantial year-end selling for tax purposes, and then tend to see strong gains in January. The tech stocks below fit this profile:
Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML) shares are trading at $8.49. Atmel is a maker of semiconductors and is based in California. The 50-day moving average is about $9.29 and the 200-day moving average is about $11.39. These shares have traded in a 52 week range between $7.36 and $16.80. Earnings estimates for ATML are about 72 cents per share in 2011, and 66 cents for 2012. This company has a cash-rich balance sheet with about $480 million in cash and no long term debt. This stock is still acting weak so it only makes sense to buy in stages in case it drops further. The stock is close to 52 week lows now, and that is probably because investors are selling for tax-loss reasons. This could lead to a significant rebound in January when badly beaten-down stocks tend to recover from excessive selling. The most recent report from FBR Capital reiterates a $14 price target for ATML shares.
Alcatel-Lucent SA (ALU) shares are trading at $1.70. This company provides software, hardware and other communications products and is based in Paris. The 50-day moving average is about $1.93 and the 200-day moving average is about $4.01. These shares have traded in a 52 week range between $1.39 and $6.63. Earnings estimates are about 31 cents for 2011 and 31 cents for 2012. This gives Alcatel shares a PE ratio of only about 5 times earnings. This company is trading at a very reasonable valuation and it has a solid balance sheet. This stock is cheap because investors have been selling it over concerns that European-based companies could see lower revenues in 2012. The book value is $1.58 per share. Patient investors could see strong gains from this stock and at current levels, it's priced like an option.
Finisar Corp., (NASDAQ:FNSR) shares are trading at $16.75. Finisar manufactures networking equipment. The 50-day moving average is $17.94 and the 200-day moving average is $19.65. These shares have traded in a 52 week range between $12.26 and $46.09. Earnings estimates for FNSR are 90 cents per share in 2011, and $1.36 for 2012. Finisar has disappointed shareholders with weaker than expected earnings in 2011. This set the stock up for tax-loss selling at year-end, but that could lead to a rebound in early 2012. I would consider buying on dips to about $15 or less. In December, Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a buy rating and a $27 price target for FNSR shares.
Ciena Corp. (NYSE:CIEN) shares are trading at $12.10. Ciena is a leading maker of software and hardware for communications networks, and is based in Maryland. The 50-day moving average is about $12.33 and the 200-day moving average is $17.08. These shares have traded in a 52 week range between $9.89 and $29.24. Earnings estimates for Ciena are expected to be 52 cents for 2011 and 94 cents for 2012. This stock is trading for less than half the 52 week high, so when investors turn more optimistic, this stock could recover. Any dips to about $11 or less, are particularly attractive for long-term investors. In December, Deutsche Bank set a $16 price target for Ciena shares.
Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) shares are trading at $2.34. Sprint is a wireless communications provider. The 50-day moving average is $2.57 and the 200-day moving average is $3.96. These shares have traded in a 52 week range between $2.10 and $6.45. Earnings estimates for Sprint are expected to be negative for 2011 and 2012. These shares are trading for less than book value which is stated at $4.36. Sprint has a high level of debt and with losses continuing this stock is speculative. Sprint recently started to sell the Apple iPhone and this could help boost sales in the coming months. Sprint shares probably saw significant year-end tax loss selling, and with that pressure ending in January, the stock could rally.
Computer Sciences (NYSE:CSC) is trading at $24.52. These shares have a 52 week range of $22.80 and $56.61. The 50-day moving average is $26.63 and the 200-day moving average is $34.43. Estimates for CSC are at $3.73 per share in 2011 and $3.85 for 2012. The dividend is 80 cents per share which yields 3.4%. Book value is stated at $2.92 per share. These shares are trading below the book value of $30.17, and could be close to a bottom. The company recently warned investors about a potentially large write-off of about $1.5 billion relating to a contract in the U.K. Those issues and the market correction over the past few months has pressured this stock to trade for less than half the 52 week high. If the write-off is less than expected, this stock has plenty of upside potential.
The data is sourced from Yahoo Finance and Stockcharts.com. The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made. Rougemont is not a registered investment advisor and does not provide specific investment advice. The information contained herein is for informational purposes.
Disclosure: I am long ALU.