By Joel Obaseki
There's no doubt about it that the tech industry is booming and investors want a piece of profitable companies delivering innovative products and services. However, there are reservations held by many investors that many tech companies are overpriced, and likely to not grow as fast as expected. Looking at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), shares are currently trading at a P/E multiple of 20 and the company just underperformed analyst expectations. Subsequently, shares fell 8%. Nevertheless, investors should not shy away from Google or tech stocks in general. Below are, in my opinion, five technology stocks poised to outperform the market in 2012. Each stock has a unique catalyst that can propel its share price higher. However, investors should note the risks involved in investing in outcome-dependent stocks.
What do you get when your product is installed in every General Motors car? More profits, especially when GM is the number one auto maker in the world. Besides GM, Sirius XM (SIRI) also has deals with Nissan Motors (OTCPK:NSANY) to equip its new cars with a three-month trial subscription. Such deals and performances of the automakers considerably increase the revenue and earnings per share of Sirius.
I'd also like to refer back to the company's 2012 guidance, which was released back in September. I think these numbers are accurate, if not understated. With a subscription increase of $1.54 a month coupled with the growth opportunities currently in the market, Sirius can grow revenue by 10% and EBITDA by 20%. With great leadership from management, its share price is likely to rally throughout 2012.
Intel Corp (INTC) designs and manufactures microprocessors used in computers, netbooks, tablets and other electronic devices. The company sells its products directly to original equipment manufacturers such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and their competitors. The company triumphs its competitors Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) in regards to market cap (134 billion) and growth (28%). Intel recently beat analyst expectations for Q4 2011; revenue grew 22% on a quarterly year-over-year basis to $13.9 billion.
Intel's business model of providing the integral component of a high demand product makes the product a permanent fixture in the industry. Neither of the company's peers can compete due to the size and market dominance of Intel. Moreover, management has increased its earnings estimate for fiscal year 2012 by 9%.
Likewise, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is a tech stock to hold for the long term. The company operates in the U.S., Japan, China, and Europe. The company is substantially smaller than its major competitors Intel and International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), with market caps of $134 billion and $222 billion compared with Advance Micro's $4.5 billion. Nevertheless, the company still manages to perform extremely well in the market, revenue has grown 4.5% and the company reported a profit margin of 16%. The company is also priced relatively cheap at a P/E multiple of 4.56 compared with the industry average of 11 and a P/S of .66 compared with the 1.39 industry average.
Risk averse investors should note that the company has $1.8 billion of cash on its balance sheet and $2.06 billion of total debt outstanding, $489 million of which is due in the short term.
Juniper Networks (JNPR) provides a wide variety of network and communication devices and services; and now the company is a global brand that serves private enterprise and governments in North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Saharan Africa. Juniper competes with companies such as Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO); however, the company has a market cap of $12 billion compared with Cisco's $107 billion. Thus, Cisco remains a relative giant. Juniper's presence throughout the world and its market size make the company well positioned for growth.
Earnings have decreased compared with the same quarter in 2010, however the company still managed to provide investors with an EPS of $2.78, which far exceeds the industry average of $1.37 and Cisco's $2.43 a share. Conversely, revenue grew by 9.2% each quarter on a year-over-year basis. Furthermore the company has introduced additional services designed to increase the market reach of its clients and increase revenue. Juniper's fundamentals and commitment to growth via diversified product and service offerings make the company a great tech stock to hold for the long term.
Dell Computers (DELL) is the risky company of the bunch as the company's core competence is personal computers, and shipments of PCs have fallen. Consumers are moving more to mobile devices, so why would I pick Dell as a technology stock to hold throughout 2012? Hewlett-Packard.
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is Dell's largest competitor, which offers a substitute product. As HP currently undergoes reshuffling and a new strategy, many of its customers are poised to jump ship and buy Dell products. Though the PC market may be shrinking, the prospect of Dell picking up new customers that are already fixtures in the market from HP can be lucrative for Dell. However, I anticipate this phenomenon to last until 2013. For Dell to become a long-term hold the company must introduce mobile devices to compete with the (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) Galaxy and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle.
Dell is currently valued at P/E multiple of 8.3; and well below the industry average of 15.2. Although revenue did shrink during the last quarter, the company managed to increase earnings by 8.6%. In addition, the company employs little leverage, with $8.3 billion in debt outstanding compared with $13.8 billion in cash on hand.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.