As a whole, technology stocks have been able to perform slightly better than the overall market this year. Although Standard & Poor's 500 Index of the largest U.S. companies has slumped down by nearly 3% since the start of 2012, tech stocks have remained perpetually unscathed by negative market sentiment. In this article, I have selected five stocks that I believe will provide investors with high dividend growth. These stocks have reported positive earnings growth, announced new acquisitions deals, introduced new market innovations and fared reasonably well in the last few quarters.
L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. ADS (ERIC)
Ericsson is ranked among the largest companies operating in Sweden. It earns revenues primarily by providing telecommunication solutions, data communication systems and other related services. Ericsson currently has the largest market share of 35% in international markets for mobile telecommunications equipment. Furthermore, it has a total market capitalization of nearly $32 billion, with an average trading volume of more than $5 million. The trading price of shares is currently poised at around $9, with a 52-week range of $8 to $15. After a somewhat sluggish start in 2011, Ericsson recorded sizable revenues, with the announcement regarding the divestment of Ericsson's share of Sony Ericsson to Sony. The news was seen as a positive development that would allow the massive business to narrow down its field of operations and equip it better to focus on its core activities. The company currently enjoys favorable investor sentiment, partly for the fact that its dividend history has been good. It offers investors nearly 40c in dividends on earnings per share, with a dividend yield of almost 4%. Although the company's profits have recently plunged in the wake of sluggish sales of network equipment, I believe the company is certain to do well, seeing that the demand for smartphones with Ericsson-chipsets has surged this year. Therefore, believing that the stock will grow in the first quarter of 2012, I rate it as a buy.
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO)
Cisco designs, manufactures and trades in IP-based networking products and other communication-related products in the IT industry. It also offers a wide range of services related to these products. Cisco's diverse product range is specially designed to transport voice, data and video. The company impressed investors with a good run in the stock in the last two quarters. Cisco recently reported a staggering 38% increase in revenues after a short negative spell that saw the company trading sluggishly. Cisco is a massive business with huge investments, reporting a cash flow of nearly $9 billion in the last three fiscal years. With outstanding shares in excess of 5 billion, free cash flow is recorded at about $2 per share, with a free cash flow yield of about 9%. Cisco currently has a market capitalization of nearly $2 billion, with an average trading volume of more than $45 million. The company's recent announcement to resell VMware View Virtual Desktop software for "enablement options" and settings for Channel Partners has been inferred by investors as a positive development. Cisco's shares are currently trading at a price of around $20 per share after a 52-week range of $13 to $20. It has a decent price to earnings ratio of nearly 16 with earnings per share a little shy of $1.5. The company has traditionally enjoyed favorable investor sentiment as a result of a consistently good dividend history in recent years. This has allowed the company to maintain a dividend payout ratio of around 0.1 and a yield of almost 2%. Virgin Media has recently enabled flexible operations with the Cisco Quad Collaboration Software, and this is expected to boost the company's prospects of growth over the remaining fiscal. With continued growth over the next fiscal, the company might just be able to stretch its revenues growth further and widen its competitive moat. In my opinion, Cisco is certainly a safe investment venture for 2012.
ACME Packet Inc. (APKT)
Session delivery network solutions provider Acme Packet saw its shares plummet after the company updated its third quarter guidance. A delay in a deal with AT&T had an adverse impact on the company's revenues for the third quarter amid skepticism among investors as to whether the deal will be finalized. However, the deal went ahead as planned, and the company attracted positive investor sentiment, with total revenues of nearly $70 million, and earnings per share exceeding $0.2. In terms of capital, Acme Packet is among the larger businesses, having a market capitalization of nearly $2.5 billion and average trading volume easily exceeding $3 million. This technology stock is currently trading at $36, with a 52-week range of $25 to $84. The company's recent announcement to collaborate with Digital China for distributions suggests that Acme is looking toward targeting emerging markets such as those in Asia and South America. Also, the company has more recently announced the development IMS Xpress, a simplified solution for IP Multimedia Subsystem [IMS] deployments. This revolutionary breakthrough in technology is expected to reflect positively on the stock and lead to higher revenues and more favorable investor sentiment for the company.
Brooks Automation Inc. (BRKS)
After starting the year 2011 with slow trading, Brooks Automation had a favorable run in the third and fourth quarters, recording massive revenues of more than $186 million compared to $157 million in the previous year. The stock grew by nearly 19% after a steady decline of 3.5% in revenues for the second quarter. The company has continued its upward drive toward growth and maximizing revenues at the start of the 2012. Amidst favorable investor sentiment, the company had a good run in the first month of the current fiscal quarter 2012. The stock gained more than 7%, with projected second-quarter earnings exceeding estimated figures of financial analysts. The trading price of the stock is currently poised at a little over $12, with a 52-week range of $7 to $14. Brooks has a market capitalization of more than $0.8 billion, with average trading volume of almost 450,000. With a price to earnings ratio of more than 6, the company offers almost 10c per share in dividends on earnings per share of almost $2. Brooks has recently enjoyed favorable investor sentiment, with a dividend yield of almost 3%. An important partnership between Brooks Life Science systems and Scripps research Institute is expected to bear good fruit, and will help the stock continue its momentum toward growth.
TW Telecom Inc. (TWTC)
TW Telecom introduced important internal reformation in the second quarter of 2011. The company's rank was subsequently upgraded in the Standard & Poor 500 rating, and this reflected positively on the business, with favorable investor sentiment. The telecom company has fared well so far in the current financial quarter, maintaining a good run which has been accompanied by positive news from time to time. The fact that the company has performed well in the last quarter of 2011 did not go unnoticed by investors. TW Telecom has a market capitalization of more than $3 billion, with an average trading volume of more than $660,000. After a brief period when the stock plummeted to as low as $15, the trading price surged back, and is currently trading around $21 per share. The company has traditionally sustained a good dividend history, which has helped it to maintain a wide competitive moat in the market. The company's recent partnership with Stratl Tsphere to offer superior technology services to clients has also boosted its prospects in the market, with a positive impact on investors. Seeing its consistent growth level and sizable revenues over the last three financial fiscals, I believe that the company has the capacity to continue its upward movement on the stock ratings and therefore, rank it as a must-buy for 2012.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.