Technology stocks have fared well overall in the face of the recession. However, there were some companies that were more exposed, and thus took a beating. However, as the performances of these companies have improved, these stocks have managed to rebound, albeit not to the same extent. This means that there is considerable upside potential in these stocks. I've chosen five stocks that may not look attractive at a first glance, but when analyzed closely, have tremendous potential. Therefore, if you are willing to undertake the underlying risk, you can reap excellent returns.
Micron Technology (MU) is a renowned provider of advanced semiconductor solutions. The company has been going through tough times that were exacerbated by the unexpected death of CEO Steven Appleton in a plane crash. However, the appointment of Mark Durcan as the new CEO resulted in good tidings for the company. The stock rose from $7.8 to $8.3 after a recent announcement by him and positive expectations of investors.
Micron has a market capitalization of around $8 billion. The revenues over the last four years have increased at a rate of around 10.8%. The company has struggled with its debt; its current debt to equity ratio is almost 22. This means that the company has aggressively used debt to finance its operations. Furthermore, the net income for the last 12 months has been a negative $175 million. This means that the EPS is a loss of 17 cents.
Despite the disappointing financials, the stock price has been improving since October 2011. This is because the management has been working hard to make a turnaround by better managing the debts and expenses. There is a strong possibility that the stock will gradually make its way back to the $11. This makes the current stock price of $8 very attractive. I recommend buying shares of Micron now.
Ciena Corporation (CIEN) is major provider of a range of communications software, networking equipment and services.
Ciena has a market capitalization of nearly $1.7 billion and an average trading volume of 4.7 million. The share is trading around $17 and the 52 week share price range is between $10 and $29. The stock is trading at almost 55% higher volume compared to the 30-day moving average.
It recorded a net loss of almost $196 million last fiscal year, however, it should be noted that it was an improvement of about 41%. The current ROE may be a negative 225%, but analysts are positive that the company will go into profit this year and have an expected earnings of $0.53 per share.
It is expected that the stock price will certainly increase as Ciena will report earnings in positive. Furthermore, future dividends are expected as the finances of the company will improve. I recommend taking a position in Ciena today.
Finisar (FNSR) is a developer of network test systems and fiber optic subsystems for high-speed data communications. The company has a market capitalization of $ 2.06 billion and an average trading volume of 2.4 million. The stock is trading around $23, and the 52 week range of prices is $12 to $44. The revenue of the company suffered tremendously last year because of inventory issues and a fall in demand from the Chinese telecom customers.
Though the stock holders were left disappointed with the weak earnings of 2011, the earning estimate for 2012 is almost $1.4. There is a high chance that the company will rebound in 2012, and the price target of the stock is at least $27. I believe this stock is a potential buy for risk seekers.
Juniper Networks (JNPR) is an IT and computer networking solutions provider headquartered in California. The company designs and sells high-performance Internet Protocol network products and services. After a rather slow run last year, Juniper is finally showing strong signs of growth, with an impressive performance in the first month of 2012.
Juniper's stock grew as much as 43% at the start of 2012 because of aggressive trading and favorable market conditions. However, the stock lost its momentum by the end of the month, recording a slum of nearly 9% to end among some of the biggest losers on the Standard & Poor 500 Index. However, the industry's highest performing access solution has recently announced introducing a "Universal Access Solution", which is said to improve reliability/profitability of global mobile networks.
This means that, although the shares are currently down, the company has a lot of potential for growth once it has finally introduced the new technology. Juniper currently has a market capitalization of nearly $12 billion with an average trading volume of almost $11 million. The company paid out sizable dividends in the last quarter of 2011, which has allowed it favorable investor sentiment in the market.
Judging from past financial indicators and stock performance in recent quarters, I believe the company has the capacity to stretch its growth levels and increase overall profitability, and recommend buying it now.
Nvidia (NVDA) is a global designer, developer and marketer of graphics processing units, plus a range of other products and software. Nvidia had a good third quarter considering the fact that great companies of the likes of Cisco and Oracle cut down its technology spending. Both these firms are generally used as a benchmark to monitor the spending habits of the corporate world. The exciting prospect of Nvidia is that it stands to benefit incredibly from Apple's iPhone success.
The market capitalization of the company is $9.92 billion, and the average trading volume is around 14.2 million. The stock took a considerable beating for most of 2011. It is trading around $15 and the 52 week range of stock price is $11 to $24. Its P/E ratio is an impressive figure of 16.9 and the EPS is 0.94, which is a growth of around 118% from the last fiscal year.
There is some uncertainty involved with the stock, and it will be prudent to wait for one more quarter to get a better idea where the company stands. However, waiting may also result in the stock price being driven up as the improving performance of the company may induce other investors to jump in. Therefore, if you have a high risk tolerance and are looking to reap a higher return, I recommend buying this stock.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.