2 Safe Bets In Tech, 3 Too Risky To Own

by: Stock Croc

A lot of people are looking to tech stocks to add to their portfolio for 2012 to seek out high returns in rapidly developing industry. I've put together some stocks that many investors have been considering. I have included some analysis on these stocks, which should be useful in helping you decide between them, but as always, please do your own due diligence before investing.

IBM (NYSE:IBM): As one of the best dividend-paying technology stocks to have in 2011, IBM is making a commitment to steadily paying dividends in 2012. With a dividend of $3.00 per share, it beats other technology stocks in its class by at least $1 per share. And with the dividend yield of 1.6%, I believe there is plenty of room for dividends to grow in size.

Furthermore, IBM shows a favorable P/E ratio of 14.7. IBM is a strong buy for your 2012 portfolio. It has a positive 1.32% change since the last trade, and has a stable upward price trend since September 2011. The signals for IBM are looking optimistic for 2012. The stochastic oscillator and the stock's volume are also showing positive percentage changes. I would recommend buying IBM if you do not have it already. It's a safe bet.

Cognizant Technology (NASDAQ:CTSH): Nomura upgraded Cognizant Technology to a "buy" today. There was a positive 2.19% change in price since the last trade, which was the highest percentage change compared to other technology companies in its class. And technical analysis on the stock further confirms a buy route. The company is also in great shape, with an EPS growth (5 years) of 33.2% and a cash flow growth (5 years) of 62.7%.

However, I would not recommend purchasing shares of Cognizant at this time, because the industry as a whole in which this stock resides, software and programming, is not showing positive growth in aggregate prices. Not buying at this time may be a smart move in order to avoid some of the more obvious pitfalls to holding a stock in a temporarily declining industry. It's not a safe bet right now.

Infosys (NASDAQ:INFY): Infosys is looking bright for 2012. The company is in great financial health, and has the horsepower to ride out market turbulence. The company has almost no debt and is sitting on $4 billion in cash. Infosys is currently showing an increasing trend in price in the last month, with an increase of 4.03% since the last trade. Use caution, as the price has been volatile these last few days. However, the price has not fallen below a support level of $47. The stock is currently trading at $53.

The stock is part of the software and programming industry, so for the same reasons as Cognizant, I would not recommend buying Infosys at this time. Instead I would wait until the industry shows an increasing trend in aggregate prices before considering Infosys. Right now, it's just not a safe bet.

Wipro (NYSE:WIT): Wipro can certainly be considered an undervalued name among the technology giants. With big names like IBM, Accenture, and Capgemini dominating the IT services industry, Wipro will soon be there to join them making Wipro a great stock to have for 2012. Wipro is currently trading at $10.29 with a negative 1.63% change since the last trade. However, I do not believe the price of the stock will fall below its $10.25 support.

The price of Wipro is on an overall upward trend. The company has a Debt to Equity ratio of 0.2, with a 5-year cash flow growth of 33.5%. The stock has been volatile recently, and price patterns have been fairly inconsistent. Wipro is a good buy, but if you are not feeling bullish, I recommend waiting a few more days before buying Wipro. This stock seems like a safe bet.

Navigant (NYSE:NCI): Navigant just recently announced it would be expanding its practice in its technology solutions in Chicago. The expansion in Chicago shows a strategic play in place and could have desirable consequences in 2012. Fundamentally, Navigant is in good shape with a P/E ratio of 19.8, Debt/Equity ratio of 0.3, and a five-year cash flow growth of 4.8%. However, Navigant has an EPS growth rate of -12.9% over five years, and I do not believe the prospects for Navigant are optimistic.

Navigant is part of the business services industry, which is showing weak signs of improvement, with low stock volume and lower lows in aggregate prices. The industry has clearly been in decline since September 2011, and I would not recommend purchasing stock in Navigant right now unless we see Navigant turn around its strategy or re-emerge as a leader in its niche. Right now, its just not a safe bet.

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