Price Targets For 5 Major Tech Picks From MFC Global Investment Management

by: The Ethical Investor

In this installment of my analysis of recent purchases made by renowned investment management firms, I will look at five major tech stocks bought by MFC Global Investment Management (MFC), the asset management arm of Manulife Financial, using the latest available SEC filings of the fund.

1) Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)

MFC increased its position in QCOM by 4% during Q4 2011 by acquiring approximately 227,000 shares. The stock traded in the range of $47 and $57, and is up 13% over the last one year.

QCOM is expected to grow its earnings at an annual rate of 16% slightly faster than the projected 15% growth rate of the industry. Applying my estimated P/E of 18 to calendar year 2012 EPS estimate of $3.85, my initial price target of $73 a share is obtained. A return of 20% (including dividends) is possible from current levels.

2) Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO)

MFC added approximately 482,000 shares of CSCO stock, an increase of 20%, during the last quarter of 2011. The stock currently trades for $19.9 after trading in the range of $16 and $19 during Q4.

The company recently released its earnings for the last quarter beating analyst expectations. The revenue guidance met expecatations, but was a bit subdued. The stock fell 2% the next day. The company increased its quarterly dividend from 6 cents a share to 8 cents a share yielding 1.5%. Overall, although upside remains in CSCO, I am disappointed with the direction in which CSCO is headed with its planned resumption of acquisitions and continued share buybacks.

I expect the company to grow at an annual rate of 7%-9% over the long term compared with the 15% growth rate of the broader industry. Applying a P/E of 14 to my calendar year 2012 EPS estimate of $1.85, my price target of $25 is obtained.

3) Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

MFC more than doubled its position in AMZN by purchasing approximately 544,000 shares. The stock is down 2% during the last one year compared with the 3.3% gain of the NASDAQ index.

I am very bullish on the e-commerce industry in general, but Amazon is grossly overvalued at these levels in my opinion. The better play in this sector in eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). My price targets for AMZN and EBAY are $146 and $38, respectively. AMZN currently trades at $180 while EBAY last changed hands at $33 a share. Please visit my recent article on AMZN comparing its valuation with that of some of its competitors including eBay, Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK), and Mercado Libre (NASDAQ:MELI).

4) Oracle (NYSE:ORCL)

MFC increased its position in ORCL by 203% by acquiring 3.16 million shares during Q4 of last year. The stock traded predominantly in the range of $28 and $33 and currently trades at $28.5.

ORCL increased its earnings at an annual rate of 19% during the last five years and is now projected to grow at an annual rate of 12%. My target of $37 is obtained by applying a P/E of 15 to calendar year 2012 EPS estimate of $2.46. A return of 29% is possible from current levels.

5) FactSet Research Systems (NYSE:FDS)

FDS is a $4.13 billion company by market cap and primarily serves the global investment community by providing integrated financial information and analytical applications. The stock is up 54% over the last five years. During this time period, the company grew its earnings at an annual rate of 15% and is expected to grow at a very similar rate over the next five years.

MFC added approximately 450,000 million shares of FDS stock, an increase of 203%. The stock primarily traded in the range of $86 and $101 during Q4 2011 and currently trades at $91.48. Applying a P/E of 23.1 to calendar year 2012 EPS estimate of $4.24, my price target of $98 is obtained. The stock is fairly valued in my opinion.

FDS is one of my favorite names on this list and it's a stock that I have been following for a very long time. The company is best-in-class; however, the stock has never been cheap in my opinion. I would look to open a position in FDS if and when it trades below $78 a share.

As always, please do not consider this list as a "buy" or "sell" list, rather use this list as a starting point for your research. Based on my preliminary research, QCOM, CSCO and ORCL are undervalued and make good long candidates. AMZN is an obvious short candidate trading at a multiple of 135 and at a premium of approximately 20% to fair value.

Disclosure: I am long CSCO.

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