Looking for the best big tech stock to buy? Look no further than Google. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is a better deal than it seems on paper right now. Yes, it is trading for 24x forward earnings, a 50% premium to the S&P, but it has some very strong redeeming qualities. Get this—revenue growth at Google has raged from 21% to 25% per quarter for the last 14 quarters. Further, the important thing about that valuation metric above is that it does not include Google’s massive $105 bn in cash. If you strip that out, along with the loss from its “moonshots” division, and Alphabet is trading at 19x earnings—not bad for a company with that kind of growth! The stock has been beat up lately because of significantly higher spending, which has hurt margins.
FINSUM: Okay, so margins are down a bit, but the c-suite says they are investing for the future. We think this may present a good buying opportunity. We never thought we’d be talking about a FAANG as a value stock!
Amidst all the gloom gripping the markets, there have been a handful of positive publications about 2019. One of them was just put out by Nomura. The bank published a list of 5 tech stocks that might surge in 2019. The call is an ambitious one given the trend of how tech shares have been going. The shares are not all FAANGs either, which makes them more interesting. With further ado, the list is: Google, Amazon, Salesforce, Broadcom, and AT&T.
FINSUM: Amazon seems like a good call to us, especially after its recent declines. The company is going to see increasing margins as it consolidates its dominant position and earns more recurring revenue. Salesforce is also an interesting business.
In what seems like a dramatic development considering all the other news that comes out on self-driving cars, people close to the situation say Waymo, Google’s self-driving car subsidiary, will launch an autonomous car service next month. The service is supposed to compete directly with Uber and Lyft.
FINSUM: Doesn’t this seem a little soon considering how recently fatal accidents were occurring? This could be a frivolous headline, but it could also be a major technological moment and potentially a good time to buy Alphabet.
Investors in tech have reason to worry. Not only is Trump saying that they should possibly be subjected to anti-trust regulation, but the tech sector is heading to Washington today to meet with the Senate. Top executives at Facebook, Google, and Twitter, are set to face questions and scrutiny about their practices, including on trust concerns, political content, and consumer privacy. The tide of public opinion has turned against tech over the last year, and congress has followed suit, with Senate GOP leader Orrin Hatch calling Google’s anti-trust behavior “disquieting” despite the fact that he used to staunchly defend the sector.
FINSUM: The big problem for tech is that a regulatory crackdown now seems to have bipartisan support. We think there will be some regulations imposed on tech, but the depth of the forthcoming rules will be the deciding factor. In other words, will it be something along the lines of GDPR (relatively light) or more like Glass-Steagal?
The long-awaited (long-feared?) shake up of the S&P 500’s sectors will occur soon, and there is a lot of focus on how the tech sector, as traditionally defined, will change. Google and Facebook will be making the switch out of tech and into the new communications services sector. Netflix, as well as Walt Disney, Ford, and Nike will be joining them. There is some fear about the volatility that will be caused as big index trackers have to change their holdings on September 21st. Overall though, it seems like tech stocks (as traditionally thought of) will be winners, as having them distributed across multiple sectors will avoid the sector-weight limits many asset managers face.
FINSUM: Tech stocks will likely do well, but so will the companies getting grouped with them. As one analyst pointed out, AT&T and Verizon joining Google and Facebook is kind of liking outsiders getting invited to the cool kids’ party, which may help their share prices.