Think it’s Too Late to Buy Big Tech Stocks? Here’s an Overlooked Comeback Play

Think it’s Too Late to Buy Big Tech Stocks? Here’s an Overlooked Comeback Play

Posted On July 1, 2020 2:54 pm

International Business Machines Corp. has suffered disparagement like no other large-cap tech name because the 109-year-old company has seemingly failed to innovate, while tens of billions of dollars spent on stock buybacks didn’t help investors.

But the company appears to be moving in the right direction, setting up a potentially attractive long-term investment for those with patience, according to Victoria Greene, a portfolio manager at G Squared Private Wealth.

G Squared is based in College Station, Texas, and has about $500 million in assets under management in private accounts.

In an interview, Greene discussed IBM’s new direction under Arvind Krishna, who stepped up to become CEO in April, after leading IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat in July 2019. She touted the company’s “blue chip dividend” yield of more than 5%, which is well-supported by cash flow, and pointed to “a transformative three to five years as it sheds its older legacy business and refocuses on growth.”

Before looking further at IBM IBM, -0.78%, let’s consider valuations for big tech stocks.

Familiar tech giants

FAANG stocks have dominated financial news reporting for a reason: significant, consistent sales growth.

FAANG stands for Facebook Inc. FB, 2.14%, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, 1.13%, Apple Inc. AAPL, 0.53%, Netflix Inc. NFLX, 2.30% and Google holding company Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, 1.14% GOOG, 1.20%. FAANGs, plus Microsoft Corp. MSFT, 0.34%, have outperformed in a year of what could mildly be called uncertain:

Facebook Inc. Class A FB, 2.14% 11% 57% 31.9 21.9
Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, 1.13% 38% 23% 112.5 65.0
Apple Inc. AAPL, 0.53% 16% 89% 25.8 16.1
Netflix Inc. NFLX, 2.30% 29% 21% 60.9 84.6
Alphabet Inc. Class C GOOG, 1.20% 6% 29% 33.0 22.9
Alphabet Inc. Class A GOOGL, 1.14% 5% 28% 33.0 23.0
Microsoft Corp. MSFT, 0.34% 21% 58% 31.8 27.0
 Source: FactSet

Scroll the table to see all the data — especially the price-to-earnings ratios.

Cheap stock

In a partially shuttered economy, earnings estimates are suspect, but the largest of the rapidly growing tech companies have been sailing through. The group above is up by double digits, except for Alphabet. For most, forward P/E ratios (based on consensus estimates for 12 forward rolling months among analysts polled by FactSet) have increased considerably.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 information technology sector has returned 9% this year (including reinvested dividends), the only sector with a gain through June 12. The S&P 500 Index SPX, 0.47% has declined 5%.

Shares of IBM are down 7% this year through June 12. The stock features a…

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