7 Stocks From the Leading Sector of the Next Bull Market

While there are glimmers of hope in recent economic data, all stocks are still subject to "systemic risk," or factors that affect the broader economy -- not company-specific factors. As a result, almost every company is a victim of the global recession.

The good news is that while this recession is protracted, it won't last forever, and you need to position your portfolio for the future.

Technology may be a spot for future growth, and it could be the sector's turn to lead the next bull market. The tech sector has typically led the market out of past sell-offs. Semiconductors, for example, are cyclical and typically rally early in bull markets.

As the market begins to stabilize and the economy comes back, the tech sector should get a boost as businesses increase spending on technology. Companies that have lost workers will most likely want to increase efficiency and can do so with technology.

According to Charles Schwab, as overall profit margins decline following a run-up, which has occurred recently, business investment in technology as a percentage of total spending has increased. Additionally, Schwab reports that as productivity growth slows, businesses have typically increased investment in software. Its research notes that business investment in technology is now outpacing growth in total business investment.

To uncover strong tech companies that will likely wade through this downturn and emerge even stronger, I put the CAPS screening tool to work. I screened for companies in the technology sector with:

  • CAPS ratings of four or five stars, the highest ratings from our CAPS community.
  • A current ratio of 1 or greater to ensure liquidity.
  • Minimum market cap of $200 million.
  • Return on equity of 15% or greater.
  • Minimum price of $5 per share.
  • Five or more Wall Street outperform ratings.             

Here's what my screen turned up. You can run it, too, but note that your results will likely differ as the data updates.

Company

Market Cap
(in billions)

Current Ratio

Return on Equity (TTM)

Wall Street Outperforms

Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE  )

$15.2

4.5

17.5%

13

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  )

$113.5

3.2

19.0%

34

Corning (NYSE: GLW  )

$23.7

2.8

33.4%

20

Microchip Technology (Nasdaq: MCHP  )

$4.0

11.2

25.1%

11

MICROS Systems (Nasdaq: MCRS  )

$2.2

2.3

15.8%

10

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL  )

$102.7

2.0

24.9%

21

Synaptics (Nasdaq: SYNA  )

$1.2

2.1

23.2%

8

Source: Motley Fool CAPS as of June 3. TTM = trailing 12 months.

As with any investing argument, there are potential pitfalls. Revenue streams for many tech companies come from overseas, and demand for everything, including technology, is down globally -- but mostly as a result of sheer macroeconomics. If the economy worsens, expected increases in IT spending could be delayed.

When it comes down to it, remember that the current economic climate is ultimately a short-term situation. Ask yourself now, is this company fundamentally strong? Is the stock price down because broader economic conditions are suppressing revenues? When the global economy turns, will this company's profits pick up? If you answer "yes" to those and similar questions, then you might just have a winner.

Take advantage of valuations and solid balance sheets now, because profitability will likely surface with recovery, and by then, the best buy-in prices will likely be behind us.

Use the Motley Fool CAPS screener and the whole community-intelligence database as a first step in your investment research on technology stocks. Let the collective wisdom of our 135,000-member-strong investment community help you make better investing decisions.

Related Foolishness:

Fool contributor Jennifer Schonberger owns shares of Oracle, but not any of the other companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy


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  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2009, at 4:33 PM, vellys wrote:

    Great run for SYNA - don't like their total exposure to China and do not see any new product they market...nothing visible but stock is doing great...for now!

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