These Tech Stocks Will Make Me Rich

Welcome to week 26 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:

Company

Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return

Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM  )

$22.23

$17.41

(21.7%)

Harris & Harris

$6.22

$3.72

(40.2%)

IBM

$127.64**

$96.14

(24.7%)

Oracle

$22.75

$17.97

(21.0%)

Taiwan Semiconductor

$10.34

$8.69

(15.9%)

AVERAGE RETURN

--

--

(24.70%)

S&P 500 SPDR (AMEX: SPY  )

$125.26**

$86.98

(30.56%)

DIFFERENCE

--

--

5.86%

Source: Yahoo! Finance. *Tracking began on Aug. 7, 2008. **Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.

POW! Take that, Mr. Market. My tech portfolio added 498 basis points to its lead over the S&P 500 in a turbulent week in which we questioned whether President Obama is crying wolf by pushing the stimulus package. Is it OK for the feds to force us to "Buy American?"

The week in tech
Mandates rarely thrill me. Besides, isn't the bigger issue whether American tech is still worth buying? A mixed week makes answering that question difficult. On the one hand, Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS  ) and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) both announced job cuts. Cisco also reported weak sales and weaker margins in its latest quarterly report.

On the other hand, new Seagate (NYSE: STX  ) CEO Stephen Luczo expressed confidence in the long-term viability of the disk drive maker by committing more than $1.8 million in cash to buy shares on the open market. The board also approved previously announced pay cuts and a plan to reclaim compensation from executives found to have committed fraud. And these moves follow surprisingly strong earnings reports from Apple and IBM, among others, in recent weeks.

So which is it: The best of times, or the worst of times for tech? I don't think we'll know for a while. Good thing that innovation persists in the meantime. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) this week unveiled Latitude, a GPS stalker for phones in which anyone you choose can track your mobile whereabouts via Google Maps.

And that's just one idea. DoubleGoo appears to have very big plans for its robot. VentureBeat reports that Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) is "preparing for the mass production" of Android-enabled netbooks. Can you imagine?

Sure I can. Mobile-facts founders Matthaus Krzykowski and Daniel Hartmann ported Android to an Asus EEEPC in early January, weeks before the rumor mill began churning. Apple, meanwhile, is building iPhone-like features into the next version of the Mac operating system, Snow Leopard, including location awareness and a multi-touch interface. Phones and PCs, it seems, are on a collision course.

That's sure to create both opportunity and uncertainty. For tech investors like me, it's time to exercise prudence in picking stocks -- stick with the very best -- and patience in waiting for gains. That's how David Gardner produced a decade of 20% returns in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio. Tom Gardner's "simpleton portfolio" was also a 10-year winner. I believe that with these five tech stocks, I will achieve similar success.

Checkup time!
Now, let's move on to the rest of today's update:

  • Akamai blew away Street estimates in reporting fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, leading to an upgrade from the analysts at Citi. Whatever business Limelight Networks and other rivals are taking, it isn't enough.
  • Taiwan Semiconductor denied a report that it was preparing to return unused capital to investors. Makes sense to me; management is supposed to earn a return above the cost capital, and the company has done so in the past. Still -- and for the record -- I would have been happy to collect a surprise dividend.

There's your check-up. See you back here on Friday for more tech stock talk.

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

Apple and Electronic Arts are Stock Advisor selections. Intel is an Inside Value pick. Akamai, Google, and Harris & Harris are Rule Breakers recommendations. The Fool owns shares and covered calls of Intel. Try any of these Foolish services free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple and Google and stock positions in Akamai, Harris & Harris, IBM, Oracle, and Taiwan Semiconductor at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool.

The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is tech-tastic.


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