Did the Tech Rally Just Begin?

How about a round of applause for Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY  ) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) ?

Two of tech's biggest names didn't disappoint in reporting earnings this week. First, on Tuesday morning, Infosys reported surprisingly strong fiscal-third-quarter results and raised its full-year outlook for both revenue and net income.

Intel, meanwhile, reported one of the most profitable quarters in its history. Fourth-quarter revenue soared 28% year over year, and gross margin touched a record 65%.

Whether these two reports foreshadow a broader recovery in technology industry spending isn't clear, though in December, researcher IDC included a 3.2% spending increase as part of its list of 2010 predictions.

"Global economic recovery seems to be led by the U.S. and the Financial Services," Infosys CEO and Managing Director S. Gopalakrishnan said in a statement. "Even though IT budgets are expected to be flat in 2010, offshore outsourcing is expected to benefit from this recovery."

Interestingly, Intel's results could lend credence to his assertion. Though a big supplier to Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , the top U.S. chip maker derived just 20% of its fourth-quarter revenue from the Americas and two-thirds from Asia-Pacific and Japan. In addition, the strongest growth in consumer electronics in 2009 was in Japan, at about 19%, compared to China's growth at 10% and a decline in North America of about 12%.

What's more, some overseas tech stocks are already rallying. Consider Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) . Shares of China's top search engine surged after Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) threatened to pull out of the Sino superpower.

Other Asian techs are up on data that point to a better business climate. For example, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM  ) has committed to hiring 3,000 engineers this year. The shares were a huge winner for my tech portfolio in 2009.

So while there's evidence of a tech rally overseas, the better business climate that's lifting Asia's digital companies may take awhile to reach our shores.

But that's just my take. Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you envision a 2010 tech rally here in the U.S.? Make your voice heard using the comments box below.

Baidu and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Motley Fool Options recommends buying calls on Intel. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple and stock positions in Google and Taiwan Semiconductor at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is craving a bowl of pork green chile today. Don't ask why.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 6:39 PM, streetflame wrote:

    This article would make a lot more sense if the US tech sector hadn't rallied 87% over the last 9 months.

  • Report this Comment On January 16, 2010, at 8:03 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    Hello streetflame,

    Thanks for writing.

    >>This article would make a lot more sense if the US tech sector hadn't rallied 87% over the last 9 months.

    The stocks have ralled, yes, but tech spending was down during 2009. A sustained rally needs improvement in the underlying business conditions.

    Thanks again and Foolish best,

    Tim (TMFMileHigh and @milehighfool on Twitter)

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