Big-name tech companies like Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft may be commanding top dollar among stock traders these days, but that doesn't mean bargains don't abound in the technology sector.
There are several tech stocks trading on the cheap -- if you know where to look. They may not garner the headlines that Apple or Facebook do, but these companies are poised to grow, providing tech investors with a deal. Here's a look at three of them.
1. Blackberry coming back into the spotlight
Once-iconic device maker BlackBerry (BB -2.16%) may not make the addicting mobile devices of the early 2000s anymore, but it has been toiling away in the security market for some years now and is carving out a growing business that caters to enterprises and government agencies.
Aiming to diversify, in 2018, BlackBerry purchased Cylance for $1.4 billion, expanding into the connected car market. More recently, it hooked up with Amazon's Amazon Web Services (AWS) to merge its QNX operating system for connected cars with AWS Internet of Things services. That will improve its offering, further cementing its position as a leading security provider for the connected vehicle industry.
On the federal government front, Blackberry's business has been booming. Its reputation in the cybersecurity software industry led it to win the National Security Agency as a customer, and more recently, NATO. It's those businesses -- and the fact that the overall cybersecurity software market is poised to have a compound annual growth rate of 9.2% and reach $133.8 billion in 2022 -- that make BlackBerry an attractive bargain, even if Wall Street is skeptical. Of the 12 analysts that cover the software company, most have a hold rating. That's even with it surpassing Wall Street's quarterly growth targets.
For its fiscal third quarter, which it reported in late December, BlackBerry reported revenue of $267 million, up 18% year over year. Its software and services revenue jumped 21% compared to a year earlier, setting a new record. Year to date, BlackBerry's stock is down 7%. Analysts have an average price target of $7.35 a share, implying 21% upside.
2. A virus outbreak provides an entry point for Alibaba
Alibaba (BABA -5.09%) may be China's largest e-commerce provider and have more than 690 million active customers, but with the COVID-19 epidemic (the official name for what many call the coronavirus) creating quarantines and panic, the stock has been taking a hit. Shares are down 7% since the middle of January, falling 4% so far in February. That presents an opportunity for investors to get in on a company that reported 40% revenue growth in its September-ending quarter.
Chinese tech stocks had been trading range-bound for months as the U.S.-China trade war dragged on, with no end in sight. That all changed in December when President Donald Trump and Chinese leaders Xi Jinping signed Phase One of the U.S./China trade deal. With a freeze on new tariffs, China's economy got a little relief, sending shares of Alibaba and other Chinese tech stocks surging.
The COVID-19 outbreak took the steam out of the price run-up, giving investors a short window in which to get a deal. After all, Wall Street still expects the stock to reach $251 a share this year, implying a more than 14% upside in the share price.
Investors need to act quickly. Shares could become less of a bargain when Alibaba reports third-quarter earnings later this week. Alibaba is known for moving on positive earnings news. If it beats, shares could surge. However, if the COVID-19 epidemic worsens, that surge may be short-lived.
3. Intel's position should attract bargain hunters
Alibaba isn't the only stock under pressure because of virus concerns. U.S. chipmaker Intel (INTC -4.62%) is also taking a hit. With many consumers and factory workers in China quarantined, production is slowing, and stores remain empty, hurting demand for computer parts such as Intel's CPUs. That has resulted in a sell-off of shares, setting the stage for bargain hunters to get in.
That's the stance of Bank of America analyst Vivek Arya, who has a $75 price target on Intel. He's urging clients to use weakness as an entry point, arguing that Intel is the market leader in CPU chips and has the diversity that provides safety for investors.
It doesn't hurt that the impact on economies of epidemics such as COVID-19 tends to be short-lived. Also, Intel blew past Wall Street's estimates for its fourth quarter and raised its dividend by 5%. Shares are down 4% since the end of January after jumping 13% from the start of 2020. If weakness continues due to outbreak concerns, investors should view the dips as opportunities to get in on the leading PC chip maker.