Share prices are only loosely related to the value of the stock and the underlying company. There are microcap stocks on the market with share prices above $100. Many enormous companies are trading at penny-stock share prices. Stock splits and reverse splits can manipulate share prices without making any real difference to the overall value of the company.
At the same time, low stock prices can let small investors get started on a new stock with minimal friction. The lack of trading fees in most stock-trading platforms helps even further. You don't have to save up for a large investment in order to overcome the profit-busting effect of high trading fees. It's easy to get your feet wet on Wall Street with a limited supply of cash nowadays.
On that note, let's have a look at three fantastic technology stocks that will set you back less than $20 per share.
Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW) runs a global content delivery network (CDN). The company's storage and data management equipment can be found in central network hubs everywhere. When you need to download or stream some content from one of Limelight's clients, your computer or phone will probably grab a copy from the closest CDN hub rather than going all the way to the original source.
It should come as no surprise when I say that CDN services are in high demand these days. The coronavirus work-from-home and safer-at-home orders led to dramatically higher usage of streaming video services and other digital media platforms. These are Limelight's favorite customers, and the company plays a large part every time another streaming service hits the market.
The stock trades at just $5.40 per share right now, and that's after gaining 76% in 52 weeks. Limelight ended a race-to-the-bottom price war with larger rival Akamai Technology (NASDAQ:AKAM) a few years ago and refocused on selling value-added services at higher prices. I see great things ahead for this company and its bargain-priced stock.
Cloud-based communications expert 8x8 (NYSE:EGHT) is another direct play on digital connections. The company is picking up lots of new business in the COVID-19 era, driving first-quarter revenues 26% higher year over year. Wall Street is not picking up on this high-growth phenom, though. 8x8's share prices have fallen 29% in 2020 ,and the stock trades for $15.30 per share today.
The pandemic isn't all good news for 8x8. One reason behind the falling stock price is that many of its clients in the small to medium-sized business segment are having trouble paying their bills or staying in business at all, which threatens a significant slice of 8x8's revenue streams.
But the company isn't sitting on its hands here. 8X8 is automating its account management platform as we speak, relying on more of a self-service approach to customer service than on expensive support personnel. The lessons learned and operating costs cut in this challenging time should boost 8x8's profit margins in the long run, leading to positive earnings when the market gets back to normal.
Finally, you'll find TTM Technologies (NASDAQ:TTMI) stock changing hands for just $10.80 per share right now. The printed circuit board (PCB) maker focuses on high-margin sales to clients that require technologically advanced PCBs and backplane assemblies with short deadlines for delivery. The company name itself is an acronym for Time To Market, highlighting TTM's focus on quick-turn manufacturing services.
I thought that TTM was a bargain in June. Three months and a stellar earnings report later, the stock is trading 4% lower and looks like an even stronger value play.
Sales fell 5% in the second quarter to $601 million but your average analyst would have settled for $537 million. Earnings rose from $0.20 to $0.31 per share, and the Street consensus stopped at $0.14 per share. Investors shrugged off these solid results to focus on TTM's mixed guidance targets for the third quarter, with earnings projections exceeding Wall Street's consensus while revenues should land approximately 5% below the analyst consensus.
The stock traded mostly sideways for several weeks before it was swept up in last week's market panic. I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. TTM is not a high-flying tech darling but a bargain-bin discount stock. You can pick up shares at deeply discounted valuations such as 5.5 times trailing free cash flows or 8.4 times forward earnings. You're getting a high-quality business with a long operating history and a bright future, all buried under dollar-store debris in Wall Street's bargain bin.