There's no sign of the stock market volatility letting up as we head into the final quarter of 2020. Recent volatility has been particularly pronounced in the tech sector, but seasoned investors know turbulent times can also produce great buying opportunities.
With that in mind, we asked three Motley Fool contributors to profile a tech stock poised to crush the market. Find out why they identified Impinj (PI -2.44%), Microsoft (MSFT -1.94%), and Broadcom (AVGO -1.36%) as stocks you won't want to miss out on this month.
This small-cap innovator could deliver explosive returns
Keith Noonan (Impinj): Having access to valuable data has never been more vital to business success, and it will only become more crucial. There are more electronic devices collecting and transmitting information than ever, but that still leaves non-electronic items outside of the big connectivity push. Impinj is a maker of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and sensors, and it's helping businesses solve that problem and bring everyday objects into the world of networked data.
Impinj's low-cost RFID tags function without a power source and can be updated to store new information. Think of a much more advanced version of the barcode system capable of spurring improved efficiency for supply chains, manufacturing, and services in fields including healthcare and hospitality.
So far, the biggest market for Impinj's tag-and-reader technologies has been retail, and momentum in the category helped spur roughly 45% year-over-year sales growth in the first quarter. Pressures from the coronavirus pandemic quickly brought the company's impressive sales-growth streak to an end, however.
Virus-related retail closures and reduced consumer spending tanked demand in the second quarter, and sales slumped about 31% compared to the prior-year period. The disappointing performance spurred significant sell-offs for the stock, but the valuation dip has created an attractive buying opportunity for forward-looking investors.
Impinj's retail business should recover, and adoption for RFID technologies in manufacturing, healthcare, and other markets remains at an early stage. With a market cap of less than $600 million and promising avenues to growth, Impinj could be a huge winner for long-term investors.
The tech titan
Joe Tenebruso (Microsoft): Investing in technology stocks does not need to be a high-risk endeavor. Despite what you may see in finance textbooks, low-risk stocks can often deliver tremendously high returns to investors over time. It's with these truths in mind that I recommend investors take a look at Microsoft.
Microsoft is a technological powerhouse. Its ubiquitous Office software helps to drive productivity for businesses around the world. Its Azure infrastructure platform powers many companies' cloud initiatives. And its Windows operating system continues to lie at the heart of countless PCs. Add in its popular Surface devices, Xbox gaming console, and LinkedIn professional social media network, and it's clear that Microsoft's investors have many ways to profit.
Microsoft is also a financial colossus. With annual net profits of more than $44 billion and $73 billion in net cash reserves, the tech giant has all the cash it needs to invest aggressively in new technologies while rewarding its shareholders with stock buybacks and a steadily rising dividend stream.
Better still, like many tech stocks, Microsoft's shares have pulled back in recent weeks. With its stock price now down roughly 12% from its highs of the year, investors currently have the opportunity to pick up shares at a significant discount to where they were trading less than one month ago. Buying a great tech stock at a solid price is a fortune-building formula -- one that you may want to consider employing today.
A cheap stock for the 5G upgrade cycle
Will Healy (Broadcom): As one of the world's largest chipmakers, Broadcom makes semiconductors for multiple applications. More recently, it has ventured into software with the purchases of Symantec's enterprise software unit and CA Technologies. However, in October, one key move in the evolution of 5G could shift the focus back to the chip sector.
Indeed, moving into software has helped Broadcom bounce back. Though it has operated a software business for only two years, it has already become Broadcom's growth driver. In the most recent quarter, infrastructure software's revenue increased by around 41% year over year while revenue from semiconductor solutions fell by 4% over the same period.
However, the outlook for the chip division may soon turn positive. Analysts anticipate the release of the first 5G-compatible iPhones from Apple (AAPL -3.00%) in October. This should bolster revenue from Apple, the company that accounted for about 20% of Broadcom's revenue in 2019.
Moreover, most investors may not yet see this opportunity. Broadcom supports a forward P/E ratio of less than 15. Although analysts predict just over 3% earnings growth this year, they expect profits to increase by just under 16% in fiscal 2021.
Additionally, new shareholders will benefit from a $13 per share annual dividend. This payout, which yields more than 3.6%, has risen every year since Broadcom declared its first dividend in fiscal 2011.
This dividend will pay stockholders an increasing return to wait. Nonetheless, with a prosperous software business and the anticipated 5G upgrade cycle, investors will probably not have to wait long.