The past few months have been rough for high-growth tech stocks. Inflation and higher interest rates made the sector's pricier "hypergrowth" stocks look a lot less appealing, and many investors rotated toward cheaper value plays.
However, investors shouldn't recklessly dump all of their tech stocks. Instead, they should simply be more selective and focus on higher-yielding tech stocks with stable profits and low valuations instead.
1. Seagate Technology
Seagate is the world's largest manufacturer of platter-based, hard disk drives (HDDs). Over the past few years, HDDs have faced a lot of competition from flash-based, solid-state drives (SSDs), which are smaller, faster, more power efficient, and less prone to damage.
Seagate's rival Western Digital (WDC -1.15%) expanded into first-party flash chips and SSDs to counter that secular trend. However, Seagate doubled down on HDDs and focused on selling cheaper and higher-capacity drives to cost-conscious enterprise and data center customers instead.
That conservative strategy enabled Seagate to generate stable growth and plenty of cash, which it mostly returned to its investors through big buybacks and dividends. Seagate reduced its share count by 26% over the past five years, and it's paid continuous dividends for over a decade.
Seagate pays a forward dividend yield of 3.3%, and it's raised its payout annually for three straight years. It spent just 43% of its free cash flow (FCF) on those payments over the past 12 months, which gives it plenty of room for future hikes.
Seagate faces some supply-chain challenges and a post-lockdown deceleration in PC sales, but it's offsetting those headwinds with the robust growth of its cloud and data center businesses. As a result, analysts still expect its revenue and earnings to grow 12% and 58%, respectively, in fiscal 2022 (which ends in July). Those are impressive growth rates for a stock that trades at just nine times forward earnings.
Qualcomm is one of the world's largest producers of mobile baseband modems and system-on-chips (SoCs), which conveniently bundle together a CPU, GPU, and a modem in a single package for smartphone makers. It also owns a massive portfolio of wireless patents, which entitles it to a cut of every smartphone sold worldwide -- even those that don't use its chips.
Qualcomm's stock shed a quarter of its value this year as investors fretted over decelerating smartphone sales and other macroeconomic headwinds. However, that sell-off reduced Qualcomm's forward price-to-earnings ratio to just 13 and boosted its forward dividend yield to about 2%.
Qualcomm spent 41% of its FCF on its dividends over the past 12 months, and has raised its dividend annually for nearly two decades. It also reduced its share count by 24% over the past five years.
Investors might be worried about Qualcomm's near-term challenges, but the chipmaker continues to grow its share of the premium smartphone market against its main rival MediaTek as it returns most of its FCF (74% last year) to investors through big buybacks and dividends.
Analysts still expect its revenue and earnings to grow 27% and 39%, respectively, this year, before cooling off in 2023. Qualcomm has weathered plenty of cyclical downturns before, so I think it's still the right time to accumulate more shares of this out-of-favor chipmaker.
Broadcom is often recognized as a major supplier for Apple (AAPL 0.74%), which accounted for about 20% of its revenue last year. However, the company also produces a wide range of chips for the data center, networking, software, storage, and industrial markets. In addition, it generates nearly a quarter of its revenue from infrastructure software.
Today's Broadcom was previously known as Avago Technologies, a Singapore-based chipmaker that acquired the original Broadcom and assumed its brand in 2016. It continued to grow both organically and through big acquisitions -- which included the network switch maker Brocade in 2016, the enterprise software provider CA Technologies in 2018, and Symantec's enterprise security business in 2019.
Between 2016 and 2021, Broadcom's annual revenue grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.7% as its adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased at a CAGR of 19.6%. Analysts expect its revenue and EPS to grow another 16% and 27%, respectively, this year.
Those growth rates are impressive, but Broadcom still trades at just 17 times forward earnings. It also pays a high forward dividend yield of 2.8%, and it's raised its payout annually for over a decade. The company spent just 47% of its FCF on its dividends over the past 12 months, and it remains committed to spending about half of its prior-year FCF on dividends this year.
Broadcom's shareholder-friendly measures, well-diversified business, and low valuation all make it a reliable investment for this volatile market.