This has been a horrible year for technology stocks, as the 33% decline in the Nasdaq-100 indicates. But there are some names that have shown remarkable resilience despite the bear market.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD -0.52%), CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD 1.08%), and Apple (AAPL 0.32%) are three companies that are witnessing robust demand for their offerings despite inflation and weakness in the smartphone and personal computer (PC) markets. Let's look at the reasons why AMD, CrowdStrike, and Apple look like solid bets amid the tech sell-off.
1. Advanced Micro Devices
The weakness in the PC market couldn't prevent AMD from delivering solid double-digit growth in its fiscal third quarter. The chipmaker's top line was up 29% year over year to $5.6 billion, driven by strength in the data center and embedded segments. What's more, AMD anticipates 14% year-over-year revenue growth in the current quarter as well, which would be quite an achievement as sales of PCs are expected to drop further.
However, AMD has massive growth opportunities other areas, which should allow the chipmaker to mitigate the PC market's struggles in the near term. The company has already started the initial shipments of its next-generation Epyc server processors to select customers. Sales of these chips should start ramping up with the launch of server platforms by the likes of Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Super Micro, and Lenovo, among others.
Meanwhile, AMD is now making progress in the data processing unit (DPU) market as well following the acquisition of Pensando, which was completed in May this year. AMD CEO Lisa Su remarked on the latest earnings conference call that the "addition of Pensando DPUs to our product portfolio has been very well received by customers, highlighted by our enterprise customer pipeline doubling in the few months since the acquisition closed."
More importantly, the DPU business seems built for long-term growth as the demand for these data center chips is expected to increase at an annual pace of 27% through 2031. The overall data center business, meanwhile, could give AMD's growth a big shot in the arm considering the huge end-market opportunity at hand.
With shares of AMD trading at 37 times trailing earnings, compared to the five-year average earnings multiple of nearly 100, it looks like a top semiconductor stock to buy now given the healthy long-term catalysts it's sitting on.
2. CrowdStrike Holdings
CrowdStrike is another fast-growing company that can be bought at a relatively attractive valuation right now. The cybersecurity specialist is trading at 16 times sales, and while that isn't cheap, it's worth noting the stock was trading at closer to 50 times sales this time last year.
More importantly, CrowdStrike's terrific growth justifies its rich valuation. The company's revenue in the first six months of fiscal 2023 (ended Aug. 30) increased an impressive 60% year over year to $1.02 billion. The company's full-year guidance for $2.23 billion in revenue would translate into 53% top-line growth over the previous fiscal year.
Most importantly, CrowdStrike should be able to sustain its impressive momentum thanks to the growth in its annual recurring revenue (ARR). The company was sitting on $2.14 billion of ARR at the end of the fiscal second quarter, up 59%. As ARR represents the annualized value of CrowdStrike's subscription contracts in effect at the end of a particular period, the sharp increase in this metric points toward a robust pipeline.
The terrific growth in CrowdStrike's business and the company's ability to set up a solid revenue pipeline isn't surprising given the cybersecurity segments it's serving. The company provides a cloud-based, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform to protect endpoints, prevent identity theft, and deliver security and information technology (IT) operations to customers.
Demand for cloud-based cybersecurity offerings is growing at a healthy pace. Fortune Business Insights expects the cloud security market to clock annual growth of 18% through 2029. CrowdStrike itself estimates a $158 billion addressable market by 2026, indicating the company is only scratching the surface of a huge opportunity.
Not surprisingly, analysts are expecting nearly 75% annual earnings growth from CrowdStrike over the next five years, suggesting it could turn out to be a top growth stock going forward.
Apple stock has been in the news for the wrong reasons recently after an iPhone factory in China was suddenly locked down to prevent a coronavirus outbreak. The news sent Apple stock down nearly 4% on Nov. 2, but investors need to look at the bigger picture.
Apple's iPhone sales are increasing at a time when the broader smartphone market is contracting. That's because the company is grabbing a healthy share of the 5G smartphone market, a space set for rapid long-term growth. Annual 5G smartphone sales could exceed $4.1 trillion by 2027, growing at a compound annual rate of nearly 125%, according to a third-party estimate.
This would pave the way for robust iPhone sales at Apple in the long run. The company generated $205 billion in iPhone revenue in the latest fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 24. The potential growth of the 5G smartphone space, Apple's strong market share, and growing influence in markets such as India should help sustain this key part of the company.
But the growing installed base of all Apple devices is going to be a boon for the services business as well. Apple generated $78 billion in revenue from this segment in fiscal 2022, up 14%. The company has 900 million paid subscribers in the services business, less than half of the nearly two billion active devices.
In all, Apple should be able to deliver steady growth in the long run thanks to its unmatched product ecosystem, which also has the potential for new additions. With the stock trading at 23 times trailing earnings, near its lowest level since the start of the pandemic, Apple is another top tech stock to buy following its 22% slide in 2022.