With the new month comes new opportunities. We asked a panel of The Motley Fool's finest tech sector contributors where they see great buying opportunities in this early November market.
They came back with industry titans Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) -- don't worry, you'll get used to that name -- which are set up to deliver fantastic shareholder value for decades to come. One maverick picked Communications Sales & Leasing (NASDAQ:CSAL) instead, a low-profile telecom infrastructure play that just happens to come with a sky-high dividend yield and low buy-in share prices.
Read all about these threetop tech stocks to buy in November:
Tim Brugger (Microsoft): Following a 14% jump in share prices five days after sharing fiscal 2016 Q1 earnings Oct. 22, Microsoft may not come to mind as a top tech stock in November. But for long-term investors in search of growth and income, Microsoft should top the list.
The share-price pop came in spite of a 7% decline on a non-GAAP basis (excluding one-time items) in Microsoft's revenue. How? At long last, Microsoft investors appear to have recognized that what matters going forward aren't PC-related sales, but rather results of CEO Satya Nadella's mobile-first, cloud-first strategic efforts. And in those key areas, particularly the cloud, Microsoft is on a roll.
Microsoft's Azure platform revenue more than doubled in Q1, as did its usage, which helped push its cloud annual run-rate to over $8.2 billion. And yet another strong quarter from what is quickly becoming Microsoft's most important business unit -- the cloud -- wasn't the only positive last quarter.
Microsoft already has 110 million Windows 10 downloads under its belt. Thanks to Windows 10, Microsoft's Bing search division actually turned a profit, thanks to a 29% jump in ad revenue after accounting for currency. Windows 10 probably played a part in the 12% jump in Microsoft's Dynamics CRM unit, too.
Add in a nearly 70% jump in Office 365 commercial revenue and a dividend yield of 2.7% to Microsoft's strong cloud, Windows 10, and Bing results, and investors are left with a great growth and income alternative for November.
Andres Cardenal (Alphabet): Alphabet is one of the best tech companies to buy right now and hold for years, even decades, to come. The company is a true fortress from a competitive point of view. Alphabet owns six different services and applications with over 1 billion users: Google Search, YouTube, Chrome, Maps, Google Play, and Android. Brand recognition, strategic strength, and financial firepower make of Alphabet an undisputed industry leader.
Management knows how to translate the company's strengths into growing sales and earnings for investors. Total revenue grew 13% to $18.7 billion during the third quarter, while sales in constant currency jumped by an impressive 21% year over year. Operating profit was $4.7 billion, growing 26% versus the same period last year and representing 25% of revenue during the quarter.
The company recently announced a share-buyback program for roughly $5.1 billion. This is not a particularly big program coming from a company with a market capitalization of around $507 billion. However, it could signal an important trend going forward, since it's the first time ever that Alphabet distributes cash to investors via dividends or buybacks. The business brings in tons of money on a recurrent basis, so investors in Alphabet have strong reasons to expect growing capital distributions over years to come.
Anders Bylund (Communications Sales & Leasing): Communi-who? Sales and What? I know, I know -- this isn't the kind of marquee name that my Foolish colleagues delivered. But CS&L is one of those hidden gems you don't find every day, and this one is selling at fantastically low prices right now.
CS&L was born when parent company Windstream spun off its network and real estate assets as a separate real estate investment trust entity. For now, CS&L collects 100% of its revenues from its only customer Windstream. But that's sure to change.
One of the cool benefits of spinning out your very own telecom network assets is that the new company can then start looking for additional clients across the industry. Have infrastructure, will travel, you know. CS&L has not yet announced its first non-Windstream customer, but it might happen when the company reports results in two weeks. Fingers crossed.
Moreover, investors don't quite know what to do with this unique company yet. So the stock sells for a pesky 7.9 times forward earnings, and the dividend yield is a sky-high 12.3%.
Typically, insanely high yields are big, red flags -- a sign that the company has no business doing business in the first place. I don't think that's the case for CS&L, which runs a perfectly normal communications network but under a unique business model. Give investors and analysts some time to get familiar with this strange beast, and the fantastic yield will shrink while share prices normalize at a higher level.
Or you can lock in those great dividend yields and take full advantage of potential price increases by picking up some CS&L shares right now. I recently did, and I'm pretty excited to see how this plays out over the next several years.
The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A and C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.