2022 was a tough one for tech stocks. Most were walloped with higher interest rates, fears of aggressive rate hikes, geopolitical issues, economic concerns, and fed-up consumers. It chased even the sanest investors from the market. While it’s impossible to find a risk-free investment, some are safer than others – especially if they’re leaders in their sectors, with wide economic moats.
In fact, one of the best ways to spot strong tech stocks is to follow the Warren Buffett model, which is to invest in simple companies that are easy to understand; companies with predictable and proven earnings; companies that can be bought at a reasonable price; and companies with “economic moat,” or a unique advantage over its competition. Seeing that Warren Buffett is now worth about $108.2 billion, it’s a safe bet he knows a thing or two about safe investing.
Advanced Micro Devices
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With a diversified revenue stream, and an ability to adapt to new consumer trends, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will always be one of the strong tech stocks to bet on. Even Warren Buffett once said he continues to invest in Apple because of its brand, ecosystem, and strong economic moat.
In addition, we have to consider that Apple is a global leader in innovation. Just look at the iPhone alone. First introduced to the public in 2007, it’s now one of the most popular mobile phones in the world, with a growing market share. Better, earnings have been solid.
The company just beat expectations on revenue and profits, and it showed that global demand for its products is still high. In its fourth quarter, the company’s revenue was up 8% to $90 billion. Mac sales were up 25% to $11.5 billion in the quarter. iPhone sales were up 10% to $42.6 billion. Operating income was up by 5% to $25 billion. EPS was up 4% to $1.29, putting it above expectations for $1.27.
Also, analysts, such as Deutsche Bank’s Sidney Ho, say Apple is trading at a reasonable valuation and has a buy rating with a price target of $175. Apple also carries a dividend yield of 0.66%, and it’s been aggressive with stock buybacks.
Tech Stocks: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
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Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) was butchered for most of the year. But that’ll happen when most of the tech stock sector is dragging just about everything lower. However, after falling from about $150 to a low of about $60, the AMD stock is showing strong signs of life. With patience, I’d like to see the AMD stock run from its current price of $75.25 to $120 in the near term.
Analysts like the AMD stock, too. UBS upgraded AMD to a buy rating with a price target of $95 a share. Baird analyst Tristan Gerra also just upgraded the beaten-down tech name to outperform with a price target of $100. He believes the company’s newest Genoa chips could widen the company’s competitive moat. Credit Suisse analyst Chris Caso also initiated coverage of AMD with an outperform rating, with a price target of $90.
Piper Sandler analyst Harsh Kumar is also overweight on the stock, with a price target of $90. He added that earnings appear to be bottoming and that PC inventory should start to clear out in the early part of 2023. In addition, he believes AMD is a great way to trade the server uptrend and cloud strength.
Tech Stocks: Nvidia (NVDA)
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While Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) was cut in half this year, it’s still one quality, safe name investors can count on. For one, the company makes the chips that are used to power some of the world’s most advanced technologies, including gaming, supercomputing, the cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, autonomous driving, etc. Again, NVDA was destroyed in 2022. But it’s still a high-quality name to count on.
Better, it’s also getting a jump on the Industrial Omniverse, which is already being used by major companies, like Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW), BMW (OTCMKTS:BMWYY), Siemens (OTCMKTS:SIEGY), and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT).
Analysts, like Credit Suisse’s Chris Casso, say there’s been enough bad news for semiconductors to lower the risk of investing. The firm also said Nvidia was one of its top picks thanks to its strength in artificial intelligence, computing, and data centers. Better, the firm now has an outperform rating on the stock, with a $210 price target. Piper Sandler analyst Harsh Kumar also sees a near-term turnaround for Nvidia and has an overweight rating on the stock. For me, from a current price of $160.38, I’d like to see the stock run back to $195 by the first half of the New Year.
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Ian Cooper, a contributor to InvestorPlace.com, has been analyzing stocks and options for web-based advisories since 1999.
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