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Here's Where Investors Took Cover in Miserable Week for Tech Stocks

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·2 min read
Here's Where Investors Took Cover in Miserable Week for Tech Stocks
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(Bloomberg) -- It’s been an ugly week for tech stocks. But it turns out that investors who stuck with the likes of Oracle Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. -- cash generating, dividend-paying companies -- managed to beat the market.

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With the Nasdaq 100 Stock Index sinking to the lowest in almost two years, Oracle managed to post a nearly 1% advance, followed by a 0.2% decline for Cisco.

It may not seem like much, but in a week that saw the floor under the world’s biggest technology stocks crumble and the S&P 500 enter into a bear market, the performance stands out. It’s also a testament to the resiliency of these companies that have been around for decades that boast lower growth profiles but strong profitability and the money to reward investors with payouts.

“Names that have the cash to generate a sustained payout regardless of economic conditions should continue to work for the foreseeable future,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. “Quality stands out as a positive area.”

Earlier this week, Oracle shares surged the most in six months after the software company reported cloud revenue that grew 19% to $2.9 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter. International Business Machines Corp. also outperformed broad markets this week, with a decline of just 0.9% compared with the Nasdaq 100’s nearly 5% drop.

The renewed focus on stocks like Oracle, Cisco and IBM, whose dividend yield currently sits at about 5%, comes after years of fixation on companies like Netflix Inc. and their rapidly expanding revenues. That strategy though has taken a thrashing this year as Treasury yields have soared, hurting the present-day value of profits expected to be delivered years from now.

Almost everywhere else in technology there was carnage this week as recession angst hit a fever pitch in the wake of the biggest Federal Reserve interest rate hike since 1994. Apple Inc., the world’s biggest tech company, dropped 4.1% for its third-consecutive week of losses. Meanwhile, an exchange-traded fund that tracks dividend paying technology companies is down 21% this year, compared with a 31% decline for the Nasdaq 100.

With the era of ultra low interest rates now over, it’s important to focus on companies with strong profits that can be reinvested during periods of economic uncertainty, according to Jeremiah Buckley, a portfolio manager with Janus Henderson Investors.

“These companies can emerge in a position of strength and accelerate market share gains as some of the current macro headwinds abate and we return to a more stable period of economic growth,” said Buckley.

(Updates with closing prices throughout.)

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