Tech is undergoing one of its every-15-year transitions, this time from a client-server basis to information technology as a service (ITaaS). According to the tech analysts at UBS, history advises exiting the stocks of incumbent vendors and finding pure plays on the new trends. Beneficiaries of this thinking have included such top new tech names as Facebook Inc. (FB), LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD), Splunk Inc. (SPLK) and Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM). Is there any hope for large cap tech legacy vendors? UBS thinks selectively the answer is yes, while admitting that the odds favor new companies.
In a new research report, the UBS team points to three specific reason investors can own the top large cap tech names now. 1) Multiples in many of the top names have contracted to the point of almost value stock territory. Many of the stocks have forward price to earnings of 10x to 12x. 2) Near term, the public cloud impact may be overestimated. While the future is undeniable, the large vendors can compete. 3) It is about service, and that is one area where the large, experienced vendors have significant capabilities.
Here are the top six large cap tech stocks to buy from UBS.
Google Inc. (GOOG) absolutely crushed earnings estimates last week and traded up more than 13% on Friday. The search and online advertising giant still has room to expand and increase its business. Its large cash position also makes acquisitions easy to complete. The UBS price target for the stock is raised to $1,125. The Thomson/First Call estimate is $1,000. Google closed Friday at $1,011.41.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) remains a top stock to buy at UBS. With the impending retirement of Steve Ballmer, rumors have swirled around who will be the next CEO. Former Boeing and current Ford CEO Alan Mulally's name has been tossed around. His track record of corporate success would go a long way in refreshing the venerable software company's brand. Investors are paid a slid 3.3% dividend. The UBS price target of the stock is $37, while the consensus target is at $35. Microsoft closed Friday at $34.96.
Oracle Corp. (ORCL) has regained leadership in the enterprise application arena and may be poised for an outstanding 2014. It is also ranked number one in the database software arena. The company announced last week it has acquired Compendium, a cloud-based content marketing provider that helps companies plan, produce and deliver engaging content across multiple channels throughout their customers' life-cycle. Investors are paid a 1.5% dividend. The UBS price target for the top tech name to buy is $37. The consensus price target is $36. Oracle closed Friday at $32.90.
Cisco Systems Inc.'s (CSCO) acquisition of Sourcefire has been applauded by Wall Street, as the networking giant looks to up its game in network security. With the close of this acquisition, Cisco will provide one of the industry's most comprehensive advanced threat protection portfolios, as well as a broad set of enforcement and remediation options that are integrated, pervasive, continuous and open. Investors are paid a very solid 3% dividend. The UBS price target for Cisco is $28.50, while the consensus number is posted at $28. Cisco closed Friday at $22.96. This may be the best way to play the network and cyber security sector. We recently wrote about how important that sector has become.
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) has soared with incredible smartphone and tablet chip sales. The company also has a strong recurring revenue stream from patent royalties. Qualcomm's chips are a key component in mobile phones and tablets as they help to convert frequencies of electromagnetic signals. Investors are paid a 2% dividend. The UBS price target for the stock is $76, while the consensus target is $75.50. Qualcomm closed Friday at $68.40.
EMC Corp. (EMC) is not only the leader in large-scale storage, its majority ownership in cloud software company VMware Inc. (VMW) makes it the ultimate tech double-threat. Investors are paid a 1.6% dividend. The UBS price target for the stock is $32, and the consensus price target is posted at $31. EMC closed Friday at $25.08.
None of the old guard technology legacy names are leading the momentum stock race on Wall Street. They probably never will again. However, their solid business models and established products and services will keep them in the game long after some high-flyers have burned out. At the end of the day, long-term investing success is sometimes about the ability to hang around. These top six names have shown that ability for years.