Huge increases in productivity from leaps in technology are continuing to shape the way global growth is expanding. New technologies such as 3D printing, advanced robotics, mobile technology and cloud computing are allowing companies to tap into a higher quality of physical capital at a lower price. Enhanced energy storage, shale gas and oil techniques and innovations concerning renewable energy are helping to drive down the price of energy.
In a recent research report, the analysts at UBS A.G. (UBS) highlighted the changes occurring in the global economy and likened the technology boom to that of 1995 to 2000. Huge leaps in accessibility to technology makes the future a bold new place. Here are top stocks to buy that fit the new global economy themes.
3D systems Corp. (DDD) reports earnings this week, and they are expected to be solid. This top 3D printing name logged revenue of $102.1 million last quarter. GAAP reported sales were 31% higher than the prior-year quarter's $77.9 million. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target for the stock is $55.
Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) is another leader in 3D printing technology. In an effort to build up its Makerbot awareness, the company decided to team up with eBay Inc. (EBAY) to utilize e-commerce to sell 3D printing services. The consensus price target for the stock stands at $95.
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) is one of the best known advanced robotics companies, with its DaVinci robotic surgery machine. Long a favorite of the momentum investing crowd, the stock has been hammered over the summer on concerns that hospital purchases of the surgical machine will slow. Analysts are quick to point out that new surgical uses for the machine will drive growth into the future. The consensus target for this very volatile stock is $450.
iRobot Corp. (IRBT) has advanced robotic products for consumer and defense use. After posting strong second-quarter earnings, Needham raised its price target on this top name from $32 to $39, citing strong fundamentals and a pullback in price. The consensus price target for the stock is lower at $32.
Facebook Inc. (FB) blew away its numbers last week, as well as a lot of the short sellers who had targeted the stock. This social media leader posted large upsides to revenues, combined with very positive gains for the company in mobile advertising, that helped to propel the stock much higher. Plainly put, Facebook reported one of the strongest upside quarters in recent Internet history, with advertising revenues increasing 63%. The consensus price target for the stock is currently $37, and that number is poised to go higher.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) is the epitome of mobile technology by definition. That is because mobile devices like smartphones and tablets provide a huge amount of computing power for very little money. With new smartphones and tablets on the way, an expansion in Apple TV and a possible iWatch to be announced, the game is never over for this technology giant. The consensus price target for the stock is $527.50, and investors receive a 2.8% dividend.
EMC Corp. (EMC) is the perfect combination stock for the cloud and large-scale storage. Its majority holdings of cloud software company VMware Inc. (VMW), combined with its dominant position in storage, make this stock an investor's dream. The consensus price target for the stock is $31. Investors receive a 1.5% dividend.
Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) is one of the more conservative ways to play the energy storage game. While the company lays claim as the global leader in automotive battery manufacture and saw 17% growth in the first half of 2013, it recently reported third-quarter fiscal year earnings increase of 32% thanks to higher sales across its divisions. Like Panasonic, this company has broader tech interests, but it continues a strong focus in lithium-ion battery technology, including a new contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. The consensus price target for the stock is at $45, and investors are paid a 1.9% dividend.
C&J Energy Services Inc. (CJES) is one of the energy services companies that almost entirely is focused on the fracking industry. The company is an independent provider of premium hydraulic fracturing, coiled tubing, pressure pumping and wireline service with a focus on complex, technically difficult well completions. The consensus price target for the stock is $21.
The themes of the new global economy will only become more pronounced in the years to come. Adding some of these top names to a well-rounded portfolio will help investors benefit from some of the seismic shifts that are bound to take place here and around the world.