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2 Stocks to Watch From the Prospering Computer Industry

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The Zacks Computer – Mini Computers industry is suffering from the waning demand for consumer PCs, massive supply-chain issues and geopolitical challenges, including raging inflation and high interest. Nevertheless, strong demand for high-end enterprise laptops is benefiting Apple (AAPL - Free Report) and HP (HPQ - Free Report) . The improving availability of 5G-enabled smartphones has been a key catalyst for industry participants. The growing adoption of tablets among enterprises bodes well for companies like Apple and Lenovo. The launch of foldable, and AI and ML-infused smartphones, tablets, wearables, and hearables is another major growth driver for industry participants. Robust demand for production printers, materials and software bodes well for 3-D printing solution providers.

Industry Description

The Zacks Computer – Mini Computers industry comprises companies that offer smartphones, desktops, laptops, printers, wearables and 3-D printers. Such devices are based either on iOS, MacOS, iPadOS, WatchOS, Microsoft Windows, or Google Chrome and Android operating systems. The companies predominantly use processors from Apple, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, NVIDIA and Samsung. Expanding screen size, better display and enhanced storage capabilities have been the key catalysts driving the rapid proliferation of smartphones. This has been well-supported by faster mobile processors. Laptops, both consumer and commercial, benefit from faster processors, sleek designs and expanded storage facilities. The addition of healthcare features has been driving the demand for wearables.

3 Mini Computer Industry Trends to Watch

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Aids Momentum: The industry is benefiting from the rapid adoption of BYOD in workplaces. Enterprises practicing BYOD allow employees to use their personal devices, including mobiles, laptops and tablets, for work purposes. BYOD helps connect remote workers and desk-bound employees, thereby improving process management and workflow. BYOD has proved more productive, as it lowers training time. Moreover, the coronavirus-induced remote-working and online-learning models bode well for industry participants, as demand is expected to increase for desktops and laptops.

Impressive Form Factor Drives Demand: Expanding screen size, better display and enhanced storage capabilities have been the key catalysts driving the rapid proliferation of smartphones and tablets. This has been well-supported by faster mobile processors from the likes of Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Apple and Samsung. Improved Internet penetration and speed, along with the evolution of mobile apps, have made smartphones indispensable for consumers. Improved graphics quality is making smartphones suitable for playing games like PUBG and Fortnite. This is expected to boost the demand for high-end smartphones and open up significant opportunities for device makers.

PCs Face Extinction Risk: Personal computers (desktops and laptops), be it Windows or Apple’s MacOS-based ones, have been facing the risk of extinction due to the rapid proliferation of smartphones and tablets. Stiff competition from smartphones has compelled global PC makers to not only upgrade hardware frequently but also add apps and cloud-based services to attract consumers. Nevertheless, the emergence of 5G, AI, machine learning and foldable computers is likely to be the key catalyst in expanding the total addressable market of PCs.

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bright Prospects

The Zacks Computer – Mini Computers industry is housed within the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #103, which places it in the top 41% of more than 250 Zacks industries.

The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bullish near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.

Industry Outperforms Sector, S&P 500

The Zacks Computer – Mini Computers industry has outperformed the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector, and the S&P 500 index over the past year.

The industry has dropped 7.1% over this period compared with the S&P 500’s decline of 11.7% and the broader sector’s fall of 14.6%.

One-Year Price Performance

Industry's Current Valuation

On the basis of forward 12-month P/E, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing computer stocks, we see that the industry is currently trading at 24.99X compared with the S&P 500’s 18.16X and the sector’s 22.91X.

Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 32.32X, as low as 11.49X and at the median of 22.41X, as the chart below shows.

Forward 12-Month Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio








2 Computer Stocks to Watch Right Now

Apple: This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is benefiting from the continued momentum in the Services segment, driven by App Store, Cloud Services, Music, advertising and AppleCare. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Apple currently has more than 935 million paid subscribers across its Services portfolio. The App Store continues to draw the attention of prominent developers worldwide, helping it offer appealing new apps that drive the App Store’s traffic. A growing number of AI-infused apps will attract subscribers to the App Store.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2023 earnings has declined by a penny to $6.04 per share over the past 30 days. The stock has lost 6.9% in the past year.   

Price and Consensus: AAPL



HP: This Zacks Rank #3 company’s sustained focus on launching the latest and innovative products is likely to help it stay afloat in the current uncertain macroeconomic environment. Product innovation and differentiations are the key drivers that have helped HP maintain its leading position in the PC and printer markets.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2023 earnings has been unchanged at $3.27 per share over the past 30 days. Shares of HP have declined 18.9% in the past year.

Price and Consensus: HPQ


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