Computer – Mini Computers industry is benefiting from steady demand for enterprise devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones. Industry participants like Apple ( AAPL Quick Quote AAPL - Free Report) , HP ( HPQ Quick Quote HPQ - Free Report) and 3D Systems ( DDD Quick Quote DDD - Free Report) are benefiting from these trends. The improving availability of 5G-enabled smartphones has been a key catalyst for the industry participants. The launch of foldable, and AI and ML-infused smartphones, tablets, wearables and hearables is another major growth driver for the industry participants. Robust demand for production printers, materials and software bodes well for 3-D printing solution providers. However, waning demand for consumer PCs and geopolitical challenges, including raging inflation and high interest, are major headwinds. 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
: Strong enterprise demand has been benefiting the industry participants. The growing adoption of a hybrid working environment bodes well for the players, as demand for laptops and tablets is expected to increase. Demand for smart devices that offer facial recognition, retina scans or finger impressions to verify the user for biometrics is gaining traction as enterprises enhance security. Enterprise Adoption Remains Healthy : 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 sophisticated games. This is driving the demand for high-end smartphones and opening up significant opportunities for device makers. Impressive Form Factor Drives Demand : 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 catalysts in expanding the total addressable market of PCs. PCs Face Extinction Risk 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 #37, which places it in the top 15% of more than 250 Zacks industries. The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bright near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than two to one. The industry’s position in the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of a positive earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are optimistic about this group’s earnings growth potential. Since Oct 31, 2023, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for this industry’s 2024 earnings has moved up 0.3%. Given the bullish outlook, there are a few stocks worth watching in the sector. But before we present those 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 Lags Sector Beats S&P 500
The Zacks Computer – Mini Computers industry has underperformed the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector but beat the S&P 500 index over the past year.
The industry has gained 33.9% over this period compared with the S&P 500’s return of 16.4% and the broader sector’s rise of 37.8%. 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 27.81X compared with the S&P 500’s 19.17X and the sector’s 24.04X.
Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 32.32X and as low as 11.49X, with the median being 24.43X, as the chart below shows. Forward 12-Month Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio
3 Computer Stocks to Watch Right Now
3D Systems: This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company expects the dental market to stabilize amid the high inventory level in the supply chain and weakness in consumer discretionary spending. 3D System expects a slower recovery in 2024 than its earlier expectation. Dental sales are expected to benefit from the continuing migration of orthodontic solutions from metal brackets and wires to clear aligners in the long run. Improved asset management and resource utilization are anticipated to reduce its total inventory significantly in 2024. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 loss has narrowed by 7 cents to 13 cents per share over the past 30 days. The stock has declined 38.5% in the year-to-date period. Price and Consensus: DDD
Apple: This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is benefiting from a steady demand for iPhone devices, as well as an expanding footprint in emerging markets. A growing subscriber base and improving customer engagement are tailwinds for the services business. Apple currently has more than 1 billion 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 2024 earnings has increased by a penny to $6.56 per share over the past 30 days. The stock has gained 37.2% in the year-to-date period. 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 HPQ maintain its leading position in the PC and printer markets. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2023 earnings has decreased 1.2% to $3.43 per share over the past 30 days. HP shares have gained 3.7% year to date. Price and Consensus: HPQ