Back to top

Image: Bigstock

PC, Tablet Sales Grow at Record Pace in Q3: 3 Stocks to Watch

Read MoreHide Full Article

PC and tablet sales have been growing at a record pace, thanks to the popularity of work and learn from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. And if health experts are to be believed, the sooner we get used to this new normal, the better. According to market research and analyst firm Canalys, global PC and tablet sales witnessed record growth in the third quarter.

The past few months saw demand for personal computers and video collaboration products gaining traction as schools and offices were shut to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

PC, Tablet Shipments Grow

According to the new report from Canalys, the overall PC market, which includes tablets, grew 23% year over year in the third quarter. A total of 124.5 million units of PC were shipped during this period. All-in-one desktop sales grew 7%.

The tablet market also came up with an impressive performance in the third quarter. Shipments of tablets jumped 43% year over year to 44.3 million units. Alphabet, Inc.’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Chromebook shipments hit a record high of 9.4 million units, reflecting 122% year-over-year growth.

Big Players Lead the Race

Lenovo Group Ltd. (LNVGY - Free Report) was the biggest beneficiaries of this demand jump, with tablets, notebooks and desktops shipments hitting 23.5 million units. Apple, Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) was a close second, shipping 22.1 million Macs and iPads. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE - Free Report) , Dell Technologies Inc. (DELL - Free Report) and Samsung Electronics Co. were the other three top performers.

Detachables sales, which include tablets and notebooks, jumped 88% and were the second-best performing category in personal computers. PC, tablet and laptop sales have been on the rise for the past few months now. Despite huge demand, buying computers and laptops initially became a problem since shipments were halted.

Manufacturing too had taken a hit as factories remained closed, affecting overall sales of computers and related equipment. However, things started changing in the second quarter once the lockdowns were lifted with sales hitting a record high in the second and third quarters.

The PC market has been declining for a decade as smartphones dominated many markets. However, PCs are back in the reckoning once again and the biggest reason behind this has been the pandemic. Worldwide consumer demand for new PCs was the highest in years, as the coronavirus pandemic and concurrent lockdowns drove demand for home entertainment and remote schooling.

Stocks to Watch

Alphabet Inc. has been one of the best performers in the PC market lately. One of the biggest reasons behind this is the success of Chromebooks, which has revolutionized the PC market again. The company sold the maximum number of PCs in the third quarter

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 3.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 14% over the past 60 days. Alphabet has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Lenovo Group Ltd. is dedicated to building PCs and mobile Internet devices. Lenovo's business is built on product innovation, a highly efficient global supply chain and strong strategic execution.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 66.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 20.7% over the past 60 days. Lenovo has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Apple, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets smartphones, personal computers, tablets, wearables and accessories worldwide. Its signature products include iPhone, Mac and iPad.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 22.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.5% over the past 60 days.  Apple has a Zacks Rank #3.

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $24 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $77.6 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>