The S&P 500 closed at multiple highs this week, as did the Dow. The tech-heavy Nasdaq took a big spill on Thursday, but it has still moved in the right direction since it fell into a correction, down 10% from its highs, on March 8. The story since the mid-February selloff has remained relatively unchanged, with Wall Street sorting out inflation expectations.
The latest nearly $2 trillion stimulus plan, coupled with the vaccine rollout and the already-in-progress economic bounce-back has led to a massive wave of bond selling that has pushed Treasury yields to their highest levels in over a year. Jerome Powell and the Fed have not changed their easy money stance, even with the U.S. economy projected to grow by 6%, which would mark its largest expansion in years.
But bond yields remain ultra-low historically to extend
there is no alternative investing, as Wall Street transfers some profits from big-tech winners like Apple ( AAPL Quick Quote AAPL - Free Report) , Tesla ( TSLA Quick Quote TSLA - Free Report) , and countless others into cyclical names within finance and energy.
That said, the Nasdaq is up roughly 90% in the past year and 175% in the last five vs. the S&P 500’s 100%. Even if there is more near-term selling pressure and flows into reopening stocks, tech likely remains the best long-term investment.
Here are three top-ranked Zacks stocks from the broader technology world that investors might want to buy amid inflation worries and market volatility…
Knowles Corporation ( KN Quick Quote KN - Free Report)
Knowles Corporation provides audio processing, advanced micro-acoustic, and precision device solutions geared toward IoT products, mobile devices, microphones, hearing aids, and more. KN topped our Q4 estimates back in early February, ending what was a tough year (FY20 sales down 11%) on a high-note, with revenue up 4% and nearly 20% sequentially.
The audio industry innovator is set to have a bounce back year in 2021, with Zacks projections calling for 13% sales growth to hit $860.7 million to see it top FY19’s total. The firm is then expected to post another 7% sales growth in FY22, with its adjusted earnings projected to soar 88% and 10%, respectively.
Knowles Corporation’s positive EPS revisions help it grab a Zacks Ranks #1 (Strong Buy) next to its “B” grade for Growth in our Style Scores system. The firm’s Communication – Components space also sits in the top 25% of our over 250 Zacks industries. And five of the eight broker recommendations Zacks has are “Strong Buys.”
KN is up 50% in the past six months to double its highly-ranked industry and the tech sector. The stock is also up around 20% this year and it’s trading not too far off its February highs at around $21 a share, which might make it an enticing low-priced pick.
Along with its cheap price tag, it’s trading at a 50% discount to its industry at 2.2X forward sales, while marking value on the earnings front as well. Overall, the stock is up about 60% in the last five years, which includes some large swings. Despite trading near its highs, the stock is not overbought (anything above 70), with an RSI of 55. Therefore, the audio and hearing-focused tech firm could have more room to run.
Align Technology, Inc. ( ALGN Quick Quote ALGN - Free Report)
Align Technology’s Invisalign system has shaken up the traditional orthodontics industry. The company that was founded in 1997 and went public in 2001 has proven its ability to grow in a market that isn’t going out of style. ALGN’s clear aligner system is a true alternative to traditional metal braces and its success has spawned the likes of Candid and SmileDirectClub (
SDC Quick Quote SDC - Free Report) .
Investors should note that SDC has underwhelmed Wall Street thus far and the newer firms are more committed to an e-commerce-focused approach, whereas Align works hand-in-hand with dentists and orthodontists who digitally scan a patient’s teeth in person and worth them through the entire process from start to finish. ALGN, which has treated nearly 10 million patients, also has its Align’s iTero intraoral scanner and exocad CAD/CAM software that helps identify the issues and create the best plans to fit the patient’s needs.
ALGN’s revenue has climbed by an average of 25% in the past five years and that’s weighed down by 3% growth in 2020. The company ended the year with 28% sales growth in Q4 as it bounced back from early coronavirus setbacks.
ALGN’s adjusted FY21 earnings are projected to surge 74% on 41% stronger sales to hit $3.47 billion, with it projected to post 21% higher revenue in FY22 to lift its EPS by 23%. Align, which is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with an “A” grade for Momentum, is up 260% in the last year to crush its highly-ranked Medical-Dental Supplies industry’s 55%. ALGN is now up 655% in the last five years but a recent market pullback has it trading 15% below its February records at $529 a share.
At 11.2X forward sales, ALGN is trading at a 25% discount to its own year-long highs. And the tech downturn and its recent selloff has pushed it below neutral levels in terms of RSI at 45, which gives it ample runway.
Align operates in an industry that isn’t going out of style and many people might favor its in-person approach given that fixing teeth is far more complex than ordering most other things online. Plus, ALGN improved its balance sheet last year and saw greater adoption from both adults and teenagers.
Amkor Technology, Inc. ( AMKR Quick Quote AMKR - Free Report)
Amkor provides outsourced semiconductor packaging and test services. The firm is a strategic manufacturing partner for some leading chip firms, foundries, and electronics OEMs, and it posted blowout Q4 results in early February.
AMKR’s Q4 sales jumped over 16%, with full-year revenue up 25% to a record $5.1 billion. The company also provided impressive guidance that forced analysts to lift their earnings estimates.
Zacks estimates currently call for the company’s 2021 revenue to climb another 12% to help lift its adjusted earnings by nearly 30%. Investors should note that Amkor also reduced its debt load to help improve its balance sheet.
AMKR’s growth is projected to continue in FY22 as well, and the nearby chart shows that its FY21 and FY22 consensus earnings estimates are up 33% since its last report. This strong bottom-line positivity helps it land a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) right now.
Amkor lands “A” grades for Value and Momentum in our Style Scores system and the Electronics–Semiconductors is in the top 30% of our over 250 Zacks industries. The company has also destroyed our bottom-line estimates in the trailing four quarters and it stands to grow for years to come as it remains an integral cog within the chip space that is the backbone of our digital world.
AMKR shares soared 250% in the past 12 months to more than double its industry. The stock has also outpaced the Semiconductor market over the last five years. And it has been on a wild run higher since its last report, with its shares now up 25% since its Feb. 8 and 60% in the past three months. And at roughly $24 per share, the stock sits about 9% off its mid-February highs.
Luckily, the stock has started to bounce back, up 15% since March 8. Amkor hovers below 60 on the relative strength index, which means it has more room to go before it would be considered overbought.
On top of its under $25 a share price tag, it trades at a substantial discount to its highly-ranked industry at 0.99X forward sales vs. 7.9X. And Amkor pays a dividend that’s yielding 0.70% at the moment.
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