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4 Stocks to Watch as Remote Working Drives PC Sales

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The pandemic has changed the way people have so long worked and learnt, helping some industries in a big way. The remote-working-and-learning culture has been breathing life into the PC and laptop market, which was on the decline.

Moreover, a surge in videogame sales has been helping the PC market, which was taken over by smartphones. Last year saw PC sales regain lost territory with shipments increasing globally. The first quarter of this year too showed impressive growth in PC sales.

PC Sales Rise in Q1

According to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) report, global shipments of PCs, which include desktops, notebooks and workstations, grew 55.2% on a year-over-year basis during the first quarter of 2021. In total, global PC shipments reached 84 million in the first quarter of 2021.

The growth was primarily backed by higher demand for PCs during the pandemic as more people worked and learnt from home. Also, the growth was spurred by PC gaming as people stayed indoors and played videogames even more to pass time. Moreover, shipments grew despite a global shortage of microchips. However, the supply chain has started to struggle due to a shortage of key components. This was why POC shipments were down 8% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of 2020.

PC Sales Bouncing Back

Demand for PCs grew in the first quarter of 2020 with the COVID-19 outbreak. However, supply was low as shipments had to be stalled following lockdowns imposed by several governments. However, once governments started lifting lockdowns shipments grew, thus driving sales.

According to Canalys, global PC sales saw a 35% year-over-year surge in shipments, reaching 143.7 million units in fourth-quarter 2020. For the full year, PC shipments jumped 17%, reaching 458.2 million units. This was the highest level since 2015.

The momentum is continuing into this year. Lenovo Group Ltd. (LNVGY - Free Report) was the best performer, recording shipments of 20.4 million in the first quarter. HP Inc. (HPQ - Free Report) and Dell Technologies Inc. (DELL - Free Report) held the second and third spots, respectively.

Not too many had expected the PC market to rebound ever since it started declining in 2008 after smartphones gained popularity. However, the pandemic has changed the entire ballgame again, with things working in favor of the PC market.

Stocks to Watch

Given that remote working is fast becoming a norm, PC sales are likely to grow in the future. Moreover, despite three vaccines being rolled out, the fears of the coronavirus are far from over, hence the market will continue to benefit in the near term.

Sony (SONY - Free Report) manufactures and sells several consumer and industrial electronic equipment including laptops and PCs. The company’s product roster comprises audio and video equipment, televisions, displays, semiconductors, electronic components, gaming consoles, computers and computer peripherals, and telecommunication equipment. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 5.6% over the past 60 days. Sony sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Apple (AAPL - Free Report) 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 36.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.4% over the past 60 days. Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Lenovo 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 90.8%. The company’s shares have gained 33.4% over the past there months. Lenovo has a Zacks Rank #3.

HP Inc. is a leading global provider of personal computing and other access devices, imaging and printing products, and related technologies, solutions and services to individual consumers, SMBs and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 45.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 24% over the past 60 days. HP has a Zacks Rank #3.

5 Stocks Set to Double

Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.

Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

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