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Best-Performing Stocks of the Top U.S. ETF of December

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iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF (IGN - Free Report) topped the list of best-performing U.S. equity ETFs in December, gaining about 13%. The rally was driven by bargain hunting amid the raging new variant of COVID-19 and a hawkish Fed.

Even though most of the stocks in SPY’s portfolio have delivered strong returns this year, a few have gained more than 20%. These include Clearfield Inc. (CLFD - Free Report) , Ciena Corporation (CIEN - Free Report) , Extreme Networks Inc. (EXTR - Free Report) , Lumentum Holdings Inc. (LITE - Free Report) and Infinera (INFN - Free Report) .

A Bargain Buy!

The Federal Reserve signaled a more aggressive unwinding of its pandemic-era monthly bond-buying, setting the stage for three interest rates hikes in 2022 to fight inflation. The move has led to a sell-off in the sector. Surging inflation and the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have added to the chaos. This is because technology stocks rely on easy borrowing for superior growth and their valuations depend heavily on future earnings. Rise in yields lower the present value of companies’ future earnings.

The beaten down price has made IGN compelling buy. This is especially true as the global digital shift that accelerated e-commerce for everything, ranging from remote working to entertainment and shopping. The rapid adoption of cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things, wearables, VR headsets, drones, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital communication and 5G technology should continue to drive the sector higher (read: Why These Tech ETFs Are Bargain Buys).

In a tight policy era, technology seems one of the safest sectors as most companies are sitting on a huge cash pile. The cash reserves will ensure that these companies are not plagued by any financial trouble, even in a rising interest rate environment.

Let’s take a closer look at the fundamentals of IGN.

IGN in Focus

iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF proved resilient amid the tech sell-off jitters. It provides exposure to telecom equipment, data networking and wireless equipment companies by tracking the S&P North American Technology-Multimedia Networking Index. iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF holds 22 securities in its basket (read: 4 Top-Performing Sector ETFs of Q4).

iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF has accumulated $147.9 million in its asset base and charges 43 bps in annual fees. The product sees a lower volume of around 17,000 shares a day and carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook.

Below we have highlighted the above-mentioned five stocks in the ETF with their respective positions in the fund’s basket:

Best Performing Stocks of IGN

Clearfield designs and manufactures the FieldSmart fiber management platform, which includes its latest generation Fiber Distribution System and Fiber Scalability Center. It has an estimated earnings growth rate of 25.8% for fiscal year (ending September 2022).

Clearfield has soared 33% in December and makes up for 2% share in the IGN basket. CLFD has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Growth Score of B. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Ciena Corporation is a leading provider of optical networking equipment, software and services. It has jumped 29.4% this month and accounts for an 8.4% share in the ETF.

Ciena Corporation has an estimated earnings growth rate of 7.5% for the fiscal year (ending October 2022). It currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and a Growth Score of A.

Extreme Networks is a leading provider of the next generation of switching solutions that meet the increasing needs of enterprise local area networks’ internet service providers and content providers. The stock has rallied 29% this month and makes up for 4.5% in the IGN portfolio.

Extreme Networks has an earnings estimated growth of 31.6% for the fiscal year (ending June 2022). It has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and a Growth Score of A (read: 5 Sector ETFs That Crushed the Market in December).

Lumentum Holdings is a manufacturer of innovative optical and photonic products. The company's operating segment consists of Optical Communications and Commercial Lasers. Lumentum Holdings has gained 25% this month and has an estimated earnings growth rate of 7.8% for fiscal year (ending June 2023).

Lumentum Holdings currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 and has a Growth Score of B. It accounts for 4.6% allocation in the IGN basket.

Infinera provides Digital Optical Networking systems to telecommunications carriers, cable operators and other service providers worldwide. Infinera has delivered returns of 21.5% this month and has an estimated earnings growth rate of 450% for next year.

Infinera has a Zacks Rank #3 and makes up 4.3% of IGN.