When the equities sector started to unravel as soaring inflation and the conflict in eastern Europe took its toll on investor sentiment, the technology sector was one of the hardest hit. Since these enterprises are largely geared toward maximizing growth, when opportunities for economic expansion are limited, the segment tends to suffer. However, the bearishness may have gone overboard, thus bolstering tech stocks trading at a discount.
One main reason to consider picking up deflated shares is that innovation always moves forward. With digitalization becoming an even more ingrained reality than in the past, it’s a likely bet that tech stocks focused on wider connectivity will eventually recover. However, investors can enjoy the greatest rewards by getting in early before the wave.
Second, some platforms are so deeply integrated into society that they’ve essentially become indispensable. As well, broader labor force developments such as the gig economy will likely ensure that tech stocks — despite their current volatility — maintain their relevance. Therefore, those that can handle some choppy waters should get ready to do some digging in the discount bin.
Tech Stocks to Watch: Apple (AAPL)
Typically, tech stocks levered heavily to the consumer retail market are problematic amid recessionary forces. One of the first items that households cut from their budgets during an economic downturn are discretionary products; that is, products that are nice to have but not essential. Nevertheless, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is proving doubters wrong, being a clear winner amid the coronavirus madness.
True, not everyone needs a new iPhone or iPad. Indeed, it would be foolish to make such outlandish purchases if you recently got the pink slip from your employer. However, Apple is proving integral not necessarily for its products but for its ecosystem.
Essentially, Apple is superior to any other competing ecosystem — say from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) or Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) — because it has the entire stack covered. Transitioning between devices is a snap because everything is connected to a cohesive whole. There’s really nothing quite like it, making AAPL one of the intriguing tech stocks to buy on discount.
Following the extremely volatility of the March doldrums of 2020, shares of PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) quickly skyrocketed to record valuations. Part of the reason is the digital payment processor and business software solution firm facilitated contactless transactions, a much-needed attribute when fears of the coronavirus pandemic were at their zenith.
Nowadays, though, those fears have significantly subsided. Moreover, PYPL and other tech stocks came under pressure from macroeconomic threats. With dramatically rising inflation cutting into the purchasing power of the dollar, households were basically getting taxed on their real earnings. Naturally, such a dynamic would have negative implications for the business community.
As well, competitive threats from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) have weighed on PYPL. Though sales are up in the first quarter of 2022, net income has decelerated, raising concerns among investors.
Nevertheless, thanks to PayPal’s brand power, it offers relevance for the burgeoning gig economy, which experts believe will grow to $455 billion by the end of 2023 in terms of gross transactions.
Tech Stocks to Watch: Adobe (ADBE)
A popular software company, Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) specializes in products geared toward content creation, covering graphics, photography, illustration, animation, video and print. Its flagship product arguably is Photoshop, an image-editing software.
After meandering a bit during the spring doldrums of 2020, Adobe found itself flying to the stratosphere. As with PayPal, Adobe’s products — such as Acrobat Reader — lent themselves to contactless transactions, fortuitously benefitting ADBE stock. Unfortunately, the narrative shifted this year, with shares plunging 31% on a year-to-date basis.
Still, Wall Street might not be acting rational here. In its latest quarter ending May 31, 2022, Adobe rang up $4.39 billion in sales, up over 14% against the year-ago level. The company also posted net income of $1.18 billion, up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis.
Further, Adobe features significant strengths in its balance sheet while also beating out several companies in its industry for profitability metrics. Lastly, against a basket of valuation tools, ADBE is considered significantly undervalued, making it one of the tech stocks to buy on discount.
Although one of the most innovative firms thanks to its payment platforms and administrative applications that leveled the playing field for small businesses against their larger rivals, Block (NYSE:SQ) — which formerly went by the name Square — has suffered a reverse of fortunes. Since the start of the year, SQ has tumbled, hemorrhaging 59% of market value.
While most commerce-centric tech stocks to buy are hurting from rising inflation along with competitive threats, Block has an even bigger challenge. Prior to the sector meltdown, the financial technology (or fintech) giant made waves when it embraced cryptocurrencies. While such a move may have been shrewd during the industry’s upswing, when cryptos are plummeting — as they did recently — it becomes another story altogether.
Still, for the long run, SQ is one of the tech stocks to buy on discount. Along with its core payment processor business, Block’s acquisition of buy-now, pay-later platform Afterpay could be significant as we head into a possible recession and consumers look to stretch their dollars.
Tech Stocks to Watch: Nvidia (NVDA)
Speaking of tech stocks and cryptos, it’s difficult to ignore the current malaise impacting Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). Perhaps best known for making graphics processing units or GPUs, Nvidia has branched out to several innovative fields. But this business diversity hasn’t helped the company avoid market volatility this year. Since January’s opener, NVDA is down about 47%, a staggeringly negative reversal.
However, it’s not too hard to see why many investors panicked out of the tech giant. Crypto miners use Nvidia GPUs – often in stacked rigs – to perform their data transaction operations. However, with the market capitalization of virtual currencies sinking, the risk-reward profile for crypto mining is no longer favorable.
However, our own Louis Navellier remains optimistic about NVDA, giving it a solid “B” rating in his Portfolio Grader. As he pointed out in June of this year, “demand remains strong with its data center segment. Last quarter, this segment saw year-over-year revenue growth of 83%. In fact, it had higher quarterly revenue from its data segment ($3.75 billion) than from its gaming segment ($3.62 billion).”
Sea Ltd. (SE)
At this point, I’ve become a broken record when it comes to Sea Ltd (NYSE:SE). A tech conglomerate headquartered in Singapore, Sea offers intriguing opportunities in food deliveries, digital payments and fintech and online game development and publishing. All these sectors have burgeoned to varying degrees in the U.S. so the logical assumption is that they would blossom in Sea’s core Southeast Asia market.
Unfortunately, the equities market doesn’t see it that away. On a YTD basis, SE has tanked more than 65% of value, making it one of the worst performers among the formerly popular tech stocks to buy. Fundamentally, investors are likely looking at earnings viability. While Sea posted revenue growth of 64% for Q1 2022, its net loss of $580 million expanded noticeably from the net loss of $423 million in Q1 2021.
Naturally, in a possible recessionary storm, companies that lose money don’t attract much attention. However, in the longer run, Southeast Asia’s internet economy could hit $1 trillion by 2030, according to a Reuters report.
Tech Stocks to Watch: Meta Platforms (META)
A controversial idea among tech stocks to buy on discount, Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) recently completed its full corporate transformation, not only changing its name from Facebook but also the ticker symbol (which of course is now META, not FB). However, this rebranding didn’t impress shareholders, with META stock tumbling almost 50% YTD.
It’s a rough first half of the year for a company that is not accustomed to sustained bearishness. While there was the Cambridge Analytica scandal that hit in 2018 – along with the Covid-19 pandemic later in 2020 – these headwinds were relatively short and muted. At the moment, we have a trailing 52-week peak-to-trough profile of around $382 and roughly $156.
In other words, META is getting pretty darn close to the lows seen during the spring doldrums of 2020. For those that felt they missed the boat, this could be a risky contrarian opportunity. While Meta has its controversies, it also has Facebook, with its multi-billion userbase and a wide breadth of demographics that’s unusual for youth-centric social media networks.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.