Many of the Wall Street firms that 24/7 Wall St. covers are very bullish on the technology sector for 2014. Tech stocks are the kind of cyclical names that can still do well in a rising interest rate environment. They typically have very low debt, if any, and provide the kind growth potential that other sectors may lack after a huge year in 2013. Plus, technology was one of the few sectors to underperform last year and may be poised for a strong 2014 rebound.
We also look for strong names that are priced at or below the $10 level. That gives investors a chance to make an investment that can carry significant weight if the stock takes off to the upside. We recently highlighted top biotechnology names trading under $10 with big upside potential.
Here are the top technology stocks to buy in a broker research montage of recent analyst calls. There stocks are trading under $10 and offer large potential upside for investors in 2014.
Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) remains a top name to buy at Merrill Lynch. The ill-fated merger between the two companies has taken many years and many CEOs to find any traction. However, the big carriers are starting to increase orders and the company is getting a nice share of them. Merrill Lynch has a $6.58 price target. The Thomson/First Call target is posted at $4.90. The stock closed Tuesday at $4.36.
Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD) was recently upgraded to Overweight at Merrill Lynch. The firm thinks the company’s model has established firmer footing, and there is potential for incremental upside to revenue, earnings and free cash flow over the next 12 months. The Merrill Lynch price target was raised to $11 from $8.50. The consensus target is posted at $8.95. Brocade closed Tuesday at $9.42.
Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) could be a big winner if the Jefferies analysts are right. The company provides broadband communications access systems and software for fiber and copper-based network architectures that enable communications service providers to connect to their residential and business subscribers in North America. The Jefferies price target is a whopping $15, and the consensus is lower at $12.92. Calix closed Tuesday at $8.30.
Ceragon Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ: CRNT) is rated at Strong Buy at Needham. The company is the number one high-capacity wireless hauling specialist. It provides innovative, flexible and cost-effective wireless backhaul and fronthaul solutions that enable mobile operators and other wired/wireless service providers to deliver 2G/3G, 4G/LTE and other broadband services to their subscribers. The Needham price target is listed at $8. The consensus price target for the stock was posted at $4.69. The stock closed Tuesday at $3.72.
Dice Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DHX) is a tech stock to buy at Jefferies. The company provides specialized career websites and career fairs for professional communities. Its career websites serve as online marketplaces where employers and recruiters find and recruit prospective employees, and where professionals find relevant job opportunities and information. The Jefferies price target is posted at $14, and the consensus is at $8.58. The stock closed Tuesday at $7.51. A move to the Jefferies target would represent a 90% gain for investors.
Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU) is a top mobile gaming stock to buy at Cowen and Company. The company releases its video games internationally via multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows Phone and Google Chrome. Embodying the “freemium” model, games created by Glu are typically free to play. Glu generates revenue through in-game micro-transactions consisting of $1.99 or less. The Cowen price target for the stock is $5 and is the highest on Wall Street. The consensus target is posted at $4.15. Glu Mobile closed Tuesday at $4.05.
Limelight Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: LLNW) is another stock to buy at Jefferies. Recently the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a patent case involving technology for managing Web images and video that features Limelight Networks and Akamai Technologies and that has been closely followed by much of the high-tech world for years. Major tech companies have backed Limelight in this litigation, and a decision in its favor could be huge. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $4. The consensus is at $2.58. Limelight closed Tuesday at $2.13.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is a top single-digit name to buy at Merrill Lynch. A former mega cap European leader, Nokia sold its handset business to Microsoft last year for what was considered a low 5.5 billion euros. Even though it sold a business representing half of its sales, Nokia’s share price has doubled since the deal’s announcement in early September. Investors may well be more optimistic, but they also have big questions over the future direction of the new Nokia. Merrill Lynch has a $9.65 price target on the stock. The consensus estimate is $7.56. Nokia closed Tuesday at $7.94.
On Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: ONNN) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Credit Suisse. The company finally is making the purchase of Sanyo’s semiconductor business pay off after a long turnaround process. ON Semiconductor’s sales to the auto and industrial end-markets make up more than 40% of the overall revenue mix, with auto-related sales at nearly one-quarter of sales. Both of these markets look like good growth opportunities for chip companies. The Credit Suisse price target for the stock is $12, and the consensus is at $9.06. Shares closed Tuesday at $8.80.
As we have said in the past, Wall Street firms are somewhat reluctant to push stocks priced under $10. It is also important to note that these are aggressive growth stocks that are not appropriate for conservative portfolios. With that in mind, a solid position in some of these top names to buy under $10 could bring investors large gains when their ships come in.