There are few, if any secrets on Wall Street, and typically portfolio managers from hedge fund and mutual funds tend to pal around together and share information. Because of that need to be with one’s own kind, there are certain stocks that tend to show up in almost every fund. These stocks are put under a microscope by many different analysts, so if everybody tends to agree, there may really be something there.
A new report from Credit Suisse tracked the top 25 most widely owned stocks by mid-cap funds. We cherry picked the technology names as many people on Wall Street still contend that the sector can outperform for the rest of 2014 and beyond.
Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS) is a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions serving large, consumer-based industries. The company creates and deploys customized solutions, enhancing the critical customer marketing experience. The result is measurably changing consumer behavior while driving business growth and profitability for some of today’s most recognizable brands. The Thomson/First Call consensus price for the stock is $296.50. Alliance Data closed Wednesday at $276.57 a share.
F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) has started to gain some solid buying traction over the past six weeks. The company provides solutions for an application-based world. It helps organizations seamlessly scale cloud, data center and software defined networking deployments to successfully deliver applications to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Its solutions broaden the reach of information technology (IT) through an open, extensible framework and a rich partner ecosystem of leading technology and data center orchestration vendors. This approach lets customers pursue the infrastructure model that best fits their needs over time. The consensus target is $121.63. Shares ended Wednesday at $111.75.
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) has been touted as a player in the Internet of Things world. It is also added to the Credit Suisse top technology picks list. The company has directly partnered with multiple industry-leading sensor manufacturers and sensor-fusion specialists to create this solution, enabling faster time to market without the need for sensor-fusion expertise. It is a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and flash-IP solutions. The consensus price target for this top name to buy is $51.23. The stock closed Wednesday at $49.64.
Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS) has given investors fits for years and finally started to make the big move higher in 2014. The company is an innovator of high-performance analog semiconductors. Leveraging core technologies, Skyworks supports automotive, broadband, wireless infrastructure, energy management, GPS, industrial, medical, military, wireless networking, smartphone and tablet applications. Investors are paid a small 0.9% dividend. The consensus price objective is $52.18. Skyworks closed Wednesday at $47.67.
Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) rounds out the top five mid-cap tech names owned by the top funds. The company’s programmable devices comprise integrated circuits (ICs) in the form of programmable logic devices (PLDs), such as programmable System on Chips, and three-dimensional ICs; software design tools to program the PLDs; targeted reference designs; printed circuit boards; and intellectual property (IP), which consists of Xilinx and various third-party verification and IP cores. Investors receive a 2.6% dividend. The consensus price target is $54.73. Xilinx closed Wednesday at $48.82.
When portfolio managers agree on stocks, and at a minimum these stocks are in at least 48 different funds, there is a good reason for the mutual admiration. All of these top tech names have solid earnings and technology that is being used to chart the future. That makes for a good addition to any aggressive growth portfolio.