Despite a shaky start to 2015, all of the major indexes are still trading within striking distance of all-time highs. With the stock market still the most viable option for investors given historically low yields, most growth investors need to be careful about overvaluation. A new report from UBS updates the firm’s quality growth at a reasonable price (Q-GARP) list of top stocks to buy.
While no new stocks were added for this first edition of 2015, two big oil service names, Halliburton and Schlumberger, were removed. With oil plunging, it is no big surprise. We did screen the rest of the stocks for the technology recommendations for 2015 with solid potential upside. It should be noted the Q-GARP portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 year-to-date and in 2014, on a total return basis.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reports earnings Tuesday after the close, and Wall Street is expecting possible blow-out numbers. The stock has traded down since hitting highs last November, despite an expected strong 2014 holiday selling season and a sharp rise in smartphone market share. While some are pointing to the possible disappointment from the Apple Watch, many analysts are very positive for the outlook the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The also see the Apple overall product line enhanced by the addition of Apple Pay and HealthKit.
Apple investors are paid a 1.65% dividend. The UBS price target for the stock is $125. The Thomson/First Call consensus target is $122.74. Shares closed Monday at $113.10.
eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is continuing improvements in the user experience. Its marketplaces keep attracting new users, evidenced by double-digit growth in active users and items sold. Many Wall Street analysts feel the company has a decided advantage in cross-border shipping of product, something that many other retailers struggle with. While many are focused on the PayPal spin-out scheduled for later this year, better-than-expected fourth-quarter results reinforce the positive view that eBay is on target to unlock the value of its faster-growing PayPal business, and possibly its enterprise business.
The UBS price target is posted at $62, and the consensus target is $58.72. The stock closed on Monday at $56.06 a share.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is another mega cap tech name that the UBS analysts favor, and the stock is trading at levels that may offer long-term investors a solid entry point. The underwhelming earnings for the third quarter caught many off guard, and with fourth quarter scheduled to be reported Thursday, some volatility has crept back into the stock. Google announced a partnership with Lending Club last week that leverages Lending Club’s ability to provide access to credit in a highly automated, cost-efficient manner, and allows Google to purchase the loans, thus investing its own capital in its partner network to drive business growth. Lending Club will service the loans.
The UBS price target for the search colossus is a whopping $660. The consensus figure is $632.50. Google closed Monday at $535.21.
Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) will report earnings for the fourth quarter on Wednesday, and it is the largest manufacturer of wireless semiconductors globally. The company is not only a top stock to buy at UBS, but many of the firms we cover on Wall Street are very positive on the stock. In addition to adding to the business with Apple for the iPhone 6, Qualcomm is making a huge move into bringing sophisticated LTE connectivity to the automobile industry. The company is looking to employ a peer-to-peer (or car-to-car) communication technology that runs on Wi-Fi and is said to warn of possible collisions much better than radar technology. Note that some headline issues, notably the loss of some Samsung business, have hung over the stock, giving investors a very solid entry point.
Qualcomm investors receive a 2.3% dividend. The UBS price target for this top-shelf tech stock is $81, and the consensus is placed at $79.87. Shares closed trading on Monday at $72.61.
These four quality mega-cap tech stocks are ideal for growth investors with a more aggressive risk tolerance. All of them are trading far below all-time highs and are offering investors with new money to put to work good entry levels.