When the weather starts to turn warm, the Wall Street conference season also starts heating up. Top companies will be presenting at Jefferies Technology Media and Telecom conference next week, and some of the top technology companies that are presenting are also on the Jefferies Franchise Picks list.
We screened the Jefferies list for the technology stocks with the biggest upside to the Jefferies price targets. We found some quality companies that could bring home some big gains for investors if they hit the Jefferies targets. The five are: Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) and Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC).
Applied Materials has long been a powerhouse stock in chip capital equipment, and it is a top franchise pick for 2015 at Jefferies. The company is the global leader in precision materials engineering solutions for the semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic industries. Jefferies and other analysts were disappointed when the merger with Tokyo Electron was called off recently.
Still, the analysts are very positive on the stock and see Applied Materials benefiting not only the semiconductor side of the business but also from larger, higher resolution and flexible screens on the display side of the business.
Applied Materials investors are paid a 2.05% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $28. The Thomson/First Call price target is $26.73. The stock closed Thursday at $19.56 per share.
This search leader may be one of the best tech values now. Google has dramatically underperformed over the past year and some on Wall Street point out that investor sentiment is quite negative now due to concerns about margins, mobile risk to the core search business, the company’s capital allocation stance and currency headwinds. Google remains the undisputed leader in Internet search, and with a diverse portfolio that includes everything from the Android platform to YouTube, Google Wallet for automatic pay and Google Flights tool, continued growth is not out of the question.
The Jefferies team cites the large amount of advertising revenue that will be switching from conventional TV to outlets like YouTube and other online venues. They also think that 2015 will be an inflection point for online video as advertisers are finally able to produce ads suited to the medium, and as they look to take advantage of the shift in video viewership from TV to online. They estimate YouTube makes up a massive 10% of Google’s total value.
The Jefferies price target is a gigantic $700. The consensus target is set at $638.88. The stock closed Thursday at $542.04.