Why Old-School Tech Stocks May Be the Best Place to Invest Now

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The internet revolution and the ubiquitous spread of the smartphone have changed everything, and now, in 2019, we can hold all the knowledge of the world in the palm of our hands. However, there have been some disturbing trends and issues recently for some of the mega-cap tech giants that have benefited the most from the internet, cloud computing and social media.

Privacy issues, hacking and even partisan political censoring have dogged some of the biggest names in the industry, to the point where politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president, says they should be broken up.

Needless to say, politicians making hay over outrage by consumers is nothing new, and mega-corporations have been broken up before. See Ma Bell and the legacy of AT&T. However, you can bet the political rhetoric will get more shrill the closer we get to the 2020 election.

One good idea is to go back to the future and buy some of the top-old school technology giants. We screened the Merrill Lynch technology research universe and found five oldie but goodies that could be big solid additions to growth portfolios.

Adobe Systems

This high-profile old-school software company underwhelmed some when it posted its earnings last week. Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) is a diversified software company that offers electronic document technology and graphic content authoring applications to creative professionals, designers, knowledge workers, high-end consumers, developers and enterprises.

Flagship products from Adobe include Creative Suite, Photoshop, Acrobat, Premiere, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign and LiveCycle. PDF and flash technologies from the company have become industry standards and act as a platform for other Adobe products.

Despite the company delivering a seemingly strong quarter, the stock got hit hard last Friday. Nevertheless, the Merrill Lynch analysts were positive and maintained the firm’s $312 price target. That compares to the Wall Street consensus figure of $289.89, and the shares closed Friday’s trading at $257.09, down almost 4% for the day.

Cisco Systems

This top mega-cap technology company recently reported an outstanding quarter. Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) designs, manufactures and sells internet protocol (IP) based networking products and services related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide.

It provides switching products, including fixed-configuration and modular switches, and storage products that provide connectivity to end users, workstations, IP phones, wireless access points and servers, as well as next-generation network routing products that interconnect public and private wireline and mobile networks for mobile, data, voice and video applications.

Cisco shareholders are paid a solid 2.65% dividend. The Merrill Lynch target price is $56, while the posted consensus price target is $54.96. The stock closed on Friday at $53.20 per share.