Category Archives: Technology

3 Forgotten Tech Stocks Worth Remembering

You can’t deny that the technology sector is fast-paced. It’s ever-changing as new fads, trends, devices, and applications come and go. Today, it’s cloud computing. A few years ago, it was wearable devices. And who can forget the hype surrounding B2B stocks during the dotcom days?

But as these trends shifted, so too have the various tech stocks. The sector is littered with former leaders that have now turned into losers.

Not all former high-flying tech stocks are worthy of the dust bin, though.

In fact, there are plenty of decidedly old-school technology firms that are still making plenty of profits, cash flows and even dividends for their shareholders.

For investors, these now-forgotten tech stocks could be huge potential values in the making. Sure, they require some patience and a little luck, but the potential rewards are great. All in all, making some room in a portfolio for a few forgotten tech stocks could make a ton of sense.

But which ones actually have the goods to outperform over the long haul? Here are three former high-flying tech stocks that could be big bargains.

eBay (EBAY)

eBay stock

While Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and even Walmart (NYSE:WMT) capture most of investor’s e-commerce love, old school tech stock eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) continues to rack up sales and profit growth.

The firm is still one of the largest online retailers in the world — with more than 179 million active users and an average of over 1.9 billion listings on its site at any one time. Meanwhile, as a third-party listing service, EBAY features some pretty high margins and cash flows when it comes to people actually making a purchase on the site.

And it turns out, the firm has some tricks up its sleeve to get its former mojo going.

After eBay jettisoned PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), growth at the firm slowed to a trickle. In order to get that growth back, the firm is starting to copy a playbook that has helped both AMZN and WMT: sponsored ads and promoted listings.

EBAY charges sellers a fee in order to boost the prevalence of their products and quicken the pace of a sale. The beauty is that EBAY will still get the standard commission fees when the item does sell.

These promoted ads are starting to work wonders. During the first quarter, eBay managed to generate more than $65 million in extra revenues from them. Better still, this only improves the firm’s margins. Adding in moves to refresh and simplify the buying experience, eBay is back on track to post some significant gains this year.

Despite the potential, new dividend, and increased estimates, EBAY stock trades at a forward P/E of 13. When it comes to tech stocks, eBay should not be forgotten.

Groupon (GRPN)

Groupon Stock Investors Mull Results: Disaster or Just Disappointment?

Source: Shutterstock

A strange thing recently happened at a summer kick-off barbecue I attended. Multiple people were talking deals that they had scored on Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN).

About a decade ago, the deal-making site became a huge fad as it promoted its voucher system for local restaurants, goods, and various services. You could pay a low cost to save as much as 80% on dinner, a movie, and even dog grooming services. These days, GRPN is moving away from that system and into a potentially more lucrative one for consumers and its bottom line.

Groupon now offers what’s called card-linked deals. Instead of buying a voucher for a service later on, consumers are able to link a credit card to the account and then get cash back after they buy a good or service advertised on the platform. The benefit is that customers don’t pay until the point of service and can use deals an unlimited number of times.

At the same time, it has revamped its voucher-based products by adding appointments for certain services and experience segments. These two moves are designed to create a more seamless interaction between customers and businesses. Moreover, it’s designed to make using GRPN a habit. The tech stock just sits back and collects the fees.

And while it’s easy to write GRPN off as a former fad, the firm continues to be free cash flow positive, have a huge $1 billion in cash on its balance sheet, and see improving results. In the end, Groupon may be a former high-flyer, but today, investors are getting a huge sale on the discount provider.

Dell Technologies (DELL)


Dude, you’re getting a Dell … again. However, these days Dell Technologies (NASDAQ:DELL) is a far better and perhaps more important tech stock than it was during the go-go dotcom days.

The story of how DELL got here is perhaps a bit convoluted. The PC maker was public throughout the internet boom and was taken private by founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners. During that time, the firm made a big splash when it bought enterprise software specialist EMC Corporation, which also included a stake in VMware(NASDAQ:VMW). This led to a tracking stock covering Dell’s VMW holding.

Which brings us to today. Dell decided to roll-up that tracking stock and once again IPO as its former ticker DELL.

And while it may have fallen out of the public eye in the five or so years it wasn’t openly traded, DELL has become a monster of an integrated tech stock. The PC and server business is still there — which is booming thanks to rising data center demand. Meanwhile, the firm is a leader in cloud computing and virtualization software, cybersecurity via RSA as well as various infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) products. Today’s DELL is looking like a real contender among leading tech stocks. That fact has shown up in its first-quarter results. First quarter revenue clocked in at $21.9 billion — an increase of 3%.

In the end, Dell may be a blast from the past. But this is one forgotten tech stock ready to rewrite its future.

 At the time of writing, Aaron Levitt held a long position in AMZN.

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Source: Investor Place

Four Big Reasons You Need to Stick with Microsoft Stock

At the start of this decade, there were some concerns that the innovation curve at Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was falling flat, and that the company was growing stale, resting on its laurels, and becoming increasingly irrelevant in a rapidly changing big tech landscape. As a result, there was something of a lackluster enthusiasm for Microsoft stock

microsoft stock msft stock

Source: Johannes Marliem Via Flickr

Then, just over seven years ago, in February 2014, Satya Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer as the CEO of Microsoft. He promised change. Specifically, he promised to shift Microsoft’s focus to cloud services, and in so doing, returning Microsoft not just to big tech relevancy, but once again make Microsoft one of the most important companies in the world.

He’s done just that. Microsoft is once again one of the largest companies in the world, and its stock has risen 250% since early 2014.

Will this big rally in MSFT stock continue? Yes. For four very simple reasons.

Four Reasons to Love Microsoft Stock

First, the big cloud pivot isn’t over just yet, and Microsoft’s many cloud businesses continue to fire on all cylinders.

Second, every other business at Microsoft continues to move in the right direction, and make revenue and profit gains.

Third, the company is side-stepping big tech regulation which is threatening other tech giants like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple(NASDAQ:AAPL), and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Fourth, the valuation underlying MSFT stock remains reasonable relative to long term growth prospects.

Net net, cloud growth plus tangential business growth will drive continued revenue and profit growth over the next several years. The lack of a regulation threat means that this growth trajectory has tremendous clarity. At the same time, the valuation is reasonable enough to allow for that growth to drive healthy share price gains.

The takeaway? Stick with Microsoft stock for the long run.

The Cloud Business Is Firing on All Cylinders

The first, and most important, reason to stick with MSFT stock is that the company and stock’s biggest driver – the cloud business – remains on fire.

The cloud pivot has been the core of Microsoft stock’s big 250% rally since early 2014. This pivot is far from over. Last quarter, commercial cloud revenue rose more than 40%. That’s a big growth rate. It won’t head much lower anytime soon. Only 20% of enterprise workloads have migrated to the cloud. That number will move towards 100% in the long run, meaning that the global cloud market still has a long runway for growth.

Further, Microsoft continues to innovate and expand share in that market, meaning Microsoft cloud growth rates should continue to outpace cloud market growth rates. Thus, with Microsoft, you have a leading cloud player that’s growing share in the secular growth cloud market. Ultimately, that means Microsoft’s cloud business will continue to fire off 20%-plus growth quarters for a lot longer.

All Other Businesses Are Moving in the Right Direction

Although the core cloud businesses steal the spotlight at Microsoft, the company’s other businesses are actually doing very well, and will continue to support higher prices for the stock.

On the gaming front, Microsoft just announced its next-gen Xbox console, dubbed “Project Scarlett”, which is set to be four times more powerful than its predecessor, the Xbox One X. Microsoft is also testing the waters in the cloud gaming world with its “Project xCloud” video game streaming service.

Meanwhile, on the office products front, Microsoft just incorporated real-time financial data into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, a move that could help offset the subtle migration from Microsoft Excel to Google Sheets.

At the same time, LinkedIn has continued to expand its reach in the business networking world, and Microsoft’s PC business has made steady share gains thanks to the huge popularity of the Surface.

All in all, it isn’t just Microsoft’s cloud business which is doing really well right now. All of Microsoft’s businesses are doing well.

The Company Is Side-Stepping Big Tech Regulation

Importantly, Microsoft does not have the regulation risks which are weighing on fellow big tech stocks.

There are five big tech stocks in the U.S. which have $500 billion-plus market caps – Microsoft ($1 trillion market cap), Amazon ($930 billion), Apple ($900 billion), Alphabet ($760 billion), and Facebook ($535 billion). Of those five big tech giants, Microsoft is the only one not being probed by either the FTC or DoJ for anti-competitive reasons.

From a market psychology perspective, that’s a big deal. Investors with Amazon/Apple/Alphabet/Facebook exposure may not want that exposure anymore because of the regulatory risks, but because the tech growth narrative remains vigorous, those investors will still want big tech exposure. Where can they get big tech exposure without the regulation headwind? Microsoft is the only place.

Consequently, we could see a migration of investment dollars from other big techs stocks to MSFT stock as regulation headwinds build.

Valuation Remains Reasonable

Lastly, the valuation underlying Microsoft remains reasonable relative to the company’s long term growth prospects.

Microsoft stock trades around 29-times forward earnings. That’s as rich as the valuation has been in the past decade. But, growth is also as big as its been in the past decade. According to Street estimates, profits are expected to rise 18% this year, 11% next year, and 15% the following year.

In other words, Microsoft projects as a steady double-digit profit grower over the next several years, and that growth has tremendous visibility thanks to secular growth tailwinds in the cloud market and the lack of regulation risks. A near 30-times forward multiple for that magnitude of growth and that level of growth clarity seems reasonable.

Bottom Line on Microsoft Stock

Microsoft stock has been a big winner for the past seven years. It will continue to be a winner over the next several years, too, because the cloud business remains on the fire, the company’s other businesses are doing well, the growth trajectory has tremendous clarity, and the valuation remains reasonable.

As of this writing, Luke Lango was long FB, AMZN, AAPL, and GOOG.

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Source: Investors Place

4 Technology Stocks Blasting Higher

Remember last week, when the technology sector was slammed lower on worries over higher regulatory scrutiny? Wall Street apparently doesn’t, as stocks in the sector are zooming higher after the Nasdaq Composite dramatically tested below its 200-day moving average.

All it took was some dovish chatter from the Federal Reserve to turn sentiment around in a big way. Also helping was over-the-weekend news that President Donald Trump’s Administration had reached an agreement with Mexico, relieving the risk of fresh import tariffs.

Some impressive rallies are under way, particularly in stocks poised to benefit from the coming launch of new video game hardware in 2020. Here are four stocks worth a look:

Tech Stocks to Buy: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

Shares of GPU/CPU maker Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) are zooming higher, pushing up and over the prior highs set last September to return to levels last seen in 2006. This comes as hype builds for the new Xbox and PlayStation game consoles from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE) next year. Both are using AMD’s hardware to power their devices.

The company will next report result son July 24 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of eight cents per share on revenues of $1.5 billion. When the company last reported on April 30, earnings of six cents per share matched estimates despite a 22.8% decline in revenues.

Tech Stocks to Buy: Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft stock is breaking up and out of a three-month consolidation range to hit new highs as hype builds for “Project Scarlett” — the company’s new Xbox console. At the 2019 E3 show, executives showcases 60 new games for both its console and the PC including Halo Infinite. The new Xbox, capable of 8K resolution, is poised to debut in late 2020.

The company will next report results on July 18 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.21 per share on revenues of $32.8 billion. When the company last reported on April 24, earnings of $1.14 beat estimates by 14 cents on a 14% rise in revenues.

Tech Stocks to Buy: Marvell Technology Group (MRVL)

Marvell Technology Group (MRVL)

Shares of Marvell Technology Group (NASDAQ:MRVL), maker of digital and analog components for everything from hard drives to Wi-Fi cards, are rebounding to challenge the highs set in late April. This marks nearly a double off of the lows seen in late December. This also represents another challenge of the highs seen in late 2017 and early 2018.

The company will next report results on Sept. 5 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 15 cents per share on revenues of $654 million. When the company last reported on May 30, earnings of 16 cents beat estimates by two cents on a 9.5% rise in revenues.

Tech Stocks to Buy: eBay (EBAY)

eBay (EBAY)

eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) shares are pushing up and out of a five-month consolidation range, pushing to highs not seen since early 2018 and capping a rise of nearly 50% off of its December lows. Rumors have been circulating in recent weeks that the company could soon start accepting cryptocurrencies. Investors have been focusing on improved margin profile, which drove recent earnings upside surprise.

The company will next report results on July 17 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 62 cents per share on revenues of $2.7 billion. When the company last reported on April 23, earnings of 67 cents per share beat results by four cents on a 2.4% rise in revenues.

As of this writing, William Roth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Source: Investor Place

Is Now the Best Time to Own Qualcomm Stock?

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has had an incredible ride this year. Earlier in the year, QCOM stock was up 50% year-to-date, but now it’s up only 17%. While this sounds like a disaster, it is still double that of the S&P 500, the Invesco QQQ Trust(NASDAQ:QQQ) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Is Now the Best Time to Own Qualcomm Stock? QCOM stock

Source: Shutterstock

Stocks that show relative strength in times of trouble are the ones that I like to bet on. Qualcomm is outperforming the markets despite the general sentiment and its own headline troubles. So it is like the bears are throwing the kitchen sink at it and the stock refuses to die. Imagine what it can do if the bad headlines abate.

If you’re already long Qualcomm stock, I suggest holding it. It’s also a good time to take an upside bet on it for 2019.

Fundamentally, it’s not cheap as it sells at a price-to-earnings ratio of 37, but this might be misleading here because of its potential future business with Apple. They recently reached a settlement where Apple becomes a QCOM client. While the deal is not yet set in stone because of outside factors, eventually it’s likely to happen. Even then, QCOM is not too bloated, so owning it for a trade here is not likely to be a major financial debacle.

In early May, I wrote about how investors should not panic out of QCOM because of the short-term volatility. But I also noted that “[t]he better entry points into the stock would be at pivot zones and those are at $80, $76 or $68.” We are at that opportunity now.

It had great momentum going into earnings but then dipped on the headline. Then this whirlwind of bad Wall Street sentiment took QCOM stock back to the bottom of the massive gap it left after the headline settlement with Apple. So those fast profits are now gone and this makes for stronger hands holding the stock.

Furthermore, there is a lot of premium that came out of all stocks, especially the tech industry, so there is much less overall froth in the system now than a month ago.

More importantly, yesterday we had a virtual bloodbath in the tech world where the FANG gang stocks collapsed. Stocks like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) fell 8% on regulatory headlines. Even AAPL is now on the authority hit list.

How to Approach QCOM Stock Today

The good news for Qualcomm is that it was only down 0.25% when the Nasdaq QQQ was down 2.2%. QCOM again showed relative strength and further suggests that it has already shed most of its fat and that bulls are ready to support it at these levels.

These are still dangerous times for stocks for the short term. We are expecting new tariffs to hit Mexico in six days. The problem gets bigger when we see the other regulatory agencies also attacking the biggest and best U.S. companies. They are doing this while the U.S. is busy fighting a global economic tariff war. So clearly we have to assume that politicians have weaponized U.S. stocks to benefit their agendas.

Remember that the FANG gang has already declared war on China years ago when they pulled out of it. Instead of rewarding them, the U.S. government wants to punish them when they are most vulnerable, especially GOOG, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

This saga is still ongoing, so we cannot assume that the absolute bottom is in. But true to my statement in early May, this here is definitely a viable tactical trade.

The legislators are unpredictable, so I don’t suggest taking full-sized bets all at once. Rather, I suggest doing it in tranches and keeping my stops tight. Also there are important lines to know for the short-term risk.

If the bears can break below $64.50, they could trigger another $5 sell signal. There the support zone is even stronger. QCOM here is near a confluence of pivot zones that date back to the dot come bubble. These tend to be magnetic, but nevertheless, the recent wild and wide moves make it difficult to set a functional stop loss level, so I’d use personal risk appetites.

Conversely, the bulls can use $69.30 and $72 as rally triggers, but they will likely need the help of the overall market sentiment to improve.

Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Join his live chat room free here.

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Source: Investor Place

The 5G Age Has Arrived But Who Will Benefit?

This is the year of 5G. The possibilities opened up by 5G’s significantly faster data transfer opens up a brave new world. It will enable the newest technologies from autonomous vehicles to virtual reality gaming to advanced robotics to the Internet of Things.

Don’t believe me? Then listen to Paul Lee, the head of telecoms, media and technology research at Deloitte. Lee recently said: “The last 10 years of smartphones have been about invigorating the consumer experience and entertainment. Now it is about the digital transformation of enterprise.” He predicted that 5G-enabled smart devices will soon displace laptops.

Of course, 5G is about a lot more than smartphones. The debate going on about national security and who provides the next generation telecommunications equipment tells you that. Since it has been in the news headlines so much, I want to give you a quick primer on what the heck 5G is all about.

What Is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of wireless network technology. Browsing web pages on mobile phones caught on with the advent of 3G, while data transmission became faster and more reliable with 4G.

With speeds 100 times faster than current networks, 5G will enable transmission of huge amounts of data with little time delay. 5G can also support more connected devices than current technology—as many as one million devices per square kilometer!

With the new 5G technology, more devices than ever before can be connected in real time, bringing the concept of the “Internet of Things” closer to reality. The CEO of Vodaphone, Nick Read, says that 5G will be around 10 times more efficient than 4G.

A report from the research firm IHS Markit forecasts that 5G will enable $12.3 trillion of global economic output by 2035, fostering new sectors such as smart cities, smart agriculture and autonomous vehicles.

However, it will take time for the faster 5G networks to become seamless enough to support self-driving cars, so consumers are likely to benefit first from faster data speeds in select areas. For example, you will be able to livestream videos in crowded areas without frustration.

But costs will be a major headache. The European Commission estimates the cost of rolling out 5G and full fiber infrastructure across the continent to be in the range of 500 billion euros. This means the ‘pick and shovel’ companies that supply the equipment and components for 5G are going to make a lot of money.

That leads me to my top 5G pick, which is Ericsson (ERIC). The Swedish telecom player is making a big bet on 5G, and that bet seems to be paying off. Ericsson expects there to be 3.5 billion Internet of Things connections running over 5G by 2023, with 20% of global mobile data carried by 5G in 2023, and one billion consumers on the faster networks, representing 12% of projected mobile subscriptions.

Ericsson is right to put such an emphasis on 5G, but the company has struggled since 2016 with quarter after quarter of losses. It had been caught out with a high cost base just as global telecom providers cut spending drastically ahead of the rollout of 5G networks.

So now, the company’s recovery plans are closely tied to an uptick in spending by network operators on 5G networks along with restructuring, cost cutting and new partnerships such as that with Japan’s Fujitsu to develop 5G base stations.

A restructuring, I might add, that is still ongoing. In January, it said it would cost about $850 million to restructure a unit that provides digital services to telecom operators.

However, the restructuring is already taking hold and shows signs of momentum. Ericsson’s gross margin in Q4 of 2018 rose to 36.3%, a nice uptick. And here’s what caught my eye: in 2018, Ericsson returned to full-year top-line growth for the first time since 2013!

Ericsson Beats Earnings…Again

Then on Wednesday, April 17, Ericsson did it again. The company reported adjusted earnings of nine cents per share. That nearly doubled Wall Street’s estimates of five cents per share. That’s their fifth earnings beat in a row. Consider that about 40% of the world’s mobile phone traffic is currently carried through Ericsson networks.

Wall Street is taking notice. The day after Ericsson’s earnings report, the shares jumped 7.3% to touch a four-year high. Digging through the numbers, the details look very encouraging. For the quarter, Ericsson’s gross margin improved to 38.4%. Sales rose 7% to $5.33 billion driven by strength in North America. Bear in mind that Ericsson reported a loss for the same quarter one year ago.

Ericsson says spending on 5G is exceeding its expectations both in volume and speed of the uptake. It gained market share in North America even though it was raising prices.

In fact, it says it currently lacks enough personnel in North America to keep up with the demand from the likes of Verizon and AT&T. That’s a good problem to have and one that the company can fix quickly to take advantage of the fact that it is likely that 5G will have a longer spending period than prior 3G and 4G rollouts.

In addition, 5G should create more opportunities for the company’s software and services within Internet of Things device networks. Clearly, Ericsson is benefiting from a major turnaround as it helps usher in the Age of 5G.Buffett just went all-in on THIS new asset. Will you?

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What is it?
It's not gold, crypto or any mainstream investment. But these mega-billionaires have bet the farm it's about to be the most valuable asset on Earth. Wall Street and the financial media have no clue what's about to happen...And if you act fast, you could earn as much as 2,524% before the year is up.
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Source: Investors Alley

So the 3D Hype Is Over? Yes, But Not for Everyone

A great area to find investment opportunities is places where the Wall Street hype machine went crazy and then the bubble burst. I’ll give you a great example.

After the dot-com bubble burst, shares of Amazon plunged 95%. People thought the entire industry went bust when in reality, only the shady start-ups went under.

A current example is 3D printing, or, to use the more formal name, additive manufacturing. In 2013, valuations here went bonkers. We were told that a 3D printer would soon be in every home. Then in 2015, the bubble finally burst.

Now, if anything, we’re at the other extreme. Some folks who should know better think the field is dead. Well, they’re wrong. The long-term growth story for additive manufacturing is alive and well. The difference is that the industry has shifted its priorities to industrial and medical applications.

So what exactly is additive manufacturing? I’ll make it simple—it’s the process of making something by building it one layer at a time.

The first step is to create a design. This is typically done using computer aided design, or CAD software.

The software translates the design into a layer-by-layer framework for the additive manufacturing machine to follow. This is sent to the 3D printer which begins creating the object immediately.

There are some key benefits. With traditional manufacturing, the entire supply chain can take months and require an investment of millions of dollars that can only be recouped by high-volume production. With additive manufacturing, many of those intermediate steps are simply removed.

Manufacturing something additively also makes it possible to use different materials on the inside and outside. For example, making something that has high conductivity but that is also abrasion-resistant is no problem. With conventional manufacturing, this can be a big headache.

Additive manufacturing also makes it easier to create small amounts of something. Hearing aids, for example, which are customized for each person, could be almost entirely additively manufactured.

3D Printing Body Parts?

In the future, bioprinters will use human cells from the patients themselves as the “ink” in order to create living body parts.  Sounds freaky? Sure.

We’re still years away from that, but when that day does arrive, it will offer the prospect of immunologically compatible replacement parts for humans. Here in the U.S. alone, about 900,000 deaths annually occur because of a shortage of organs for ailing patients.

According to the research firm Gartner, medical 3D printing will have a market value of $1.2 billion by 2020. 3D printing in medicine has already evolved from making relatively simple prosthetics to printing a silicon prototype of a functioning human heart. 3D printing can also be used to speed up surgical procedures and produce cheaper versions of required surgical tools.

In 2015, the FDA approved the first 3D printed drug used to treat epilepsy. Elderly patients in need of a hip or knee replacement could benefit from 3D printing of specialty implants. Particularly, as the process is more exact, these patients would avoid the second or third procedure to replace traditional, less-effective implants.

Materialise Is Leading the Way

The best 3D printing stock to own now is the Belgium-based firm, Materialise (MTLS). What got my attention is Materialise’s complete and automated software solutions and certified 3D printing services.

Materialise’s business isn’t something to dream of in the future. They’re already working on 3D printing solutions in dozens of different industries, and they’re currently working with firms like Hyundai, Toyota, HP, Airbus, Volvo, BASF, Stryker and Microsoft.

Consider some numbers. In the auto sector, 3D printing is estimated to grow at 34% per year. In healthcare, it’s expected to be 23% per year. By 2021, 75% of all commercial or military will contain a 3D-printed engine or airframe.

In March, Materialise became the first company ever to get FDA clearance for software for 3D printing anatomical models for diagnostic use. The software is a tool that makes it possible to convert patient medical image data, such as CT scans, to 3D models.

This is a game-changer. It will allow for the creation of patient-specific diagnostic models which doctors can use for three-dimensional and tangible examination of scan data, potentially revealing affected areas that may have been missed using traditional 2D medical images.

The medical community is enthusiastically welcoming this advancement. Sixteen of the top 20 hospitals in the U.S., as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, are using Materialise Mimics software as a medical 3D printing strategy.

Patient-specific 3D printed models are becoming increasingly common for pre-surgical planning procedures. Gartner writes that by 2021, “25% of surgeons will practice on 3D-printed models of the patient prior to surgery.”

The next step for Materialise may be receiving clearance for the tools to create actual 3D-printed implants, stents and other medical devices. If it jumps that hurdle, the company may then have a significant lead on other device manufacturers that have received FDA approval for individual devices and product categories, as it could potentially apply the clearance to a complete host of 3D-printed components at once.

This is also a good time to add shares of Materialize since they’re off the peak from earlier this year.

Buffett just went all-in on THIS new asset. Will you?
Buffett could see this new asset run 2,524% in 2018. And he's not the only one... Mark Cuban says "it's the most exciting thing I've ever seen." Mark Zuckerberg threw down $19 billion to get a piece... Bill Gates wagered $26 billion trying to control it...
What is it?
It's not gold, crypto or any mainstream investment. But these mega-billionaires have bet the farm it's about to be the most valuable asset on Earth. Wall Street and the financial media have no clue what's about to happen...And if you act fast, you could earn as much as 2,524% before the year is up.
Click here to find out what it is.

Source: Investors Alley

Two Automation Stocks to Buy to Welcome our Robot Overlords

The other day, I decided to reward myself with a trip to McDonald’s (MCD). I’ll confess that I’m not a regular patron of MickeyD’s, but I’d had a long day, and, as a red-blooded American male, I can resist my McNuggets for only so long. So I gave in to temptation.

But once inside the restaurant, I came face to face with an astounding sight. There I saw it. Behold! The future!!! Or, more specifically, an electronic ordering kiosk.

I placed my order, swiped my credit card, and a few moments later, a human being brought me my fried bounty. Total time: four minutes. It couldn’t have been easier or more convenient.

These kiosks are popping up around the country. McDonald’s says it’s planning 1,000 new kiosks a quarter. Actually, the U.S. market is behind Europe and Canada, where the kiosks more established.

The benefits are obvious. The kiosks never get an order wrong. They never get tired. They never take lunch breaks. (Of course, they never form unions either.)

At first sight, the kiosk seemed odd, but it really shouldn’t. After all, much of our world is being automated. It’s changing our economy, and even changing our culture. Could we eventually see a day when a McDonald’s is run by machines? I think so.

Science fiction has had a lot of play with this idea, but what’s interesting to me is that the movies have looked at the macro scene, with big robots like Skynet and the HAL 9000. But what’s more intriguing is the micro level. How will an automated world impact boring mundane transactions?

The world of automation is loaded with investing opportunities, but investors need to be careful. Not every stock in this sector will be a winner, but a few have the potential to see fantastic returns. I’ll give you two such examples. Cognex (CGNX) is what I call the “Terminator” stock. They’re the world’s leading supplier of machine-vision products. Simply put, they help machines see.

These products have dozens of applications. For example, they make code readers that deliver fast and accurate reading of both 1-D and 2-D barcodes. These systems are far more accurate than laser-based ones, and they’re easier for people to work with. On the assembly line, machine-vision products can detect defects, monitor production lines, guide assembly robots, and track, sort and identify parts such as engine parts and semiconductors. Apple is a key customer.

I especially like that Cognex’s gross margins are near 80%. Their last several earnings reports have topped expectations, but the stock is down after a raucous rally in 2016 and 2017. I think the lower price gives us an opening. The next earnings report is due on April 29 after the closing bell. The consensus on Wall Street is for 17 cents per share. I’m expecting another beat.

The other stock is Rockwell Automation (ROK). This is the largest company in the world dedicated to industrial automation and information. Last year, Rockwell had revenue of $6.6 billion. The company is over 100 years old, and they have operations in more than 80 counties. Rockwell has 23,000 employees.

When you think of any assembly line with robot arms flinging parts around, you’re probably picturing Rockwell. Let me break down their business. Rockwell gets about half of its sales from heavy industries like energy, mining, paper and chemicals. Another 30% comes from consumer industries like food and beverage, home and personal care, and life sciences. Another 15% comes from transportation, and the final 5% is from a scattering of industries.

Truth be told, Rockwell is more of an industrial-software company. I say that because 70% of their sales include some sort of software. Rockwell has two operating divisions. The slightly larger one is their Control Products & Solutions division. That accounts for 55% of sales. This division deals with motor-control products.

The other division is Architecture & Software. This unit runs Rockwell’s control and information architecture capable of connecting a customer’s entire fabrication operations. Both units have been doing very well lately.

Three months ago, Rockwell crushed earnings. For Q1, they made $2.21 per share, which beat the Street by 22 cents per share. Rockwell’s CEO, Blake D. Moret, said,

“I am pleased with our results for the quarter. Almost six percent organic sales growth was well above expectations, led by consumer and heavy industries. Adjusted EPS grew by 13 percent, and our backlog increased.”

For fiscal 2019, Rockwell sees adjusted earnings ranging between $8.85 and $9.15 per share. Moret added “We have had wins across all regions and in our key industry verticals, and the pipeline of opportunities is growing every day.” I have to agree. The Q1 will be coming out soon. Look for a good report. Wall Street expects earnings of $2.09 per share.

Rockwell also pays a dividend which has increased for more than five years straight, albeit small at 97 cents, with the next payment coming up in a few weeks.

Bonus: The Robot ETF

I’ll give you a bonus. Another way to play the robotics sector is with the Robot ETF (BOTZ). The official name of the ETF is the Global X Funds Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF. The benefit of owning BOTZ is that you get instant diversification within the sector. The fund currently owns 36 stocks. The largest holdings are Intuitive Surgical, Keyence and Mitsubishi. BOTZ is up 26% YTD.

We’re living in an increasingly automated world. The applications are endless. It’s something to ponder they next time you ask a machine to get you a cheeseburger.

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Source: Investors Alley

Jeff Bezos Text Messages Could Still Be Private if He’d Had This Service

The security officer hired to protect the richest man in the world just accused Saudi Arabia of hacking his client.

Jeff Bezos, the top dog at Amazon, hired Gavin de Becker to find out how his personal text messages wound up in the hands of the National Enquirer. The story is particularly juicy since Bezos accused the National Enquirer’s parent company of trying to blackmail him in exchange for favorable coverage from the Washington Post, which is owned by Mr. Bezos.

OK, but why would this interest the Saudis? Well, it doesn’t. At least not directly. Mr. de Becker claims the hack was due to the Post’s coverage of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi wrote for the Washington Post.

This story is starting to sound like a le Carré novel, cloak and dagger stuff, but it’s real life. It also raises a disturbing question: if the richest man in the world can be hacked, how can you be safe? How can anyone be safe?

This is why cybersecurity is such a vital field, and I think it’s a long-term growth opportunity. There are a number of players in the field but I want to highlight my favorite, FireEye (FEYE), and illuminate why I think its subscription-based business model makes it best-positioned to enjoy profits in the years ahead.

FireEye: The Last Line of Defense

Interestingly, I’m not FireEye’s only fan. The CIA was not only an early customer but an investor as well through its In-Q-Tel venture capital arm. I also like that FireEye recently turned profitable after along period of steep upfront investments. On February 6, the company reported earnings of six cents per share. That topped Wall Street’s estimate by a penny per share. Stay tuned for the next earnings report which should be out in early May.

Cyber hacks are particularly worrisome because oftentimes the victims aren’t aware they’ve been victimized. Even Google has hired FireEye. FireEye has 230 threat analysts in 19 countries that speak 32 languages. The company is present in Kiev. They can be found in Israel. They can be found in South Korea. Name any hot spot and Fire Eye is there.

So what does FireEye do? CEO Kevin Mandia, a former Air Force officer and computer security officer at the Pentagon, described FireEye as “the last line of defense after all technology fails.” The company provides specialized software-based appliances under three broad categories—threat prevention, security management and security forensics.

FEYE offers cloud-based subscription services as well as consulting services to both commercial customers and governments.

FireEye’s threat prevention segment provides solutions against cyberthreats that may come through the web, e-mail, file or mobile. Its security management segment offers two types of products—a central management system and a threat analytics platform. The first allows customers to identify and block attacks.

The second is a cloud-based system that lets security teams identify and respond to cyber threats. They can correlate data from a security event from any security product with real-time threat intelligence.

FireEye also has a security forensics unit. This is the really cool stuff, and it’s considered to be one of the best in the industry. They have three products here: a forensic analysis system, a network forensics platform and an investigation analysis system.

The Subscription–Based Model

The key to understanding FireEye is that they’re shifting their business to a subscription-based model. This is a very good idea for a few reasons. One is that it generates recurring revenue that leads to a more stable outlook for its future revenue and earnings. The margins are also higher than their previous business model. Subscriptions are nice because this seems to bring in the customers while increasing penetration with existing customers, both of which will drive revenue growth.

The new model seems to be working. In fact, an analyst at J.P. Morgan just upgraded FireEye due to their billing potential.

Let’s look at some recent results.

For Q4 of 2018, the company reported record revenues and billings. CEO Mandia said, “The fourth quarter was a strong finish to a record year for FireEye,” He also noted that the company “achieved full-year non-GAAP profitability for the first time in our history.”

In Q4, FireEye’s recurring subscriptions and support billings rose by 20% over last year. Those accounted for 82% of all non-service billings in 2018.

As good as 2018 was, the company sees this year being even better. FireEye sees 2019 revenues ranging between $880 and $890 million, and they’re targeting gross margins of 75%. At the bottom line, FireEye projects earnings of 17 to 21 cents per share.

Despite their rosy outlook, the stock hasn’t done much over the last three years, but I think that gives us a good opportunity. We live in a dangerous world, and Fire Eye is working on real-world solutions.

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Get your hands on my most comprehensive, step-by-step dividend plan yet. In just a few minutes, you will have a 36-month road map that could generate $4,804 (or more!) per month for life. It's the perfect supplement to Social Security and works even if the stock market tanks. Over 6,500 retirement investors have already followed the recommendations I've laid out.

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3 Top Tech Stocks to Trade Right Now

Source: Shutterstock

Large-cap tech stocks have led the great market rebound of 2019. Today we’ll look at three of the top stocks to trade in the sector.

Chart watchers are detectives seeking clues. These signals reveal the path of least resistance for prices and enable traders to discover attractive buy points that offer low risk and high reward. In analyzing the technology sector, two items stand out that suggest it should maintain a leadership role.

First, unlike the S&P 500 and Russell 2000, the tech-heavy Nasdaq saw increasing momentum on its last upswing. Trends with growing momentum have a higher likelihood of continuation than reversal. The second piece is related to the first: the tech sector’s relative strength. The tech sector’s outperformance is a good omen that should continue attracting performance chasers.

Here are three top stocks to trade.

Click to EnlargeSource: ThinkorSwim

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) is an active trader’s dream stock. Its massive volatility delivers quick profits to those on the right side of the trend. And it exhibits clean trending behavior responding well to common support and resistance zones.

Last week’s breakout resulted in a rapid three-day 20% surge amid heavy accumulation. Spectators who missed it now have a second chance. With this week’s pullback, AMD stock has now returned to the scene of the crime. This is as good a buy-the-dip pattern as there is. Watch for signs of an upside reversal such as breaking a prior day’s high, then buy.

Options traders might consider selling the May $22 puts for $90 of cash flow per contract.

Click to EnlargeSource: ThinkorSwim

Alphabet (GOOGL)

This year’s uptrend in Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL,NASDAQ:GOOG) has been incredibly orderly. The series of higher pivot lows is consistent, and both the 20-day and 50-day moving averages are rising in bullish fashion. Additionally, the past three upswings have seen strong bullish candles with upside follow through. This type of clean price action has made GOOGL one of the easier stocks to trade of late.

With today’s mild selloff, GOOGL stock is working on its fifth down day in a row. The lower-than-average volume suggests we’re seeing garden-variety profit taking versus widespread distribution. Potential support looms close at $1150 and $1140, so I suspect a bounce is nigh.

If the stock can take out today’s intra-day high ($1,177), then buy the May $1175/$1195 bull call spread for around $5.

Click to EnlargeSource: ThinkorSwim

Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rounds out today’s trio with a shallow retracement pattern. The software king notched a fresh record high last week — $120.82 — on strong momentum. The reach to new heights came following a high volume breakout of last year’s high water mark.

Given all the bullishness, I see little reason why the current dip won’t get gobbled up like all its predecessors.

Implied volatility is low making long option plays attractive. I like buying the May $115/$125 bull call for around $4.

As of this writing, Tyler Craig held bullish positions in AMD. Check out his recently released Bear Market Survival Guide to learn how to defend your portfolio against market volatility.

Source: Investor Place

The 5 Best 5G Stocks to Watch in 2019

The 5G revolution is coming, and to help you cash in on the transformation, these are the best 5G stocks to watch in 2019.

In fact, the revolution could be as great as the rollout of personal computers and the introduction of the Internet. These made fortunes for investors who got in early.

In October 2018, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) said it had started to activate the first-ever 5G network in the United States. The 5G capability, rolled out in four U.S. cities, is expected to expand throughout 2019 and 2020.

Currently, data networks in the United States run on 4G. Your smartphone, for example, is likely a 4G phone.

But the upgrade to 5G won’t just mean a faster connection – it could transform the entire economy. 5G will enable self-driving cars to become a reality because autonomous cars need continuous, rapid access to real-time data. That also means they need the constant, high-speed connection 5G offers.

The Internet of Things (IoT), which will enable devices to talk to each other across businesses and homes, will move faster and more conveniently on 5G.

Plus, broadband-like speeds will allow you to connect to the Internet anywhere. That could change how we look at Internet services and cable television.

Fortunately, all the disruption 5G networks will bring is creating an opportunity for investors.

These are our best 5G stocks to watch in 2019, and they’re poised to reward investors.

Best 5G Stocks to Watch in 2019, No. 5: Keysight Technologies Inc.

Keysight Technologies Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) is a U.S. electronics firm that develops equipment and software for measurement and analysis of electrical statistics.

That may sound niche, but Keysight has developed its business to be crucial to the 5G expansion of networks. 5G will require a network of hardwiring and towers to function properly. To put the network together, 5G companies will need to analyze and collect data. Keysight makes the instruments necessary to do this.

Two years ago, KEYS worked with semiconductor company Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) to demonstrate the first 5G data connection with a modem chipset.

It’s very likely to become a key player given that history.

Not only that, but KEYS has a Money Morning Stock VQScore™ of 3.15, meaning that it’s a solid stock.

Further, Wall Street analysts forecast a $100 share price in the next 12 months – a nice 17% advance from the current $84.94 share price.

Best 5G Stocks to Watch in 2019, No. 4: Intel Corp.

Venerable semiconductor maker Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) is the second largest global chipmaker.

It doesn’t intend to be a slouch in the 5G market, either. In fact, the company has spent the last 10 years making sure it dominates the market.

Eight years ago, INTC bought Infineon, a modem maker based in Germany. It’s the only company that supplies modems to tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). AAPL uses the modem chips from Infineon to connect iPhones to networks.

So now INTC has an exclusive supplier relationship with Apple, one of the biggest device makers on the planet.

INTC plans to launch a 5G modem in 2019 too. That will be a big help in ushering the iPhone into the 5G world.

But the 5G modems are also planned for automakers for use in self-driving cars and for industrial manufacturers for the IoT.

Wall Street analysts have a target price on INTC of $70 – a nearly 30% climb from today’s $54 share price.

INTC currently has a 3.75 VQScore. While it’s a good buy, you are likely to get an even better price – and therefore better potential price appreciation – if you buy on the next dip.

Best 5G Stocks to Watch in 2019, No. 3: Apple Inc.

And just like we said above, tech behemoth Apple is primed for the 5G revolution.

Apple has been seeing the effects of lagging sales for its flagship product, the iPhone, driven by weakening sales in China and throughout the globe.

So much so that AAPL’s earnings report in January showed a drop in revenue of 5%. And the company lowered guidance for future quarters. Sales in the current quarter are forecast to decline up to 10%.

Apple needs to breathe new life into its old products. And 5G phones could be the innovation the company needs.

Apple and Intel are working together to see that they both capitalize on the new 5G networks.

Plus, Apple has been working on a self-driving car beginning in 2014. 5G is likely to be a gigantic boost to these plans.

AAPL enjoys an excellent 4.45 VQScore, putting the stock right in the “Buy Zone.” Analysts on Wall Street project that AAPL shares could rise up to 40% over the next 12 months, which might turn out to be overly conservative.

Best 5G Stocks to Watch in 2019, No. 2: Micron Technology Inc.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) produces hardware used in manufacturing both semiconductors and computers worldwide.

It has been making plans for the 5G revolution for some time, developing a multichip package for use in 5G modems.

Its current product was developed to provide modems with the capability to run as much as 20 times faster than current modems.

MU’s products will be used in every sector that uses 5G.

Right now, MU has the highest VQScore of the 5G stocks bunch, at 4.75. Wall Street analysts have set a $90 target price on the stock. That’s an almost 125% increase from today’s $39.75 share price.

But our top 5G stock to watch is flying under the radar right now…

Best 5G Stocks to Watch in 2019, No. 1: Skyworks Solutions Inc.

Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS) is a U.S. semiconductor producer based in Massachusetts. It makes analog chips for 5G.

SWKS is going to benefit from two trends related to 5G. The first is the sheer number of sectors that are going to need 5G chips. You name the sector; it’s going to be moving into 5G.

But the second and even more significant trend is the role of 5G in mobile devices – and the profit picture for the company.

Every time the mobile network upgrades, Skyworks’ products get more profitable.

For 3G network phones, SWKS booked a profit of about $8 per phone. For 4G network phones, that figure rose more than 100% to $18.

Management forecasts that 5G phones will make the company $25 per phone, another 38% increase in profit.

Not only that, but mobile phones make up 73% of sales as of the first quarter. That means that the climb in mobile phone profit will be really good news.

Wall Street analysts forecast that the company’s shares will sell for $173 once the 5G revolution is underway, a 113% jump from the current $83.26 level.

But this could be the true breakout stock once 5G gets here…

Source: Money Morning