Symantec, Zebra: Two Undervalued Tech Stocks?

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After six months of a continuous rally in the market that drove indices up some 30% over that time span, the last two weeks has reminded investors there is still danger and turbulence in the equity investing.

Personally, I believe we are in for at least a few bumpy months as the crisis in Europe continues to unfold and accelerate. In my portfolio I have approximately 25% of my holdings in cash and another 10% in short positions as I believe there will be better entry points in this market by summer.

I am deploying some of that capital to new positions on significant down days. Although I believe the tech sector still has some long term upside, I would avoid some of the name stocks in this space that have already had huge runs like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ). I prefer to select slower growing, less known names in the tech arena. They will not run up as fast in a rally, but should lose a lot less if the market goes into a tailspin. Here are two with very reasonable values I think investors should consider.

Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC ) - "Symantec Corporation provides security, storage, and systems management solutions internationally. The company's Consumer segment delivers Internet security, PC tune-up, and online backup solutions and services to individual users and home offices." (Business description from Yahoo Finance)

Reasons to Consider Symantec:

  • The company is showing solid, if unspectacular earnings growth. SYMC made $1.42 a share in FY2011 and analysts have it making $1.63 in FY2012 and $1.79 in FY2013.
  • This puts its Forward PE at right at 10 times, which is a 20% discount to its historical average.
  • The stock is cheap at just 7 times operating cash flow.
  • The stock has a very low beta (.66) and the consensus price target from the 23 analysts that cover the stock is $21. Credit Suisse has an "Outperform" rating and a $25 price target on Symantec.

Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ: ZBRA ) - "Zebra Technologies Corporation offers products and solutions that assist in identifying, authenticating, and tracking assets, people, and transactions. The company's products include direct thermal and thermal transfer label and receipt printers, radio frequency identification printer/encoders, dye sublimation card printers, real-time location solutions, and related accessories and support software." (Business description from Yahoo Finance)

Reasons to consider Zebra Tech:

  • Zebra has consistently beat consensus estimates over the past four quarters. Its average beat over consensus during that time period was around 8%. The stock has five year projected PEG of under 1 (.99), an approximate 25% discount to its historical average.
  • Consensus estimates for FY2012 and FY2013 have risen over the past month and the mean analyst price target on ZBRA is $46.
  • The company is projected to grow revenue between 4% to 6% annually over the next two years and it earnings are expected to grow steadily from $2.44 in FY2011 to $2.88 in FY2013.

Positions: None

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Economy , Investing Ideas

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , SYMC , ZBRA

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