Four Beaten Down Tech That Are Buy

Posted On January 4, 2017 12:09 pm

The postelection rotation into cyclical and financial stocks has been nothing short of stunning.  Shares of companies such U.S Steel (X) and Goldman Sachs (GS) have gained some 55% and 35% in the past two months.

Meanwhile former market leaders in the technology sector, from Facebook (FB) to Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX) have gone nowhere or are actually down since November 8.

Some less know tech names, especially those that carry high valuations have faired even worse; hot IPO names of 2016 Twilio (TWL) and Acacia (ACIA) have tumbled by more than 50% since their summer time highs.

But with important megatrends in technology such as cloud computing, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Virtual Reality (VR) still driving growth many of the lesser known names now offer great buying opportunities.

Here are six names that have been beaten down of late but have large upside potential.

1.Coupa Software Inc (COUP) pulled off a red-hot IPO in October but the gains have fizzled, with the shares off about 23%.

Yet this could be a nice opportunity. Coupa operates a cloud platform that helps companies better manage their spending. It currently has more than 460 customers and a network of over 2 million suppliers across the globe. So far, COUP has provided more than $10 billion in savings.

Growth has certainly been solid as well. In the latest quarter, revenues spiked 55% to $35.4 million. Granted, the company is still losing money, but the margins have been steadily improving.

By being in the cloud, Coupa has been able to leverage mobile apps and powerful analytics. Yet perhaps the biggest advantage is the “network effects.” According to the company’s S-1 filing, “As more businesses subscribe to our platform, the collective spend under management on our platform grows. Greater aggregate spend under management on our platform attracts more suppliers, which in turn attracts more businesses that want to take advantage of the goods and services available through our platform, thereby creating powerful network effects.”

Yes, it’s a virtuous cycle. More importantly, it’s the kind of advantage that can provide a strong moat for COUP, which is always critical in the hyper-competitive tech industry.

Despite early in its public life the company is a takeover candidate. Even without a merger is should display enough growth to drive the shares higher in coming months.

2.Mobileye (MBLY) shares tumbled as much as 35% from their summer high before a strong rally over the past week.  You may want to wait for a pullback but this stock looks poised for big gains.

The company continues to grow at a rapid clip, with revenues jumping 34.4% to $94.9 million in the most recent quarter. The cash flows have also remained particularly strong, coming to $38.6 million. There is roughly $585 million in the bank.

MBLY is positioned nicely for one of the hottest trends in tech: autonomous vehicles. Since the late 1990s, the company has been building technologies for vision, mapping and machine learning. As validation of all this, Mobileye has been able to strike major partnership deals with companies like Delphi Automotive (DLPH) Intel (INTC) and BMW. 

Basically MBLY is agnostic “pick and shovel” supplier to the gold rush happening in sel-driving cars.  Recent deals have helped jump start the stock back above $40 level.  It may be hard to chase right but I think it’s a buy on any pullback and could double in 2017.


3. PayPal(PYPL) may be 18 years old, but the company continues to look more like a startup. During Q3, the company reported an 18% increase in revenues to $2.7 billion and operating cash flows came to a hefty $801 million. The active customer count hit 192 million, up 11% on a year-over-year basis.

All very good, right? Sure. But Wall Street hasn’t been to excited. Since late October, the PYPL shares have lost about 10%.

But this means that investors have a chance to participate in the mobile payments revolution for a reasonable valuation. Besides the core PayPal service, the company also has other strong businesses like Xoom (which allows for international remittances for families and friends) and Braintree (provides third parties the ability to handle transactions).

Although, the real gem appears to be Venmo, which is a mobile app that is a must-have for millennials. During the latest quarter, the transaction volume soared by 131% to $4.9 billion.

For the most part, this holiday season has shown the strategic importance of mobile payments. Consider that Black Friday was the first time that mobile purchases exceeded $1 billion, according to research from Adobe (ADBE). 

Look for PYPL to start taking more market share in an expanding pie and its shares to grow along with it.

4.New Relic (NEWR) According to a report from IDC at least 80% of enterprises will implement multi-cloud strategies during the next few years. In fact, by 2018 about half of all IT expenditures will be cloud related.

To do this requires sophisticated tools and infrastructure systems and the company has apps that help boost the performance of cloud systems but also provide ongoing analytics and tracking.

Growth has been particularly strong: For the most recent quarter, NEWR reported a 48% spike in revenues to $63.4 million. The company has also made strides in getting closer to profitability.

But the real key is that New Relic has been getting traction with larger customers — which is a big-time sign of the strategic importance of the technology. In the latest quarter, the company had its second highest number of six-figure transactions. Also, 20 that spend more than $1 million.

Although, as NEWR CEO Lew Cirnesaid said on the earnings call “It is important to stress that none of these [large customers] are close to being fully penetrated.”

I think the stock could reclaim the old high at $38 per share.

All these stocks could be volatile so be prepared to ride out short term price swings.

About author

Steve Smith

Steve Smith have been involved in all facets of the investment industry in a variety of roles ranging from speculator, educator, manager and advisor. This has taken him from the trading floors of Chicago to hedge funds on Wall Street to the world online. From 1987 to 1996, he served as a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). From 1997 to 2007, he was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for TheStreet.com, handling their Option Alert and Short Report newsletters. The Option Alert was awarded the MIN “best business newsletter” in 2006. From 2009 to 2013, Smith was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for Minyanville’s OptionSmith newsletter, as well as a Risk Manager Consultant for New Vernon Capital LLC. Smith acted as an advisor to build models and option strategies to reduce portfolio exposure and enhance returns for the four main funds. Since 2015, he has worked for Adam Mesh Trading Group. There, he has managed Options360 and Earning 360, been co-leader of Option Academy, and contributed to The Option Specialist website.