All Those Tech Stocks You Hated? They're Booming Now
Senior Editor, CNBC.com
It just doesn't seem fair.
While the stock market has spent the last month in the doldrums, a few of the least respected tech and internet companies have seen their stock soar. All the stocks the experts told you to hate are doing well.
Take Research in Motion. For most of the year, RIM was a dog of an investment. At least one activist investor wondered aloud whether RIM could survive on its own. And then everything changed.
The rally in RIM, which really started after the company reported better than expected results at the end of the quarter, has been absolutely gob-smacking. Over the past month, the stock is up more than 53 percent.
The stock opened sharply higher on Friday and gapped higher again on Monday after an analyst at Jefferies said that the new Blackberry had a 20 to 30 percent chance of success and the company could avoid a "worst case scenario."
When you are as despised as RIM, sometimes that's all it takes to give your stock a boost. National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson raised his price target on the stock Monday. (See, also: Is Now the Time To Buy RIM?)
Facebook is another company that looked like a disaster for investors. But then, earlier this month, something quite odd happened.
Instead of selling off as the post-IPO lockups expired, Facebook rallied hard. And since then it has been on a stunning tear. The stock is up more than 18 percent over the last month. Today alone it's up 8 percent.
Today's rally was likely aided along by Bernstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner, who had been very bearish on the company. Now he says he expects the stock to outperform the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index over the next year.
Yahoo began climbing at the end of August—it's up over 25 percent over the last three months, while the NASDAQ has declined by more than 3 percent. Today Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry added Yahoo to the firm's "conviction buy" list. The stock is up more than 1 percent today. (By the way, check out Jim Cramer's prescient call on Yahoo's upside.)
Zynga is the latest entrant into the rally in hated tech stocks. Although it hadn't done much for most of November, today it has risen more than 4 percent.
For an explanation of what's going on with this market, I turned to Matt Gohd, senior managing director at WallachBeth Capital. Gohd, you might recall, successfully called the contrarian turn in Facebook earlier this month.
When stocks are so widely despised, often it takes just a bit of good news to give them significant boosts. A good analyst report. An earnings report that isn't catastrophic. Even anecdotal evidence about holiday sales.
"Find a group of stocks that everyone hates, that are down significantly, and buy them," Gohd advises.
His current favorite is Zynga, which he thinks has a potential upside of 50 percent. While he doesn't personally own the stock, he recommends it and trades in it for hedge fund clients.