Now is the time to invest in technology stocks, Jim Cramer said, because the sector is bottoming out.
The “Mad Money” host said the sector won’t likely see a V-shaped bottom with an ultra-fast rebound. Tech is, however, primed for a U-shaped bottom, despite a tough market environment and sluggish economy. In the last nine of 10 years, tech has bottomed and begun to inch higher between mid-September and late October. Business is typically slow in the summer months, but picks up in the fall when: 1) gadgets are built ahead of the holiday shopping season; and 2) businesses or government agencies are forced to spend money on information technology equipment by year-end, or risk losing the money from their budgets.
Click ahead for 10 stocks that Cramer says have hit bottom.
By Drew Sandholm
Posted 26 October 2011
Note: When this slideshow was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Apple, EMC, and Juniper Networks.
ARM Holdings is a leading semiconductor intellectual-property supplier, designing chip technology that is used in high-tech gadgets, including most of the world’s mobile phones. The company then licenses that tech out to the industry’s major players and collects royalties. Roughly five chips in every smartphone are based on ARM’s design, and that number’s increasing as the mobile Internet continues to grow.
One of ARM's biggest customers is Apple. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company licenses its processor architecture for its popular iPhone device.
Click here for more from Cramer on ARM Holdings
Cramer turned bullish on Electronic Arts when it bought Playfish, the social-media gaming company, in November 2009. Social media is “one of the fastest-growing segments in the gaming business,” Cramer said. Electronic Arts’ mobile and social media gaming segments are a big reason why it may thrive, while companies that make games only for consoles may not, he explained.
The Redwood City, Calif.-based company is scheduled to report its quarterly earnings results after the bell on Thursday, Oct. 27. Cramer thinks the company will blow away mobile and social estimates and the stock will power higher.
Read on for more from Cramer on Electronic Arts
The Chandler, Ariz.-based Microchip Technology makes the microcontrollers, or chips, that go into simple electronic devices, among other products. Cramer likes this semiconductor company because it has an attractive risk-reward and pays a high dividend yield. At 4 percent, its dividend yield is the highest in all the semiconductor space.
In addition, Cramer said it's likely to benefit from positive long-term trends. Demand in the wireless space is growing and that could benefit Microchip Technology.
Based in Sunnyvale, Calif., Juniper Networks designs network infrastructure that allows many services and applications to operate over a single network. While the technology company’s stock price has been cut in half lately, Cramer thinks it could soon power higher. After all, he noted, the company boasts “cutting edge networking technology and a terrific installed telco base that's not going away.” In addition, the “Mad Money” host likes the leadership abilities of CEO Kevin Johnson, who he thinks will soon go on the offensive.
Click here for more from Cramer on Juniper Networks
Jabil Circuit makes a variety of technology products for a number of different industries. When the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based company reported earnings on Sept. 28, it earned 62 cents a share, beating estimates by 7 cents a share, on revenue that rose 10.3 percent year-over-year. Cramer thinks this stock still has room to run, considering its selling for just 7.6 times next year's earnings with a 22 percent long-term growth rate.
Click here for more from Cramer on Jabil Circuit
Avnet is the world’s top distributor of electronic components, as well as a major distributor of information technology hardware. It connects more than 300 different electronic component and IT hardware manufacturers with more than a 1,000 customers. This is the time of year when device makers are placing orders ahead of the holiday season build out, Cramer said.
At the same time, many businesses and government agencies will lose the money in their budgets if they don’t spend it by year-end. So many of them wind up spending a major portion of their IT budgets, benefiting Avnet.
Cramer also thinks that the stock is just too cheap to ignore on a historic price-to-earnings basis. The stock sells at 6.4 times next year’s earnings estimates, even though it has a 12 percent growth rate.
Cramer likes EMC because it’s a steady, cheap stock. The Hopkinton, Mass.-based company is also levered to big secular trends, such as cloud computing. It’s also a play on big data, which is industry speak for the explosion in volume of digital information and the need to store, process, and analyze it. EMC is a low-risk way to play the trend of big data, Cramer said.
EMC is also a very cheap stock, selling at 12 times next year’s earnings estimates, despite its long-term growth rate of 16.7 percent.
NVIDIA provides visual, high performance, and mobile computing solutions that generate interactive graphics technology that go into various electronic devices. To Cramer, its graphics technology is “best of breed.” Nevertheless, the “Mad Money” host said the stock gets no respect, and is poised to push higher.
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open-source software. The Raleigh, N.C.-based company has a strong subscription-based business model, which Cramer likes because the subscriptions lock-in revenues for a set amount of time. Customers get its Linux operating system for free, but pay for support, updates, and maintenance.
Earlier this month, Red Hat posted “spectacular” quarterly results. It also announced the acquisition of Gluster, a company that provides open-source storage solutions for managing unstructured data.
Click here for more from Cramer on Red Hat
Seagate Technology designs hard disk drives for various application markets. Cramer is bullish on this Dublin-based company, based partially on the company's strong third quarter, and expects its stock to push higher soon.