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Tech sector bubble territory? Not so fast, say analysts

FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) apps on a smartphone.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) apps on a smartphone.

Fears that the tech sector is entering another bubble have been dismissed by analysts interviewed by CNBC in spite of concern surrounding market statistics that suggest rapid growth for the sector.

The tech laden Nasdaq has risen more than 110 percent in the last 5 years while technology stocks listed on the S&P 500 have enjoyed similar gains.

Since its initially rocky debut on the Nasdaq in 2012, Facebook's stock price has more than trebled, rising 40 percent in the last 12 months alone.

Stock in Alphabet, the holding company for Google, has risen 20 percent in the past year, almost doubling growth witnessed across the wider S&P 500.

However Maurits Heldring, Senior Equity Research Expert at ABN AMRO says that, despite these examples, tech stocks are not expensive.

"Prices are not high in the sector if you compare to the past with the late 90's dotcom bubble. That is not the situation we are in right now," he said in a CNBC interview Monday.

Heldring said the leading tech companies are disrupting other sectors and sucking up the dollars.

"Look at the financial situation of large companies like Apple, Google and Facebook. They are making high margins and they have fantastic balance sheets.

Heldring said remarks made by Janet Yellen at Jackson Hole on Friday strengthened his bullish conviction on the Tech sector.

"Yellen said companies will have to rely on productivity and we think IT will be instrumental there."

Neil Brown, Investment Manager Pan European Equities at Alliance Trust Investments agrees that the tech sector isn't too expensive.

"You don't have a lot of growth in town. Tech companies have it because they are disrupting other industries and they are allowing other firms to do the same," he said on Squawk Box Europe Monday.

Brown said in Europe there is less obvious choice for winning companies but investors can look at the longer term.

"So with every new radar, every sensor in a car there is a semiconductor solution that needs to step up.

"So you look at names like AMSL, Infineon. It is not what will they do in the quarter or how many bits of kit did they sell in August?

"It is one, two, three, five years out, which of these businesses is fundamentally changing their own profit and loss and helping others do the same?"


Struggle for Netflix?

Netflix may be one example of a tech stock that struggles to maintain appeal.

The firm's share value has dropped more than 11 percent in the last 12 months to $97.58, but still holds a price to earnings ratio of more than 300.

In a note Monday, Axiom Capital Management said it sees Netflix hitting $80 per share and has given the stock a sell rating.

Axiom said Netflix should continue to grow but may struggle to maintain market share as competition ups its game.

"We see rising competition, diminishing pricing power, and rising content costs putting pressure on Netflix's ability to meet consensus longer-term subscriber growth and profit estimates.

"Investors are paying a super-rich multiple that, in our minds, calls for near flawless execution, an expectation we believe will be hard to achieve," the note said.