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Qualcomm looks like a ‘value play’ amid the big tech wreck, says portfolio manager

Not all tech stocks are in the bin this week. Qualcomm charged upward during the tech wreck and one market watcher sees more gains ahead.

Qualcomm is a "value play" at this price, said Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors.

"We can get above-market return over the course of the next 12 to 18 months with very little volatility," Morganlander told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Wednesday. "We think that downside selling pressure that came in over the last several weeks is now going to subside."

The San Diego-based chipmaker has moved higher in recent days and is on track to post a 3 percent gain for the holiday-shortened week. It is the seventh-best performer in the XLK Technology ETF since Monday.

But, the week's gains come after three weeks of heavy selling. Qualcomm is set to close out March with a loss of 15 percent, marking it as the XLK's second-worst performer this month.

The company's shares sold off earlier in March after President Donald Trump blocked a hostile takeover from Singapore-based Broadcom. His administration said the deal threatened U.S. national security.

Though that deal has been scrapped, Morganlander said Qualcomm is still an attractive takeover target.

"We think that this is an acquisition candidate but it just will be a domestic semiconductor company that may actually look at the company," he said.

Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, also sees value in Qualcomm shares.

"I love Qualcomm," he told "Trading Nation." "There's just tremendous upside."

The stock, he said, is a bet on 5G technology, the next generation of telecom networks that Qualcomm's chips could power. Such networks could be widespread in global markets within the next few years.

"Once we move to 5G, it could be as radical a shift, even a bigger shift, as from 3G to 4G," said Schlossberg. "That tidal wave could be massively positive for the company over the next 18 months."

Qualcomm is also attractive on a valuation basis, Schlossberg said.

"There's a lot of value there. The price has gotten very badly knocked down, so at this point it looks to be probably the best bargain out there," he said.

The company's stock is down 13 percent for the year to date, far worse than the S&P 500's 1 percent decline. It trades at 15.4 times forward earnings, below the Nasdaq composite's 21 times multiple.

Qualcomm shares were on track for a positive end to the week. The shares were up more than 1 percent midafternoon Thursday.

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Disclosure: Washington Crossing Advisors has a position in Qualcomm.

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

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Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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