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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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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