Stock Market

It continues to be an uneven playing field for tech stocks. While some companies are continuing to knock the cover off the ball, others are struggling and in decline. Of course the current market selloff isn’t helping. But the underlying fundamentals of many tech stocks remain extremely strong and position them for big gains once the market gets through its current rough patch and climbs higher once again. While artificial intelligence (AI) remains a big catalyst for the tech sector as a whole, it is not the only area that investors should focus on when it comes to technology. There are many other areas where opportunities can be found, including in wireless internet, software, and personal computers and other hardware components. Buy this, not that. Here are four tech stocks to own, and three to avoid.

Tech Stocks to Own: T-Mobile (TMUS)

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There’s a brand new reason to buy shares of T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS). The wireless internet provider just issued the first cash dividend in its history. T-Mobile declared that it will pay a dividend of 65 cents per share to shareholders on December 15 of this year. It is the first dividend payment by T-Mobile since the company was founded in 2001. T-Mobile said dividends will be payable to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 1 of this year.

The dividend is part of a new shareholder return program that’s valued at $19 billion, share buybacks and dividends combined. The company has said that it intends to pay $3 billion in dividends to stockholders between now and Dec. 31, 2024. The rest of the shareholder return program, more than $15 billion, is being spent on stock buybacks. The new dividend should help T-Mobile compete against its main rivals, AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), each of which pay dividends that yield more than 7%.

TMUS stock has increased 7% over the last 12 months and is up 100% over the past five years.

Cisco Systems (CSCO)

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Markets had a negative reaction to news that digital communications giant Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) is buying cybersecurity software company Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) in an all-cash deal worth $28 billion. Since the deal was announced, CSCO stock has fallen 5%. However, despite the pullback, the addition of Splunk should help Cisco to grow and diversify over the long-term. Cisco has said that it expects the deal to be cash flow positive and gross margin accretive in the first year after the acquisition is finalized.

Splunk is a cybersecurity firm that helps companies monitor and analyze their data and minimize cyberattacks and other incidents. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals around the world, is expected to close in the second half of 2024. Cisco is already one of the biggest telecommunications and networking equipment vendors, with annual sales in excess of $55 billion. Enhancing its cybersecurity features through Splunk should prove beneficial. CSCO stock has risen 30% over the last 12 months but is up only 8% over the past five years.

Qualcomm (QCOM)

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Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is the rare microchip and semiconductor company that doesn’t look overvalued right now. QCOM stock is up only 3% on the year and its shares are currently trading at 14 times future earnings, which is rock bottom for a tech company. Also, Qualcomm is the rare tech concern that pays a dividend, and a good dividend at that, giving stockholders 80 cents a share per quarter for a yield of nearly 3%.

QCOM stock also has a catalyst right now after announcing a new deal that will see it supply fifth generation (5G) wireless internet microchips to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for its iPhones and other electronic devices through 2026. Qualcomm is the leading designer of modem chips that connect smartphones to mobile data networks. The new deal with Apple was announced right before the iPhone 15 went on sale. Early indications are that sales of the new iPhone are strong worldwide, which is good news for Qualcomm.

QCOM stock is up 53% over the past five years.

Adobe (ADBE)

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Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) just had a great quarterly print. And the software company’s stock is on sale right now, having been caught in the market down draft. ADBE stock had been trending lower immediately after its latest earnings, but the selloff has intensified along with the broad-based decline in equities. As a result, Adobe’s share price is 7% lower than where it was before its latest financial results were made public, presenting a buy-the-dip opportunity.

There’s really no reason for ADBE stock to be down given that the company beat Wall Street forecasts on both the top and bottom lines. Adobe is also pushing into generative AI in a meaningful way, integrating the technology into several of its products. The company known for products such as Photoshop and Illustrator has a new hit on its hands with Firefly, an AI tool that offers users a text-to-image feature. Adobe customers have already generated more than two billion images with Firefly.

Despite the current pullback, ADBE stock is still up 82% over the last 12 months.

Tech Stocks to Avoid: HP Inc. (HPQ)

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It’s never a good sign when Warren Buffett is dumping a stock. But that is exactly what’s happening now as Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B) recently sold 4.8 million shares of HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ). He sold $130 million worth, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The latest sale of HPQ stock comes after Buffett sold 5.5 million shares of the computer maker earlier in September in a sale worth $160 million.

Following the two sales, Berkshire Hathaway still owns 110.6 million shares of HPQ stock worth $3 billion, equivalent to an 11% ownership stake in the manufacturer of personal computers and printers. However, Buffett seems to have had second thoughts about HP and its prospects. He only accumulated his stake in the company a year ago. That the famous buy-and-hold investor is now unwinding his position is a vote against HP’s stock.

Also, Buffett appears to be selling HPQ stock at a loss. He purchased his stake in the spring of 2022 for between $30 and $35 a share. However, his average selling price of the stock has been $27 per share. HP’s stock has declined 3% year-to-date.

Instacart (CART)

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So much for the IPO. A week after holding its initial public offering (IPO), shares of online grocery company Instacart (NASDAQ:CART) have given up all their gains. CART stock today is trading at $30.06 per share, which is only six cents above the company’s IPO price of $30. The stock fell 11% on its second day of trading and has languished right around $30 ever since.  The company’s stock had jumped 40% higher to begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange at $42 per share, but quickly declined.

The stock’s lack of progress is a huge disappointment for Instacart and the broader market. Instacart going public was widely  expected to reinvigorate an IPO market that has been dormant for more than a year. Analysts say Instacart’s poor performance suggests investors are hesitant to buy into disruptive technology companies. It probably didn’t help that Instacart’s IPO was held the day before the U.S. Federal Reserve warned that interest rates are likely to be higher for longer, sending stocks into a tailspin.

Oracle (ORCL)

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Last on the list of tech stocks to avoid is computer technology company Oracle (NYSE:ORCL). The company recently issued financial results that did not inspire confidence. ORCL stock fell 10% immediately after the software company issued mixed financial results and provided weak forward guidance. The company said its latest earnings were harmed by the ongoing integration of Cerner, the electronic health records software company that it acquired in June of last year for $28.2 billion.

Additionally, Oracle’s hardware revenue declined by 6% to $714 million in the latest quarter as global demand for personal computers and related products continues to slump. Owing largely to the integration costs related to Cerner and declining hardware sales, Oracle said that it now expects $1.30 to $1.34 per share and 5% to 7% revenue growth in the current third quarter. Wall Street analysts had penciled in $1.33 in earnings and 8% revenue growth for Q3. ORCL stock is up 25% on the year.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in AAPL. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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