Oppenheimer has issued its top picks in the technology sector for the month of December which include IAC/InterActive, Cisco, Nuance Communications, Teradata, Ceva, Broadcom and SanDisk.
Following are Oppenheimer's brief write-up of the above-mentioned technology stocks.
IAC/InterActive Corp. (NASDAQ:IACI)
With the company's $8.56 cash per share and management expecting few opportunities for meaningful acquisitions in its core verticals (search, local and personals), analyst Jason Helfstein feels the company will return capital to the shareholders through aggressive buybacks or a special dividend.
Meanwhile, the company's core businesses are within the secular growth areas of the Internet (search, CPC, CPA and vertical lead generation). The analyst sees significant upside potential in case the company considers the IPO of Match.com and the divestiture of other assets such as CityGrid or Service Magic.
Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN)
Nuance Communications is a provider of voice/speech recognition technologies into four major verticals: Healthcare (40 percent of revenue), enterprise (25 percent of total revenue), Consumer (Mobile& Automotive, 25 percent of total revenue), and Imaging (10 percent).
In their three largest verticals, the company owns more than 50 percent market share and is considered to be the market consolidator. The company is observed as a derivative play on the iPhone 4S introduction as it provides Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri technology with the basic transcribing technology on which Siri can operate.
In addition, we believe continued realignment of net income and cash from operations, two consecutive quarters of positive preannouncements and ongoing operating margin expansion are positive points to consider. In our view, current valuation of 14X FY12E EPS is attractive for this consistent double-digit grower, analyst Shaul Eyal wrote in a note to clients.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)
We see Cisco as among the best positioned for the next-generation virtualized data center given its history of strong execution and M&A, product breadth, geographic diversity and scale advantages, analyst Ittai Kidron wrote in a note to the clients.
Kidron is positive on several growth opportunities, including virtualization, collaboration, video and UCS, but macro uncertainty, intensifying competition and potential market share losses represent negative headwinds.
With that said, we believe these concerns are already reflected in our and consensus estimates and the bearish investor sentiment surrounding Cisco. With valuation near trough levels and share repurchases helping to support shares over the near term, we see an opportunity to own Cisco, the analyst said.
Ceva, Inc. (NASDAQ:CEVA)
Analyst Andrew Uerkwitz believes that Ceva, the leading baseband digital signal processing solution provider, is well-positioned to continue growing its market share as more handsets come to market using its technology both in the 2G/3G feature phone market (developing countries) and the smartphone markets (developed countries).
Moreover, recent license agreements indicate that the trend should continue as handset makers move to 4G/LTE networks and CEVA licenses are moved to new markets such as the smart grid.
Teradata Corp. (NYSE:TDC)
Teradata is levered to the attractive secular trends of increasing data creation/storage and accelerating adoption of business intelligence analytics. Revenue growth is likely to continue to recover as IT spending rebounds and enterprises are increasingly willing to open the checkbook on larger ticket items. Products are extremely sticky, and sales to existing customers are relatively predictable.
The company is broadening its sales reach by expanding the sales staff. Teradata is a leading provider of enterprise data warehouse solutions that integrate a customer's disparate data into a central depository, enabling better data consistency, improved analytics and lower costs.
Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ:BRCM)
We view Broadcom as a core holding and one of the best-positioned large-cap semi names to drive top-line growth, said analyst Rick Schafer.
Broadcom's diversified business should benefit from any pickup in enterprise spending while the long-awaited baseband ramp represents a primary top-line driver in 2011/12. Combo chips (WLAN, BT, GPS and/or FM) continue to surpass expectations and appear poised to continue momentum in 2011/12.
We also look for DTV, Blu-ray and an infrastructure rebound as strong 2011 drivers. Despite some catch-up spending and acquisition pipeline, we look for management to make good on its promise to drive EPS growth in excess of top-line growth, Schafer added.
SanDisk Corp. (NASDAQ:SNDK)
SanDisk is a leading memory company which continues to be profitable in a challenging space with plenty of competitors. It is at the top of the class in terms of technology with its 19nm NAND chip manufactured in its JV with Toshiba. So far, it has been mainly in the retail/consumer space but recently expanded its focus into the enterprise SSD space with the acquisition of Pliant. Overall, the analysts think that the shares are relatively inexpensive at current levels.