20 technology stocks with low debt to consider owning in a down market

20 technology stocks with low debt to consider owning in a down market

20 technology stocks with low debt to consider owning in a down market


Mark Grant, the chief global strategist for fixed income at B. Riley FBR, is usually focused on the bond market, but he had an interesting suggestion for long-term investors that he shared with Stuart Varney on Fox Business:

After quoting the adage, “You buy when there’s blood on the streets,” Grant suggested that for “appreciation plays,” investors look “in technology,” where there are some “good names without any debt … you can make some money on, with a little patience.”

The S&P 500 Index
US:SPX
has tumbled 27% since its closing high Feb. 19, while the S&P 500 information technology sector has declined 25%.

A tech-stock screen

There are 70 companies in the S&P 500 information technology sector. However, the sector excludes several companies that the typical investor would consider technology players. So we added social-media companies, video-game developers and internet-services companies to bring our “technology” list up to 80 companies.

Here are the 20 companies on the list with the lowest ratios of long-term debt to equity, per their most recent financial reports, according to FactSet:

Company

Ticker

Long-term debt/ equity

Total return – Feb. 19 through April 1

Total return – 2020

Total return – 2019

Date of most recent financial report

Industry

Fortinet Inc.

US:FTNT 2.2%

-16%

-6%

52%

12/31/2019

Computer Communications

IPG Photonics Corp.

US:IPGP 2.4%

-26%

-27%

28%

12/31/2019

Semiconductors

Arista Networks Inc.

US:ANET 2.8%

-14%

-5%

-3%

12/31/2019

Computer Communications

Skyworks Solutions Inc.

US:SWKS 3.4%

-31%

-32%

84%

12/27/2019

Semiconductors

Jack Henry & Associates Inc.

US:JKHY 3.8%

-15%

1%

16%

12/31/2019

Information Technology Services

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.

US:TTWO 5.9%

2%

-5%

19%

12/31/2019

Recreational Products

Alphabet Inc. Class A

US:GOOGL 6.8%

-28%

-18%

28%

12/31/2019

Internet Software/Services

Alphabet Inc. Class C

US:GOOG 6.8%

-27%

-17%

29%

12/31/2019

Internet Software/Services

Paycom Software Inc.

US:PAYC 8.4%

-42%

-29%

116%

12/31/2019

Software

Facebook Inc. Class A

US:FB 8.9%

-27%

-22%

57%

12/31/2019

Internet Software/Services

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. Class A

US:CTSH 11.5%

-38%

-31%

-1%

12/31/2019

Information Technology Services

Synopsys Inc.

US:SNPS 11.6%

-24%

-10%

65%

01/31/2020

Software

Ansys Inc.

US:ANSS 12.7%

-29%

-18%

80%

12/31/2019

Software

Micron Technology Inc.

US:MU 13.3%

-34%

-26%

69%

02/27/2020

Semiconductors

Salesforce.com Inc.

US:CRM 13.6%

-30%

-18%

19%

01/31/2020

Software

Electronic Arts Inc.

US:EA 13.7%

-11%

-9%

36%

12/31/2019

Recreational Products

Accenture Plc Class A

US:ACN 14.1%

-28%

-26%

51%

02/29/2020

Information Technology Services

Intuit Inc.

US:INTU 14.7%

-29%

-17%

34%

01/31/2020

Software

F5 Networks Inc.

US:FFIV 15.1%

-20%

-26%

-14%

12/31/2019

Computer Communications

Cadence Design Systems Inc.

US:CDNS 16.5%

-18%

-6%

60%

12/28/2019

Software

Nvidia Corp.

US:NVDA 17.2%

-23%

3%

77%

01/26/2020

Semiconductors

Source: FactSet

You can click on the tickers for more about each company, including news coverage.

Scroll the table to see all the data.

The table actually includes 21 stocks, with both common share classes for Alphabet
US:GOOGL
US:GOOG.

The stock screen is only a starting point for further research. The debt-to-equity ratios are as of the dates indicated on the table, to the right. A company may have issued more debt since that date or made other announcements of importance to investors.

If you see any companies of interest here, you not only need to make sure you are familiar with the most recent announcements, you need to consider the company’s strategy and form your own opinion about it’s ability to remain competitive for the next decade.

Grant indicated there were opportunities in the tech space for investors “with a little patience,” but these are really long-term plays. What does “a little patience” mean to you? If you scoop up discounted shares now, you may need to wait a few years to make money.

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