While the Chinese yuan's decline was the trigger for the market's Monday plunge, the selloff didn't discriminate much between tech companies with strong Chinese exposure and those with little or no Chinese exposure.
Likewise, the selloff didn't discriminate much between richly-valued tech names and moderately-valued ones, or between companies that recently delivered strong earnings reports and those that shared more troublesome numbers.
None of this, of course, guarantees that many of the stocks that were hammered on Monday will quickly rebound, particularly given the risk that trade tensions could inflame further.
But for those willing to accept this risk — though there's no guarantee that history will repeat, those who took on such risks in late 2018 made out well — the current selloff presents an opportunity to buy quality, reasonably-priced, tech names at discount.
Here are four areas where bargain-hunting tech investors might want to look. The first two areas, it should be noted, feature companies with limited direct China exposure, while the last two feature companies that are more directly exposed.
1. U.S. Internet Giants
U.S. online advertising and social media names generally had a strong earnings season, and Alphabet/Google and Facebook weren't exceptions to the rule. Both companies comfortably beat Q2 estimates, and (though Facebook did caution its growth will slow in the coming quarters) saw revenue growth accelerate relative to Q1. And since each company's core services are banned in China, they have little Chinese exposure outside of some ad sales to Chinese businesses looking to reach potential foreign customers.
Alphabet, which has given back all of the big post-earnings gains it saw last month, now trades for 21 times its 2020 consensus EPS estimate. Facebook, which is down 13% since its Q2 report after rallying in the prior months, now trades for 19 times its 2020 EPS consensus. Both companies have seen their near-term earnings depressed by aggressive spending and a general willingness to tolerate losses for newer businesses.
2. Enterprise Tech Stocks
Though many high-growth enterprise tech stocks (software names particularly) now trade at steep multiples, one can still find firms trading at more subdued multiples that are seeing meaningful top-line growth. And by and large, these companies have limited Chinese sales exposure.
Security tech giant Palo Alto Networks, which trades for 17 times expected free cash flow (FCF) for its 2020 fiscal year (it ends in June 2020) and 14 times expected FCF for its 2021 fiscal year, is one case in point. Palo Alto rival Fortinet, it should be noted, delivered a pretty strong Q2 report last week.
Cloud storage/file-sharing provider Dropbox, whose sales depend on both consumers and businesses, is also trading at moderate FCF multiples. And though it's a little pricier than the aforementioned names, e-signature software/services leader DocuSign is now trading at its lowest levels since January; the company is still expected to see 31% revenue growth and 28% billings growth in fiscal 2020 (it ends in January), and is now trading for about 7 times its expected fiscal 2020 billings.
3. Chip Stocks
This a group with some clear trade war exposure, given how dependent many names are on Chinese demand and/or exports. But The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index is (following Monday evening's drop) down about 15% from its late-July highs, and valuations for many names are fairly low.
Broadcom, which in June issued guidance that baked in a fair amount of trade war-related headwinds, is now trading for just 11 times its expected fiscal 2020 (ends in Oct. 2020) EPS. It's worth noting here that the company gets the lion's share of its wireless chip sales from Apple — Apple and various iPhone suppliers issued healthy guidancethis earnings season — and is also well-exposed to cloud data center owners who appear set to pick up their spending after slowing it during the first half of 2019.
Chip contract manufacturing giant Taiwan Semiconductor, which also has strong iPhone exposure and issued decent guidance last month, now trades for 17 times its expected 2020 EPS. And though it's tough to value the company based on near-term EPS given how its gaming GPU sales tumbled in recent months due to major inventory corrections, Nvidia is once more down about 50% from its 2018 highs and is also poised to benefit from improved cloud spending.
4. Chinese Tech Stocks
These certainly aren't for the faint of heart, given both their vulnerability to Chinese macro pressures and the fact that a weaker yuan impacts the dollar-based revenue and earnings growth that Chinese tech firms report. But those willing to brave the waters can find a lot of names — including some blue-chip companies with very strong competitive moats — that are still seeing healthy double-digit growth and trade at reasonable multiples.
E-commerce giant Alibaba, which is expected to see 33% dollar-based revenue growth in fiscal 2020 (it ends in March), now trades for 22 times its expected fiscal 2020 EPS and 18 times its expected fiscal 2021 EPS in spite of aggressive spending. Online travel leader Ctrip.com, for its part, trades for 19 times its expected 2020 EPS and 15 times its expected 2021 EPS.