From semiconductor shortages to demand concerns to inflation worries, there has been no shortage of pressures on the global technology sector. After a rough September performance, the sector has struggled to make up ground this month amid intensifying supply chain challenges.
In some cases, the sell-off has been warranted given the valuations and modest growth outlooks of certain companies. In other cases, the tech slump has dragged down shares of companies that have little exposure to the industry-wide headwinds, have reasonable valuations, and strong long-term growth prospects.
It is expected to take time before the supply-demand dynamics hampering the technology space subside. But as these pressures alleviate, some businesses will have bright growth opportunities to look forward to.
These are three underperforming tech stocks that analysts are expecting big things out of in 2022 and beyond.
Will Coupa Software Stock Rebound in 2022?
Shares of Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP) more than doubled in each of the last three years, so a breather may have been overdue in 2021. Although the stock is down 27% year-to-date, it has some of the best growth prospects among large cap tech names.
The provider of cloud-based business spend management (BSM) software is expected to record 40% lower earnings this year. With the pandemic and economic uncertainty impacting the spending habits of many small businesses, many have scaled back on technology investments. For instance, still muted business travel is damping enthusiasm for Coupa’s Travel Sabre solution.
So, with the next couple of quarters expected to be weak, Coupa Software’s stock has come well off its February peak of $377. The selloff, however, has been nearsighted given what’s ahead. For fiscal 2022, analysts see a sharp recovery in sales and profits as economic uncertainty is lifted and businesses seek ways to optimize their budgets by sourcing smarter and better managing risks. This is expected to drive demand for Coupa Pay, Coupa Strategic Sourcing, Coupa Risk Assess and other Coupa solutions.
Next year Coupa Software’s earnings are forecast to more than double off a weaker 2021 result and more importantly be up 35% from two years prior. Investors therefore have an opportunity to buy a leading software company during a near-term slowdown but before a longer-term growth re-acceleration.
Is Global Payments a Good Stock to Own?
Global Payments (NYSE: GPN) is two weeks away from notching its first three-month losing streak since 2018. The payments technology and software provider has seen its stock dip 30% this year despite posting better than expected earnings growth in the first half of the year.
In the seasonally stronger back half of the year, earnings are expected to be $4.33 compared to $3.86 in the first half. Fast forward to next year and things look even brighter. The consensus expectation is for EPS is $9.67 which would represent 20% year-over-year growth. This would be slower growth than the 26% forecasted for this year but doesn’t seem to warrant a 30% selloff.
The underlying premise of the Global Payments investment thesis is that the way payments are being made is shifting rapidly. Out are cash and checks, in are electronic and online transactions. While this shift is apparent in the U.S., other parts of the world are in the early stages of a long transition. This puts Global Payments and its 1,300-plus global banking partnerships in the driver’s seat to capitalize on demand for modern payments solutions.
The market also appears to be underappreciating Global Payments’ collaboration with Google which will bring new digital payments solutions to merchants around the globe. This should have a lasting impact on revenue growth in the Digital Merchant Solutions segment.
When it comes to pure plays on the global payments technology theme, Global Payments is a name to own. The growth runway is long and at 19x forward earnings the price is right.
What is Zendesk’s Expected Earnings Growth Next Year?
Zendesk (NYSE:ZEN) is down 29% from its February 2021 peak. This is another example of a software stock that has been weighed down by near-term growth concerns. Last quarter the customer service SaaS provider missed the consensus EPS forecast by $0.03 and fell short of the prior year results by a penny. For the current quarter analysts are expecting no EPS growth before things start to pick up again in Q4.
Things will be rather lumpy in the near-term at Zendesk mostly because it is pushing more into the enterprise side of the business. This is having an unusual impact on which quarters bookings are being recorded but will ultimately be a positive trend. Reeling in big enterprise customers takes more time and resources, but ultimately leads to larger subscription contracts. In the most recent quarter, enterprises that pay Zendesk at least $250,000 annually accounted for more than one-third of recurring subscription revenue.
There are many corners of the digital transformation and the shift to digital customer-facing software is among the biggest. Businesses of all sizes and from many industries are accelerating their move to online. At the same time, customers are demanding convenient, on-demand service. These trends should keep Zendesk’s solutions in demand for the foreseeable future—and its share price moving higher next year when earnings are forecast to jump more than 50%.
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