2022 has been challenging for big tech. While the QQQ NASDAQ Index tracking stock NYSE: QQQ is down more than 33% from its post-pandemic peak names like Facebook (cough Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META)), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Salesforce.com NYSE: CRM are down more than 50%, and the figure may grow before the bottom is indeed hit. Nevertheless, the takeaway is that analysts and institutions are still buying these names, which suggests they're a smart buy for average investors.
The chatter is that many of these beaten-down names are set up to rebound in 2023 and should be on your watchlist regardless of the near-term outlook. There will be a clear signal when the market is ready to rally at the prices these stocks offer and the level of ownership in these names.
The Tide Has Turned For Meta (Facebook)
If the analysts can be used as a guide, the tide has already turned for Meta NASDAQ: META. The Marketbeat.com consensus sentiment and price target are down on a YOY basis, but the takeaway is all bullish. The consensus sentiment is firm at a Moderate Buy with a price still 40% above the current price action.
In addition, the most recent analysts' commentaries include price target increases and even a few upgrades with the stock set at a firmer Buy/Outperform level. The shift in sentiment toward social media caused a reality check in the market that has hit bottom. Assuming the recent trend in analysts' sentiment continues, investors should expect to see Meta's consensus ratings firm and help drive the stock higher.
Shares of Meta are down roughly 50% from their peak but hit bottom in October 2022. This bottom is marked by a spike in volume and a swing in the indicators, but it is not yet confirmed. Near-term action may be mixed with a test of resistance at the 150-day EMA and a possible retest of support near $93. Longer term, the stock may trade in a broader range with a top near $206 until results confirm the outlook.
Amazon, The Institutions Are Buying It
Amazon is getting support from analysts and institutions, although that is not yet evident in the chart. The 45 analysts covering the stock have it set at a Moderate Buy that has held relatively steady over the last year. The price target, down 25% YOY on a split-adjusted basis, is still more than 75% above the current action, and recent activity is firming, if ever so slightly.
As for the institutions, the institutions took a big bite of the stock in Q3 and netted more than $205 billion in shares. That's about 24% of the company at recent valuations and has total ownership of up to 56%.
Some notable buyers are the California State Teachers Retirement Fund which bought $1.73 billion in late November, and CIBC Private Wealth Group, which bought another $1.44 billion in early November. Looking at the chart, this stock may not have hit bottom yet, but it seems very close.
Salesforce.com Falls To More Attractive Levels
Salesforce.com has fallen the hardest, with a decline of more than 56%, and it may have further to fall. The trend in analyst sentiment is still downward with no sign of firming, but the valuation is still astronomically high at 473X forward earnings. Salesforce.com is a force to be reckoned with, but even its market has to face reality; at some point, growth is factored into the price action, and then everything else is just foolish money waiting for a greater fool.
The takeaway is that institutional buyers have been nibbling on the stock and have netted more shares than they've sold. Net buying is worth about $1 billion or under 1% of the market cap over the past 12 months. And the chart? Shares of CRM hit another near-term bottom and look ready to swing higher. The question is whether it will get some positive analyst attention and start to bottom for real or if the downtrend will continue.
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