Technology stocks are on an absolute tear this year. Over the past 12 months, the S&P 500’s information technology index has returned more than 24%, far outpacing every other major category.

While much attention has been paid to the so-called FANG stocks – Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) – older technology plays have demonstrated better value in recent times. Microsoft (MSFT), German software company SAP, Dutch semiconductor giant ASML Holdings (ASML), are near the top of the list.

 

Microsoft

  • Market Cap: $1.14 trillion
  • Year-to-date Return: 47.5%

Earlier this year, Microsoft became the third U.S. company to hit $1 trillion in valuation. The rally hasn’t stopped, as the software giant is now worth more than $1.1 trillion on the back of stellar earnings and an expanding revenue base.

Microsoft has undergone a dramatic shift under CEO Satya Nadella and now has three solid revenue streams that each account for roughly 30% of total sales. The three buckets are: Office, LinkedIn and Dynamics; Azure cloud and enterprise services; and Windows, Xbox and Surface.


Azure revenues jumped 59% during the most recent quarter. The company generated total revenue of $33.1 billion and earnings per share of $1.38, figures that easily exceeded forecasts.

 

SAP

  • Market Cap: $165.7 billion
  • Year-to-date Return: 36.4%

SAP has also been one of the best-performing legacy technology stocks of 2019. The German software giant has returned more than 36% year-to-date and currently trades around $135.00 per share.

Like Microsoft, SAP owes much of its recent success to cloud computing. For the company’s most recent quarter, cloud bookings increased 39% to €582 million ($645.6 million). Cloud and software sales jumped 12% to €5.63 billion ($6.25 billion). Company-wide revenues increased 13% annually to €6.79 billion ($7.53 billion). Earnings per share were valued at €1.04 ($1.15), an increase of 28%.

 

ASML Holdings

  • Market Cap: $113.5 billion
  • Year-to-date Return: 74.3%

An escalating tech war between the United States and China put a damper on semiconductors in 2018. ASML was one of the casualties, as the stock sold off with the rest of the industry following the trade-war flare-up.

But 2019 has been a year of tremendous recovery for the Dutch technology company. ASML stock is up more than 74% this year thanks to growing demand for its multi-million-dollar chip designers. Some of ASML’s biggest customers include Samsung Electronics, Intel Corp., and Taiwan Semiconductor.

The company’s order intake reached a record high in fiscal Q3, with order backlog surpassing €10 billion ($11.1 billion) for the first time.

 

Conclusion

FANGs are still some of the most coveted stocks on Wall Street, but regulatory problems (Facebook and Google) and growing competition (Netflix) have put a damper on their gains. As the line between finance and technology continues to blur, some of the FANG constituents will be held to account by new regulatory regimes.

The opinions provided in this article are those of the author and do not constitute investment advice. Readers should assume that the author and/or employees of Grizzle hold positions in the company or companies mentioned in the article. For more information, please see our Content Disclaimer.