Tech hasn’t had a banner start to 2021. But one analyst thinks the recently rocky sector has a lot to gain this year.
“While valuations will continue to be an emotional bull/bear debate, the fundamental growth on the horizon for these next-generation technologies is unprecedented as this fourth Industrial Revolution begins to take hold across the tech landscape,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives wrote in a Wednesday note. “In our opinion, tech stocks have an upward 25% to 30% move in the cards for the rest of the year despite lingering rotation fears.”
Those kinds of gains would be quite an improvement from the sector’s recent performance. So far in 2021, tech stocks are up roughly 6% by the S&P 500 Information Technology index’s measure, versus 8.5% for the S&P 500 at large. The tech-heavy [hotlink]Nasdaq[/hotlink], meanwhile, has recently managed to recover the ground it lost earlier in the year when tech stocks were tumbling amid rising Treasury yields as investors rotated into more cyclical stocks.
Some on the Street argue that cyclical trade still has a ways to go. UBS Global Wealth Management’s Mark Haefele thinks “the rotation out of growth stocks and into cyclical areas of the market has further to run,” and is still favoring more cyclical areas like “financials, industrials, and energy stocks,” he wrote in a Monday note. Meanwhile, others like Ally Invest’s Lindsey Bell believe “volatility is going to probably be here to stay for the next month or two while investors digest this new environment that we’re working with,” she recently told Fortune.
But Wedbush’s bullish Ives argues Q1 earnings “over the next month will be a major positive catalyst for tech names as our checks continue to show robust fundamentals/deal activity across the board.”
In particular, he’s watching earnings from [hotlink]Microsoft[/hotlink], [hotlink]Apple[/hotlink], and Nuance (which he deems the firm’s “favorite tech names” heading into earnings), which he expects to “continue to stand out with compelling risk/rewards.”
Ives argues that Apple is experiencing an “unprecedented supercycle upgrade cycle”; that the “tide is shifting in the cloud arms race as Microsoft, coming off its recent 50% Azure growth number, is taking market share” versus [hotlink]Amazon[/hotlink] Web Services; and that Nuance Communications should benefit as “the cloud health care pipeline and deal flow conversion appear to be robust as more hospitals look to deploy these solutions, especially as the focus on cloud, security, and sharing health care data is becoming more front and center,” he wrote.
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This story was originally featured on Fortune.com