Here Are Two Affordable "Tech" Stocks You Can Buy Now  

After a year-long boom that has seen the Nasdaq Composite index rise 46%, tech stocks are rarely called "cheap". Yes, quality businesses cost more today than in early 2023. Investors must pay that for Wall Street optimism. In 2008, Warren Buffett said, "If you wait for the robins, spring will be over."

Still, market prices are relative, especially if you invest over decades. Here are two attractively priced "tech" stocks (see below for why "tech" is in quotes).

1. This apple looks good. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) isn't worth $3 trillion like Microsoft. The iPhone maker's shares have badly lagged the market in recent months. Microsoft's 66% year-over-year increase dwarfs the stock's 16%. That difference offers patient investors a purchasing opportunity.

Apple is now struggling. Sales rose 2% year over year last quarter, compared to Microsoft's 16%. Growth forecasts for the next year are also poor. Most Wall Street analysts expect a 6% revenue increase next year after slight decreases in fiscal 2024.

Consider the worth of owning Apple during this pessimistic moment. The stock's P/S ratio is 7 times annual sales, compared to Microsoft's 14. Apple prioritizes cash returns, sending $27 billion to shareholders last quarter in share buybacks and dividends.

These cash returns, mostly from buybacks, should help earnings per share outperform sales growth in 2024 and beyond. That will protect shareholders when Apple produces new products and expands into new services to boost growth.

2. Consider Walmart a tech stock. It may seem odd to name Walmart (NYSE: WMT) a tech stock, but hear me out. The business had a great year with 23% e-commerce growth and $100 billion in sales. Amazon's 2023 sales rose 5% to $256 billion, while eBay's were $73 billion.

Walmart's revenue is also rising from tech sources like digital advertising. Thus, greater profit margins are expected. The chain's 10% operating income increase outpaced Walmart's 6% revenue increase last year.

Even with great growth in its tech-focused areas, Walmart will rely on traditional retailing for now. Fortunately, this segment is also blazing on all cylinders. Customer visitation was up 4% year over year during the holidays, customer satisfaction is up, and the chain is gaining market share in grocery and consumer discretionary categories, notably from higher-income shoppers.

Walmart stock is available for a P/S below 1, comparable to Target shares. What a wonderful bargain for a fast-growing e-commerce business supported by a major brick-and-mortar company.

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