Best of 2012: Tech Stocks
The year is winding down and everyone is now focusing on 2013 (including us — we have a lot planned, so definitely stay tuned), but before we jump fully into 2013, I wanted to take a look at some of the best tech stocks in 2012. For many tech stocks, 2012 wasn’t the best year, stocks including Zynga, Groupon, Pandora, Microsoft, and Facebook all had or are having some serious rough patches. Even the mighty Apple (AAPL) is currently experiencing some turbulence in the markets, despite its impressive growth.
I’m going to share with you five of what I consider to be the best tech stocks of 2012. So without further ado…
Yes, everybody’s darling stock, AAPL is still making my list of best tech stocks of 2012, even with its recent troubles. At its peak price in 2012, reaching over $700 per share, AAPL had growth of over 70% from the beginning of the year, where it started at what seemed like a modest $411 per share. Currently AAPL is trading at $511 per share, which I believe is a great time to buy. If you thought 2012 was a big year for Apple, I have a strong feeling that 2013 will be even bigger.
With iPad and iPhone sales growing strong, and the fact that you cannot escape the MacBook line of products (Pro and Air) wherever you go, these are solid indicators of how well the company is doing and I just don’t see this trend slowing down in 2013. Now I know analysts and investors really want the next big thing to come out of Apple in the upcoming year, whether that means a brand new Apple TV device or something else, but regardless of whether they release something completely brand new or not, you can be assured that Apple will not disappoint in 2013.
And for what’s it worth, when Apple does come out with their next big thing, it will be ready for prime time from the get-go, they don’t want to (nor should they) rush it out the door before its ready.
For most of the year YHOO spent its time hovering around $14 per share, but then the company went through some serious leadership changes when Yahoo brought in Marissa Mayer as CEO. Right now, YHOO is trading at $19 per share and is looking good under Mayer’s leadership.
The incoming of Mayer definitely brought some life back into the struggling company, her reputation from her time at Google is definitely the key influencing factor there. It’s expected that she has a lot planned for 2013, including several acquisitions in an effort to bolster the company’s technology portfolio and talent. I’m excited to see the new-Yahoo and where Mayer leads the company, and until she doesn’t have any results, I think this stock trades higher.
Despite its serious troubles from a few years ago, it appears Tim Armstrong has steered the AOL ship into a better place. Between the acquisitions and some bold statements by Tim Armstrong back in 2010, everything seems to now be coming together for the company.
While the company isn’t showing explosive growth, it’s definitely stable, providing returns, and even has a nice dividend. There’s no doubt about it, AOL has done well in 2012 with the stock price up over 95% on the year.
Google started the year trading at $665 per share, it’s currently hovering around $700. In 2012, GOOG reached as high as $767 per share before cooling off in mid-October. For the year, GOOG is up just over 9%, and the company is showing signs of solid growth.
It’s competition with Apple is definitely fierce, but Google has shown signs it is continuing to innovate — just look at the Google Glass Project which I expect will first start showing up in public this upcoming year. This is an industry I expect to see big things coming out of for Google and its competitors (Apple).
And let’s not forget, Google is still the king of search, which brings in the majority of its revenues. Until that is compromised or in trouble, Google will continue to do very well.
Amazon has seen almost 40% growth in its stock price in 2012, and the online retail giant doesn’t appear to be slowing down. The company just announced that the 2012 holiday season was its biggest shopping season yet, with more than 26.5 million items worldwide across all product categories, which is a record-breaking 306 items per second on November 26 (peak day).
Not only is Amazon dominating online shopping, they are also a major player in web services for many web companies. With the Amazon Web Services or AWS product handling traffic for most of the major web companies, it provides another great revenue stream. And Amazon has continued to innovate in that space with Glacier, a low-cost storage service, something that many of these web companies desperately need as they collect more and more data.
Plus, Amazon’s tablet line of products is selling fast, and the more people who use the Kindle line of the products, the more money Amazon will end up making from the sale of goods and content. And let’s not forget about the rumored Amazon smartphone coming in 2013.
Yep, 2013 is going to be an exciting year for tech.