Three Ways Investors Can Play Big Tech on the Back of Earnings

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Big Tech stocks are bouncing back.

The Invesco QQQ Trust has climbed over 4% this week, led by shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Alphabet and Microsoft.

After roughly six months of sideways trading, this is likely the start of a broader push higher for the group, two market analysts told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Tuesday.

"In 2020, obviously so many of the sectors just got pummeled, and particularly industrials and consumer discretionary. But communications actually didn't fall by as much ... and [information technology] actually expanded their earnings-per-share growth last year," said Gina Sanchez, founder and CEO of Chantico Global.

Though all six are broadly considered tech stocks, only Apple and Microsoft are in the S&P 500's technology sector. Alphabet, Facebook and Netflix are in its communication services sector, while Amazon is in the consumer discretionary sector.

"Investors are looking for value and there are not a lot of places where you didn't get a lot of excessive [price-to-earnings] expansion with the exception of consumer discretionary, but also, interestingly, communications and technology," said Sanchez, also chief market strategist at Lido Advisors.

She noted that 2021 earnings expectations for the communication and tech sectors were 24% and 28%, respectively.

"We think that, in fact, they represent an interesting opportunity going forward with their earnings potential," Sanchez said.

All six names appear to have more runway, particularly given the strength of the current earnings season, said Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners.

Alphabet and Amazon shares jumped in after-hours trading on Tuesday following the companies' fourth-quarter earnings reports. In Wednesday's premarket, Alphabet was up 7% but Amazon was only slightly higher as investors mulled Jeff Bezos' announcement that he plans to step down as CEO.

"When you look at every single one of these companies, all of these companies were strong before Covid, they all got stronger during Covid and they're going to be strong long after we stop talking about Covid," Tepper told CNBC. "The runway wasn't short, it's long. I do believe there's more gains to come."

While his firm owns all six Big Tech names, Tepper said its positions in them are weighted less than the benchmark, the Russell 3000.

"We are finding more value down the cap spectrum a little bit. That's where we're putting new money to work, and one of the names we're talking about is Apple," he said. "The great way to potentially play that is to look at one of their suppliers, which is Knowles."

A roughly $1.85 billion electronics manufacturer, Knowles makes acoustic equipment for consumer devices such as Apple's AirPods, and its stock could soon play catch-up, Tepper said.

"Look at the performance between Knowles and Apple. Knowles has underperformed Apple by 75% over the last year," he said. "I think you can get some catch-up in a company like that."

Disclosure: Tepper and Strategic Wealth Partners own shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Alphabet and Microsoft.


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