Tech Sector: August Headlines Will Forever Change Tech's Outlook

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August was one for the books. Hurricanes, earthquakes, Libya power struggles, London riots, The U.S. credit downgrade and resulting market volatility. This month also saw record heat waves, gold prices topped $1,900 an ounce, and we lived to see the day when fried butter sticks were sold at the Ames Iowa straw pole. 

Yes, August has been an interesting month, and if you're interested in technology trends, the news this month probably blew your mind.

"Within a 10-day span this past month, Google reinvented itself as a hardware company, Hewlett-Packard moved to ditch PCs and become a software company, and Apple (NAS: AAPL) lost its iconic CEO." (Via CNN)

These three giant technology companies have been paving the road and leading the way in industry trends for years. The changes that were once unimaginable now seem poised to alter the entire technology landscape as we know it.

There are several questions to be asked.

Will Apple still be Apple, in all its glory? Will Job's replacement, Tim Cook, be able to woo us with new developments and capture headlines like his former mentor? Does he even own a black turtleneck?

How will Hewlett-Packard's decision to spin off its PC division ultimately alter the company, the world's largest personal computer manufacturer? What does their decision say about the future of personal computers? Will competitors like Dell be able to make the most of it?

Will Google's acquisition of Motorola change the smart-phone industry as we know it? And what about rumors that Research In Motion will be adding Android apps to their new Blackberry line? Will Tim Cook be prepared for it? And just as important, will investors feel Tim Cook has the power and pizzazz to brush off and outperform competitive products like Jobs?

Now, in the wake of all the August activity, opportunity seems more abundant than ever for new companies in the technology industry. The decline of personal computers and the rise of smart-phones and tablets means we're again (as always) on the verge of the next best thing.

The big question remains, who will take the advantage?

As CNN puts it, "It's an open field. Welcome to the new Silicon Valley."

Interested in trading on the future of technology? Below we list the top large-cap tech stocks that have experienced the most significant levels of institutional buying.

Hedge funds are placing their bets with these tech giants -- it is a smart move? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) : Provides technologies, products, and services for mobile and wire line digital communication, information, and entertainment applications. Market cap of $11.21B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 45.8M, which is 17.47% of the company's 262.16M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum -- currently trading 17.99% above its SMA20, 42.96% above its SMA50, and 40.32% above its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 71.95%.

2. Motorola Solutions (NYS: MSI) : Provides business and mission critical communication products and services for enterprise and government customers worldwide. Market cap of $14.36B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 34.5M, which is 12.35% of the company's 279.46M share float. The stock has gained 35.91% over the last year.

3. TIM Participacoes (NYS: TSU) : Provides mobile telecommunications services through global system mobile (GSM) technology to business and individual customers in Brazil. Market cap of $24.03B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 11.2M, which is 5.89% of the company's 190.01M share float. Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up -- dividend yield at 4.02%, current ratio at 1.38, and quick ratio at 1.3. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.4% over the last week. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 38.9%.

4. Oracle (NAS: ORCL) : Develops, manufactures, markets, distributes, and services database and middleware software, applications software, and hardware systems worldwide. Market cap of $141.18B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 229.6M, which is 5.80% of the company's 3.96B share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 6.37% over the last week.

5. Salesforce.com (NYS: CRM) : Provides customer and collaboration relationship management (CRM) services to various businesses and industries worldwide. Market cap of $16.53B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 5.2M, which is 4.21% of the company's 123.44M share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 15.24%.

List compiled by Daniel Guttridge. Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. 


 

Kapitall's Eben Esterhuizen does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data from Finviz.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Research In Motion, Google, Apple, and Oracle. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, and salesforce.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended shorting salesforce.com. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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