Information technology is a broad category for investors to consider. Too broad, perhaps. When considering IT stocks to buy you must cast a wide net that involves computing in all its forms: hardware, software, telecommunications, and anything else involving the transmitting of information and the systems through which that communication happens.
But it also includes how that data is managed, which brings the internet and artificial intelligence into the conversation. It certainly did in 2023. Many companies are looking for AI solutions to help streamline the flow of information.
And the more data moves online, the more there will be a need to secure that data. This means that you can consider cybersecurity companies when investing in IT stocks.
That’s quite a list. To help narrow it down, this article focuses on tech titans. In this case, I’m defining a tech titan as one with a market capitalization of at least $50 billion.
Many IT stocks posted double-digit earnings growth in 2023, and with the need for AI solutions remaining strong, some of those stocks are likely to repeat their solid performance in 2024. Here are three names to consider.
For millennial and Gen-Z investors, IBM (NYSE:IBM) may not be what they think of when they define a tech titan. But longevity has its benefits. IBM has been around for over a century, and it continues to be relevant to investors today.
As it relates to information technology, IBM is the leader in quantum computing – a process that solves problems that are too complex for current computers to solve. Put a different way, quantum computing will play a vital role in “teaching” AI what it needs to know as it continues to evolve.
That should pique your interest in IBM stock. And even though the stock is trading near its 52-week high, the fundamentals still look attractive. For example, the company is expected to generate $10.5 billion in free cash flow in 2023. The company’s market cap is roughly 14x that number.
Then, consider that earnings are expected to grow around 4.5 over the next 12 months. True, you’ll pay about 17x those earnings, but that’s cheap compared to many tech titans. And you’re buying shares of a dividend aristocrat that has raised its dividend for 28 consecutive years and currently offers a dividend yield of 4.11%.
Like many technological advances, in the span of 10 years, it’s hard to remember what we did before the cloud. Cloud computing helps prevent individuals and businesses from having to find storage solutions for all of our data.
You can imagine why that would be advantageous for many human resources departments, particularly with an increasingly remote or hybrid workforce. If you’re not familiar with the name, that’s where Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY) comes in. Not surprisingly, the company is folding AI into many of its solutions.
In 2021, WDAY stock surged to nearly $300 a share, but revenue and earnings weren’t matching the hype. That’s changing. Projections of $7.2 billion in revenue are 15% higher than in the prior year. And the earnings outlook is even more impressive. The company is expected to see a 42% increase in earnings in the next 12 months.
That’s a reason that analysts continue to bid WDAY stock higher. The stock looks to have completed its reversal in November, and the consensus price target of $281.20 while only 4% above the current price may be too conservative.
Accenture (NYSE:ACN) is a Dublin-based company using AI in the way it helps provide advice and solutions for its business customers. The company has also completed a series of acquisitions that will expand the company’s offering into areas such as cybersecurity.
The company closed out its 2023 fiscal year with 9% adjusted EPS growth. Analysts project the company will deliver an additional 7.6% earnings growth in the next 12 months.
ACN stock climbed 29% in 2023. While that was below the growth of other technology companies, it may also mean that the stock has room to outperform the sector as analysts bid the stock higher. To do that, they may want to see Accenture’s revenue come in at the upper end of the company’s guidance, which it lowered in its most recent quarter.
On the date of publication, Chris Markoch did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.