Apple, Google, and Amazon look like great buys during this downturn in the economy especially for the big five tech stocks, or FAANG. With the recent falling of the stock market, some of the big technology companies look like very attractive buys with great value indicators — and they are still great companies to consider.

The tech stocks, in particular, have taken a beating as they seem to be suffering from multiple changes in the economic environment. Rising inflation then turns to rising interest rates, which may curb some of the growth in the economy. But they are also caught in the middle of the trade war with China over intellectual property protection, and other geopolitical issues. The recent decline in the market has made for some attractive buying opportunities and some of the valuation measures seem to offer some great value.

The FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) stocks are made up of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google, and are collectively known as FAANG, and have declined in price with the market — but that can be a great buying opportunity should some external factors change.

Facebook: Facebook is a social media giant in terms of market size and number of users, but there has been some recent trouble at the top, which has spilled into the public recently, though, from Facebook, most notably the tension it seems from its founder, Mark Zuckerburg, and his COO Sheryl Sandberg. The Price-earnings (PE) ratio is not bad, with a PE ratio of 19 the valuation is attractive as well but what is troubling many investors is the issues coming from politics and internal management problems.

Apple: Apple is an attractive tech company that unfortunately is caught up in the trade war with China, which has scared many investors, and that does explain a little of the low PE ratio at just over 14 (as of this writing), but they have not had any of the internal issues that Facebook has and could be a great buy if the trade dispute with China is resolved. Negatively affecting the price is the cut in production, announced recently, and seemingly lower than expected demand for the new iPhone XR.  While they have done some diversification in recent years, they are still primarily a hardware company and are greatly affected by trade, consumer spending, and demand for newer Apple products.

Amazon: The big online retailer has great sales, great growth, and also the high PE ratio to go along with it. It will likely do well this holiday season as it always has, but with more industries it is looking to expand rapidly into. As opposed to the other FAANG stocks, it is a much more diversified company, owns Whole Foods, and has recently looked to buy sports rights which may help its streaming services.

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Netflix: The streaming service that is very popular, but its PE ratio is the highest (at 95) of the five companies. The problem with Netflix has always been the competition, and they have noticeably been making their own content. However, they have over the last few years beat the other tech companies in overall returns, with Amazon coming in slightly behind the returns on investment.

Google: Google’s parent company (Alphabet) is just a bit more diversified than Apple and has the best of both worlds by being a top internet search provider and being more diversified than Facebook or Netflix. The PE ratio for this company is around 38, and has a lot to gain from a resolution of a trade war with China.

On the surface it seems that Apple, Google, and Amazon will be the best investments, while Netflix and Facebook seem to be struggling with competition and internal management issues, respectively. Of the three great stocks, Apple seems to be trading at the best valuation but with some risks of that come from geopolitics. The slowing demand for their new phones and trade risks are worrisome, especially if China continues to retaliate and the US imposes more trade barriers and tariffs. Amazon is very well diversified and can be a great and safe pick but may not return as much as Apple should the trade war with China be resolved.

Google is an attractive option that seems to be somewhere in the middle of Apple and Amazon as far as valuation, and is diversified not nearly as much as Amazon, but more than Apple. Amazon seems to give a high risk high reward for their entry into new markets to dominate, and their streaming service would be a direct competitor to Netflix — which would very troubling for Netflix. The ability to diversify like Amazon is enviable to the other tech companies, and investors have rewarded that ability to diversify and dominate with the high PE ratio and high expectations for Amazon.

Many things are happening which can affect the overall environment; great companies can still be great companies even though the environment goes bad. Facebook’s issues come not just from the changes in economic situation, but also from the large internal issues as well, and until they fix these internal issues they will be tied up with bad public relations and bad publicity. Netflix has been a great stock these past few years, even outperforming all the others, but increased competition is no guarantee they can maintain their stellar returns, and a positive turn in economics will not change that. They can face increased competition even though the market is doing great, and have therefore greater risk — even in good bull markets — compared to the big three (Apple, Amazon, and Google), which seem to offer better valuation and diversification for both bull and bear markets.

 

The ideas and views expressed in this article should not be used without assessing your own financial situation or consulting your financial adviser. Past results for stocks are no indication of future performance and this article should not be used in place of your financial adviser.