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Goldman's 8 Best Tech Stocks for 2011

Stocks in this article: GS AAPL TER ORCL QCOM BRCM JNPR

Qualcomm (QCOM), a leader in the digital wireless telecommunications sector, gets a $59 price target, a 14% premium to current prices, from Goldman Sachs. The company owns more than 10,000 patents that make up the key components to wireless telecommunications that enable cell phone usage and connectivity and the growing use of smartphones. It is already is one of the world's largest chipmakers and a key supplier to wireless handset makers.

It's been a busy month for the company. On Wednesday, Qualcomm reported record revenue for its fiscal first quarter and raised its fiscal 2011 revenue outlook by a whopping $1.2 billion. Fiscal first-quarter revenue was a record $3.35 billion, up 25% year-over-year. Earnings per share also were a record, at 82 cents per share, up 32%. CEO Paul Jacobs told analysts on a conference call that it was the best quarter in company history. And two weeks ago, the company announced its acquisition of Atheros for $3.2 billion to diversify its product portfolio beyond mobile phones and expand its addressable market into game consoles, media players, tablets and TVs.

Standard & Poor's, which has a "buy" rating on the company, gives it a 12-month $64 price target. It forecasts revenue growth of 18% in fiscal 2011 and 5.9% in 2012. It said it expects the Atheros deal will be mildly accretive to earnings and it will strengthen the company's position in the chipset market, particularly as it looks to pursue a larger piece of the burgeoning computer tablet market. Tablets are essentially hybrids of a personal computer and a smartphone. An S&P poll of analysts found 13 "buy" ratings, 19 "buy/holds," seven "holds," two "weak/holds" and one "sell." Shares are up 4.8% this year after gaining 8.6% last year.

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