5. Comcast (CMCSA)
Company profile: Comcast, with a market value of $78 billion, merged with NBC Universal last year and the combination is a media and entertainment conglomerate that has diversified interests in cable, broadcasting, film and theme parks. JPMorgan says: "Comcast has 22 million video subscribers of which almost 11 million take advanced services. The company has an excellent service record and is continuously trying to improve."
Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 23% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 27%. Analysts give its shares 15 "buy" ratings, eight "buy/holds," and seven "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.
4. VMware (VMW)Company profile: VMware, with a market value of $32 billion and a subsidiary of EMC Corp. (EMC), is a supplier of virtualization software and services for use in information-technology infrastructure. JPMorgan says "VMware is growing significantly, and is spending in order to capture a material market in front of it, but it still has close to a 40% free cash flow margin." Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 29% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 53%. Analysts give its shares 15 "buy" ratings, 10 "buy/holds," 15 "holds," and one "sell," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. For fiscal year 2012, analysts estimate it will earn $2.55 per share and that will grow by 20% to $3.05 in 2013. PiperJaffray initiated coverage of VMware today with an "overweight" rating and a $125 price target, a 13% premium to the current price. It said: "We believe VMware's market leadership and technological superiority will provide it with a competitive advantage for the next several years and thwart any threats to its dominant position." 3. Amazon (AMZN) Company profile: Amazon, with a market value of $85 billion, is the highest-grossing online retailer in the world with $48 billion in sales in 2011, which is about 10% of the global e-commerce market. JPMorgan says it has been able to "win customer loyalty. The company's focus on price, selection and convenience has enabled it to cut through a very crowded physical retail and e-commerce space to earn repeat customers." Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 8.6% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 33%. Analysts give its shares 18 "buy" ratings, six "buy/holds," and 17 "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. S&P analysts say that "long term, we expect (its) initiatives to result in continued strong sales results and significant margin expansion, as it leverages its leading brand name and position as an Internet retailer." 2. Qualcomm (QCOM) Company profile: Qualcomm, with a market value of $113 billion, is a developer of products and services based on its advanced wireless broadband technology. JPMorgan says "there is a huge amount of growth still to go in smartphones, and (the company) is very well tied to that." Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 22% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 18%. Analysts give its shares 21 "buy" ratings, 16 "buy/holds," six "holds," one "weak hold," and one "sell," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. 1. Broadcom (BRCM) Company profile: Broadcom, with a market value of $20 billion, designs and sells digital semiconductors that integrate several communications standards, such as Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi, into a single chip. In February, it completed its $3.7 billion acquisition of NetLogic Microsystems. Later that month, the company announced the SEC is investigating its accounting practices related to its litigation reserves. JPMorgan says Broadcom is "now the No. 1 supplier of mobile-connectivity solutions to the smartphone and tablet markets (70%-plus market share)" and its integrated solution has a tremendous lead over its nearest competitors. Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 25% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 17%. Analysts give its shares 22 "buy" ratings, 11 "buy/holds," nine "holds," and three "weak holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. For fiscal 2012, analysts estimate it will earn $2.84 per share and that that will grow by 9% to $3.10 per share next year. >>To see these stocks in action, visit the 15 Apple-Like Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
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