The world of finance and investing is moving at a faster clip than ever, and nowhere more so than in the high-tech sector. Big money is being made from technologies that no one even imagined a few years back. If you can spot the companies that are the leaders in these fields, you can guarantee your profits.
Seagate (STX) - Get Report , one of the leading providers of information storage systems, has a bright future, but also a strong track record. The company was founded in 1979 and has maintained its edge even as the computer world has changed dramatically.
Seagate manufactures electronic data storage products that are designed for enterprise servers, mainframes and workstations; for desktop and notebook computers; and for various end user devices, such as digital video recorders and gaming consoles.
Seagate shares declined more than 2% in Wednesday trading.
The company has skillfully transitioned away from the old-fashioned personal computer industry (although it still has a significant share of that sector) and into the solid state drive storage market, such as disk drives for Apple's iPhones and tablet computers.
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The firm's profitability has increased with the exponential growth of cloud computing, which relies on a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. Many of those servers rely on Seagate's technologies.
Cloud computing has now begun to dominate many information technology market segments, with cloud revenue for the four quarters that ended Sept. 30 growing 25% year over year.
Like many other high-tech companies, Seagate's stock price can be volatile. It fluctuated wildly in 2016, with the price dropping more than 10% during the summer. But this was in response to one disappointing earnings report, and the price has since surged back to its old levels, remaining above 30 for more than six months as several analysts have recommended it.
Also, the stock's dividend yield is an eye-popping 6.55%.
The company has come up with creative ways to integrate its devices into the emerging world of cloud computing. For example, Seagate and Amazon came together to produce an external hard drive, with the device's contents being automatically copied to Amazon Drive. The combination of a physical backup with Amazon's extensive cloud infrastructure has received good reviews from the digital press.
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Tom Scarlett is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.