NEW YORK ( InvestorPlace ) -- My top stock pick for 2011 is a tech play. That may not surprise you, considering the big run by technology companies in the second half of 2010. But what may surprise you is what tech stock I'm throwing my weight behind: Microsoft ( MSFT).
Admittedly, Microsoft hasn't given investors a lot to be happy about lately. The stock has been kicked to the curb, down about 8% this year, while the broader market has gained about 12%. If you're a momentum investor, this may turn you off, but I believe that the time is right for the rotation of capital back into this old standard. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.) Why? Here are three big reasons:
Related Article: Jon Markman's favorite tech pick for 2011: Cognizant Tech (CTSH)
Bargain valuation: Microsoft trades for less than 8 times next year's earnings when you back out cash. Compare that with the S&P 500, which trades for about 13 times next year's earnings. That would be impressive enough, but the icing on the cake is that MSFT earnings will grow twice as fast as the S&P earnings over the next five years. Predictable revenue: Much of MSFT's revenues have shifted to subscription revenues, making earnings very predictable. The company is no longer as reliant on flashy software launches and one-shot sales. Emerging-market IT sales: The developing world is unleashing the purse strings on corporate IT. Though it may not be flashy, Windows remains the gold standard for computer OS software in the workplace, so MSFT will be the prime beneficiary of this boom. Get three more reasons from James on why Microsoft stock is a buy. And Check out all 10 free stock picks that make up InvestorPlace.com's Best Stocks for 2011. James Altucher writes for The Wall Street Journal and is the author of numerous investment books, including â¿¿Trade Like A Hedge Fundâ¿ and "Trade Like Warren Buffett."