NEW YORK (
) -- The summer may be all about grilling and hanging out at the beach, but the months between between Memorial and Labor Day are also a great time to scope out high-performing stocks.
The tech sector, which has emerged from the recession and is enjoying a resurgence as companies across the board have started to increase their IT spending, is a solid sector for investors to focus on. Despite worries about the euro and the recent flash crash, choice tech stocks could offer a safe haven for investors during the coming months.
A recent survey of analysts has turned up three names in particular --
Cognizant Technology Solutions
Summer 2010 looks to be a blockbuster for Apple, with iPads
a new iPhone acting as growth drivers.
The tech giant recently
-- although now the two are jockeying back and forth for the no. 1 spot -- and its stock has risen more than 88% in the last 12 months.
takes place next week in San Francisco, where Steve Jobs -- and his turtleneck -- will take center stage. As always, Apple's exact product plans remain shrouded in secrecy, but historically the company's annual developer bash acts as a launch pad for the latest, greatest iPhones. If this is the case, then Apple's stock will most likely continue its upward trajectory.
(Be sure to tune into
on Monday, June 7, where we'll be covering the Apple event live.)
The other growth factor is the iPad; sales hit the million mark within a month of the tablet's U.S. debut and
on the eve of Memorial Day weekend. More countries are set to follow, and
analysts have already raised their estimates
For Apple investors, 2010 could truly be the summer of gadget love.
Flash and hard-drive maker
, boosted by soaring first-quarter sales. The Milpitas, Calif., firm is enjoying
as well as a favorable production environment.
"We believe that SanDisk's OEM business continues to outperform on the heels of growth in embedded NAND in smartphones," wrote Daniel Amir, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, in a note released Friday.
Investors are already taking notice. SanDisk's shares have risen more than 200% in the last 12 months. The company, which competes with
, has certainly been getting plenty of analyst love. Currently trading around $46,
expects the company's stock to reach $60.
as one of its top summer performers. The company's share priced increased, on average, 20.09%, between Memorial Day and Labor Day over the past 10 years, according to the network.
One of the
SanDisk recently raised its 2010 guidance, further fuelling interest in its stock.
At least one analyst, however, urges investors to approach SanDisk with caution, citing the company's decision to sell unbranded versions of its technology to memory module firms, particularly in Asia. "They have a business model that's in transition," Kevin Vassily, senior research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, told
. "They are going to evaporate whatever
price premium they had."
For much of Wall Street, though, SanDisk remains one of tech's hottest stocks this summer.
Cognizant Technology Solutions
Outsourcing specialist Cognizant, which recently posted strong first-quarter results, is another top summer stock. Based in Teaneck, N.J., with a slew of global delivery centers in India, Cognizant is expected to reap the benefits of the economic rebound. Recently
, Cognizant's first-quarter revenue rose more than 28% year-over-year.
With the recession disappearing in the rearview mirror and corporate America finally opening up its coffers, the
rival's shares have climbed more than 95% in the past 12 months.
Cognizant spent the economic downturn preparing for the rebound, according to Joseph Walent, an analyst at Technology Business Research (TBR). Even with the
weak euro weighing on the Indian technology sector
, Walent is bullish on Cognizant's prospects.
"We believe Cognizant is committed to maintaining its growth-centric strategy for the foreseeable future, and will continue to post industry-leading revenue growth in 2010," wrote Walent, in an email to
. "With its effective use of global delivery, Cognizant still manages to post operating margins higher than its multinational competition, such as
-- Reported by James Rogers in New York
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