Top Performing Tech Stocks – 1st Half of 2017

Perhaps one of the most followed sectors in the major run up in the equities markets recently has been the tech sector. It’s hard to have a broad based bull run without techs participating. As with any volatile sector, you really have to pick your spots, do research, have conviction and diversify. The following top 10 list below was put together by the The Motley Fool and it covers the first half of 2017.

 

The 10 top-performing tech stocks of 2017

Company Market Cap (millions) Return
(1/1/2017 to 6/20/2017)
Forward P/E Ratio
Straight Path Communications 

NYSEMKT: STRP

$2,290 430% N/A
Applied Optoelectronics 

NASDAQ: AAOI

$1,190 170% 12.1
Upland Software 

NASDAQ: UPLD

$445 145% N/A
Systemax  NYSE: SYX $714 122% 17.2
Ichor Holdings 

NASDAQ: ICHR

$583 120% 10.1
Teladoc

NYSE: TDOC

$1,910 117% N/A
Ultra Clean Holdings 

NASDAQ: UCTT

$707 116% 11.3
Universal Display 

NASDAQ: OLED

$5,580 113% 47.2
Sequans Communications

NYSE: SQNS

$303 112% N/A
Shopify

NYSE: SHOP

$7,570 111% N/A

DATA SOURCE: FINVIZ.COM.

Some of these stocks are unprofitable today, relying on strong sales growth and optimistic projections for the far future to reach these skyrocketing year-to-date gains. Others are already delivering solid bottom-line results to give their market caps a firmer footing. And these 10 tickers took very different paths to achieve today’s terrific returns.

Here’s a closer look at the five biggest gainers:

  1. Straight Path traded sideways until April, when the telecommunications asset holding company became the object of a bidding war between Verizon Communications and AT&T. Ma Bell started with a buyout offer of $95.63 per share, but Verizon walked away a winner after offering $184 per Straight Path share in an all-stock deal. The company’s rich portfolio of wireless spectrum licenses will help Big Red implement its 5G network plans over the next couple of years.
  2. Applied Optoelectronics announced a strong slate of preliminary fourth-quarter results in January, then crushed its own estimates in February’s full report. The maker of fiber-optic networking components continued to shock the Street in May, and share prices skyrocketed on each and every one of these fantastic quarterly reports. The fiber-optic network industry as a whole seems poised to turn a corner here, helped by the 5G ambitions of the wireless telecom sector.
  3. Business software specialist Upland Software, on the other hand, has a tendency to miss Wall Street’s targets rather than blow them away. But the company is making smart plug-in acquisitions to strengthen its portfolio of tools for human resources and workflow management, driving the bottom line closer to sustainable profits. Upland could also become a buyout target itself as the enterprise-grade cloud computing sector continues to consolidate.
  4. Industrial and IT equipment distributor Systemax saw share prices surge in March, when the company struck a deal to unload its unprofitable European operations to private investors. That deal resulted in a strong first-quarter report in May, sending share prices higher again. The new Systemax is a leaner, meaner business with solid profit margins and a reasonable path to organic growth.
  5. Ichor Holdings signaled an upturn in the semiconductor industry in April, based on the chip-manufacturing toolmaker’s strong earnings report. Two days later, sector peer Ultra Clean Holdings followed suit with its own solid earnings report. If things are looking up for chip-building equipment makers today, you should expect solid results for the chip builders themselves in future quarters.

Rounding up the rest

Universal Display’s OLED display technology is becoming a staple among smartphone makers and television set builders. On-demand healthcare services specialist Teladoc is finding traction for its remote checkup tools. Wireless broadband chip designer Sequans is already eyeing the upcoming 5G wave of system upgrades, and the Internet of Things looms as a large growth opportunity. And Shopify is powering many of your favorite e-commerce sites today, with many more to come.

All of these business successes are showing up in each company’s earnings reports. Those that are not profitable today have demonstrated a clear strategy to rise above the break-even point someday soon, and investors are taking notice.

These tickers deserve a closer look from investors with a knack for high-growth investments.