Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tech stocks are hard to index

I just spent some time looking at the relative stock prices of major technology companies versus both the DJIA and the NASDAQ composite over the last six months. Result? I couldn't find a single stock that came close to tracking these indices. You have stocks like Google that have jumped around all over the place and have ended up 8% down compared to the DJIA. Then you have Intel which has steadily declined a staggering 33% over the same period. There are bunch of stocks such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Dell that have declined just less than 20% and others such as IBM and Apple that are down 10%. At the other extreme I can find a few stocks that have risen relative to the DJIA. These include Oracle and Cisco at around 12% and AMD up about 18%. What does this tell you? Well in part it tells you that roughly three in every four major tech stocks are falling at 10% versus only one in four rising at a similar rate. While this is not the most scientific study on the planet it does suggest that as a group the major tech stocks have some work to do to convince investors they have growth potential. If the sample had produced a more random pattern I'd suggest that the problem lay with the individual companies and their IR but I think the challenge is greater than that. As I've said before on this blog, I believe the challenge is sector related. Until the sector works together to solve this problem, generally poor stock performance is on the cards.

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