Although personal computer (PC) shipments declined by 5.2% year-over-year (YOY) in the second quarter of 2016, they surprisingly increased 1.4% YOY in the United States. PC Shipments may continue to show moderate improvement in the third and fourth quarters of 2016 and into 2017 with back to school and Windows 10 upgrade sales.

These five hardware stocks provide exposure to PC sales as well as other technology solutions, including printers, networking and storage.


Founded in 1977 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was the world’s largest technology company as of August 2016 with a market capitalization of $576.2 billion. The company, based in Cupertino, California, designs, manufactures and distributes personal computers, mobile communication devices and associated software. Some of Apple’s flagship products include the Apple Mac, iPhone and iPad. Apple has successfully synchronized its products to rely on each other, encouraging consumers who own one Apple product to purchase another; this has created a significant competitive advantage that is likely to help Apple continue to increase its market share. The company has strong three-year average revenue growth of 14.3% and pays a dividend yield of 2.04%. Although the stock has only returned 3.17% year-to-date (YTD), it performed well over the past month, returning 11.21% as of Aug. 26, 2016.

International Business Machines

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), founded in 1910, provides computer solutions through five business segments: global technology services, global business services, software, systems hardware and global financing. The company has kept up to date with industry and consumer trends, placing greater emphasis on providing cloud, analytics, mobile, social and cyber security solutions. IBM is reasonably valued with a forward price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 11.2. Investors receive a dividend yield of 3.41%. Although this is slightly below HP’s yield, it is well above the 1.9% industry average. The stock has performed solidly, advancing roughly 18% YTD as of Aug. 26, 2016. IBM has a market cap of $151.3 billion.


HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) offers printing and computing hardware for retail and business customers. The company has a market cap of $24.6 billion as of August 2016. HP Inc. was formed as part of the Hewlett-Packard Company split-up to devote its attention toward PCs and printers. HP is a leader in the 3D printing market, launching the HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 and the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 in May 2016. The company is cheap relative to its peers with a P/E ratio of 5.9, which compares to the computer systems industry average of 24.2. HP also has a competitive trailing 12-month (TTM) operating margin of 5.1%. The stock has performed strongly YTD, returning 23.63% as of Aug. 26, 2016. HP pays investors an attractive 3.81% dividend yield.

Seagate Technology

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) designs, manufactures and sells hard disk drives for enterprise applications, data backup systems, external storage systems and digital media systems. It has a market cap of $10 billion. The company posted bottom- and top-line 2016 fiscal fourth quarter results that exceeded Wall Street expectations; earnings per share (EPS) and revenue were 69 cents and $2.65 billion, respectively. This compares to analysts’ expectations of 60 cents per share and $2.59 billion. Seagate Technology has a high yield of 7.29%; its dividend has risen from 18 cents in 2011 to $2.43 in 2016. As of Aug. 26, 2016, the stock returned -5.65% YTD; however, it has performed strongly over the past three months, returning an impressive 54.66%.


NETGEAR Inc. (NASDAQ: NTGR) offers networking hardware products that include Wi-Fi routers, modems, hotspots, USB Modems, Wi-Fi adapters and switches. The company has focused on providing more consumer-facing products, which is likely to support ongoing growth as consumers demand bandwidth increases. NETGEAR has beaten analysts’ expectations for four consecutive quarters through the second quarter of 2016. Investors enjoyed a YTD return of 36.16% as of Aug. 26, 2016. The stock is currently trading at $57.06, just 83 cents below its 52-week and lifetime high of $57.89. It has a market cap of $1.9 billion.

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