3 Top Tech Stocks to Buy in December – The Motley Fool

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The tech industry has been battered and bruised in 2022, with the Nasdaq-100 Technology Sector index plummeting 35% year to date and many companies suffering much steeper declines. The stock market sell-off has primarily stemmed from rises in inflation, leading to decreased consumer spending. 
Microsoft (MSFT 0.23%), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD 1.03%), and Apple (AAPL -0.15%) have each watched their stocks experience double-digit declines since January. However, these companies continue to have promising outlooks and are excellent buys to hold for the long haul. Here’s why. 
As the home of hard-hitting brands such as Windows, Office, Azure, and Xbox, Microsoft has become a dominating presence in multiple markets. The company’s stock has slid 24% year to date amid economic headwinds. However, it remains a robust business with strength in its diversification. 
Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud segment, including Azure earnings, has been the fastest-growing part of its business in recent years. In fact, the segment is responsible for the largest portion of revenue. In the first quarter of 2023, Intelligent Cloud revenue rose 20% to $20.3 billion and generated $8.9 billion in operating income. Microsoft’s cloud computing service Azure held a 21% market share in the industry as of Q3 2022, second to only Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) 34%.
The $368.97 billion cloud computing market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 15.7% until 2030, according to Grand View Research. Considering Microsoft ended its last quarter with $63.33 billion in free cash flow against Amazon’s -$26.32 billion, the company could be in an excellent position to invest further in cloud computing and steal market share from AWS.
Along with a majority market share in PC operating systems with Windows and plans to grow its gaming brand, Xbox, Microsoft has an excellent long-term outlook. Its price-to-earnings ratio sits at an attractive 27, making its current share price a bargain and worth buying for the long haul.
As a leader in the PC industry, AMD has suffered exponentially from market declines, with its shares plunging 48% year to date. Sharp reductions in consumer spending have clearly spooked investors. However, the company’s business is more diverse than its PC-focused reputation suggests, giving it great long-term prospects. 
AMD’s revenue is divided into four segments: Data Center, Client, Gaming, and Embedded. In the company’s third quarter of 2022, revenue demonstrated a fairly healthy split between the four segments. Gaming made up the most, with its $1.63 billion responsible for 29% of revenue, Data Center’s $1.61 billion at $28.9%, Embedded’s $1.31 billion at 24.4%, and the PC segment, Client, earned the smallest portion at $1.02 billion and 18% of revenue.
Despite the slide in AMD’s stock this year, its shares have risen 624% in the past five years. It’s one of the best growth stocks out there, likely to see substantial gains for years. For instance, its Data Center segment grew 45% year over year in Q3 2022, thanks to the lucrative cloud computing market. Similar to Microsoft’s Azure, AMD is poised to see substantial gains from the burgeoning market as its data center business continues to grow.
In addition to data centers, AMD has strategically positioned itself as the company powering two of the most popular game consoles in the world, Sony‘s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X|S. AMD provides the processing and graphics chips for both consoles, which helped its Gaming segment see a revenue rise of 13.7% in its latest quarter.
AMD’s stock took a deep dive in 2022, but its quickly growing business offers investors diverse reliability, making it a great long-term buy. 
Like Microsoft and AMD, Apple shares have enjoyed triple-digit growth in the last five years, rising 246% despite a dip in 2022. The iPhone company’s stock has fallen 19% since January, brought down primarily by macroeconomic declines. However, Apple has proven its resilience this year as its products and services have remained in demand.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple reported $90.15 billion in revenue, beating analysts’ expectations by $1.38 billion and rising 8.1% year over year.  Operating income also rose 4.6% to $24.89 billion.
The company’s growth was largely thanks to the success of its iPhone 14 lineup, which launched in September. Apple’s iPhone segment increased by 9.6% to $42.6 billion despite worldwide smartphone shipments declining by 9.7% in 2022, according to IDC.
Additionally, the company’s Mac segment grew by 25.3% earning $11.5 billion, while worldwide PC shipments fell 15%. 
Apple is home to some of the world’s most coveted products, with numerous reports stating it plans to enter new markets in the coming years, such as augmented/virtual reality, electric vehicles, and folding phones. Considering its success with breaking into new industries in the past with the iPad, Air Pods, and Apple Watch, I wouldn’t bet against the company quickly rising into a dominating position in whatever industry it enters. 
As a result, Apple’s stellar stock growth over the last several years and its ability to beat the odds in 2022 makes it a no-brainer investment for the long haul.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Dani Cook has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Advanced Micro Devices, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.
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