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Stocks  | June 17, 2019

The “Internet of Things” essentially connects industrial and medical devices, vehicles, and an array of consumer and household products to allow for advanced monitoring, analytics, and more. Everyday products and machines can now be embedded with sensor technology to process data or interact with other electronic devices.

Consumer-level IoT products include things like Amazon’s AMZN Echo “smart speakers,” wearable motion and activity tracking products from the likes Apple AAPL, and advanced in-car technology. On the commercial side of the IoT market, industrial manufacturers have started to implement sensors into machines to track performance and efficiency

One of the more obvious plays here for investors is semiconductor stocks, as chipmakers should be able to benefit from the growth of connected devices. But chip stocks are often cyclical. With that said, IoT is set to become nearly ubiquitous, which means investors can try to profit from its growth in countless industries and firms.  

Today we’ve highlighted three stocks with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) or better that could be poised for further IoT growth soon.

1. Fitbit, Inc. FIT

Fitbit stock has been on a roller-coaster ride over the last two years, and is down big since going public in 2015. FIT stock is now trading for under $5 a share, which makes it inherently more supplicative. Therefore, Fitbit stock should be treated as more of a home run-style, swing for the fences and possibly strike out stock. With that said, Fitbit has been flagged by our Zacks Rank because of its positive earnings estimate revision activity, especially for fiscal 2019. This positivity helps FIT earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at the moment. Fitbit is also coming off a first quarter that saw its revenue jump 10%, driven by its traditional fitness tracker devices and smartwatch growth.

The San Francisco, California-based firm has expanded its offerings and partnerships in recent years in order to better compete. Fitbit has partnered with the likes of Google GOOGL to help Fitbit become a more valuable health monitor. Today, Fitbit is able to track a user’s activity, calories burned, heart rate, sleep patterns, and more. Yet, going forward, it is not too hard to imagine the company monitoring much more and playing a vital role in a more preventive medicine-minded future. Looking ahead, our current Zacks Consensus Estimates call for the company’s adjusted fiscal 2019 earnings to jump 30% on 3.2% revenue growth. The company’s 2020 earnings are then projected to climb 47% above our current year estimate to help the company inch closer to break-even EPS.

2. Microsoft MSFT

Microsoft hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday, June 11 as shares of MSFT continue to climb in 2019. The historic tech giant has seen its stock price surge 30% so far this year to help it crush its industry’s 19% average. The firm’s impressive first half of the year has helped Microsoft once again become the world’s most valuable public company with a market cap of over $1 trillion. Microsoft’s legacy businesses have remained strong and grown, but its cloud business has helped really drive expansion. This division, highlighted by Azure, also includes a diversified and growing IoT unit that is used by the likes of Adobe ADBE, Kohler,  3M MMM, and many more.

Our Zacks Consensus Estimates call for the company's adjusted Q4 earnings to pop 7.1% on the back of 8.8% revenue growth. Microsoft’s full-year EPS figure is projected to climb 18% on 13.1% revenue growth that would see it reach $124.86 billion. Peeking further ahead, Microsoft’s full-year fiscal 2020 revenue is projected to jump 10.6% above our 2019 estimate, with earnings expected to climb 11.2% higher. MSFT has also seen its earnings estimate revision picture trend heavily upward recently, especially for fiscal 2019 and 2020. Microsoft is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) that also pays a dividend.

3. DexCom, Inc. DXCM

DexCom is a medical device firm that offers those with diabetes the chance to place a small sensor just beneath their skin to help them continuously monitor their glucose levels through a companion device, or via an application on compatible smartphones or smartwatches. Shares of DXCM are up 46% in the last 12 months, which includes some volatility. With that said, DexCom stock is up 93% over the last two years and currently sits around 6% below its 52-week high at $146.01 per share.

DexCom posted better-than-expected Q1 2019 results, which helped management feel confident enough to raise the its full-year outlook. The company’s adjusted full-year earnings are projected to soar 167% to reach $0.80 per share, on the back of roughly 25% revenue growth that would see it hit $1.29 billion. DexCom’s 2020 revenue is then projected to jump 19% higher than our current year estimate. Meanwhile, its 2020 EPS figure is expected to soar 52% above our current-year projection. DexCom has also seen its longer-term earnings estimate revision activity trendy heavily in the right direction recently to help DXCM earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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