As Tech Stocks Rally, Company Orders Boom
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Top executives at technology companies such as Texas Instruments (TXN) , Seagate(STX) and F5 Networks (FFIV) say there's robust spending among customers, which bodes well for the stock market rally of 2012.
After an uncertain 2011, the tech sector has enjoyed a strong start to 2012, boosted by improved enterprise spending and growth in emerging markets. Set against this backdrop, the Nasdaq has climbed more than 14% this year.
Texas Instruments set the tone for tech earnings season, when the chip maker reported better-than-expected fourth quarter results in late January.
Kevin March, Texas Instruments' chief financial officer, said in an interview the company is seeing a bottom in the IT spending slowdown. "We believe that we're there," he said. "We either hit the bottom in the fourth quarter, or we're very near it and will hit it in the first quarter."
The Qualcomm(QCOM) rival said revenue was better than anticipated across all of its major product lines.
Pat O'Malley, the CFO of hard disk drive specialist Seagate, also noted an improved spending climate, and struck a cautiously optimistic tone for 2012 because of Europe's debt woes. Greece is essentially bankrupt and other countries have needed a lifeline from the European Central Bank.
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Seagate, which recently hit a new 52-week high , shredded Wall Street's second-quarter earnings forecast. The Fujitsu and Western Digital (WDC) competitor shipped 47 million hard drives, a figure which it expects to reach 60 million during the current quarter.
Mike Smerklo, chief executive officer of technology services specialist ServiceSource(SREV) , said demand is strengthening. "We feel generally pretty good about the market environment going forward," he said, after the company's fourth-quarter results last month. "We're seeing accelerated interest in what we're doing."
ServiceSource works with tech companies to boost their revenue from subscription services via cloud-based technology. The San Francisco-based firm brought in revenue of $60.3 million during the fourth quarter, an increase of 37% from a year earlier.
Smerklo, however, said that, region by region, it's difficult to identify a global spending trend, but acknowledged plenty of positive signs. "The mood, when you're speaking to the CEOs of global technology companies, is generally a bit better than it was a year ago."