The last year has been brutal, especially for tech investors. The Nasdaq Composite remains in bear-market territory, down 22% over the last 12-month stretch and some 30% off of its all-time high.

Things have been even worse for many individual tech stocks. Many quality companies are being indiscriminately tossed out, creating opportunities for the patient and long-term minded investor. Three smart buys right now are Alphabet ( GOOGL 0.87%) ( GOOG 0.56%), Block ( SQ -5.92%), and Doximity ( DOCS -3.29%). Here’s why. Alphabet: A tech titan too cheap to ignore

Alphabet, parent of internet search engine Google, needs little introduction. It’s one of the largest and most powerful organizations around. Over the last two-decades-plus, Google’s digital advertising-fueled empire has managed to steadily grow in good times and bad.

Nevertheless, Alphabet stock is down 27% in the last year and has dipped over 30% from its all-time peak. This is a blue-chip name in the tech world, so what’s eating at Google? Investors are worried that a recession could spell trouble for the internet giant. As demonstrated in 2008 and in 2020, an economic downturn means lower advertising activity and lower ad monetization. In short, a recession would likely spell a revenue decline for Alphabet.

However, the company has also demonstrated that internet search ads are quite resilient — even in a recession. Digital marketing has an easy-to-flip off-on switch. Given that many brands will start to die if they keep the switch off, even a recession can’t keep marketing activity down for too long. When Alphabet has registered a dip in revenue in past recessions, it’s proven to be very short-lived.

This ad empire has other challenges ahead, like rising regulatory scrutiny of its online activity and accusations of suppressing competition. Suppressing competition or not, some of Google’s peers like The Trade Desk ( TTD -3.88%) are making headway. But Alphabet benefits from participating in a massive and growing industry in digital ads, and it’s more diversified than it’s ever been in the past. A gargantuan balance sheet featuring almost $120 billion in cash and short-term investments net of debt also doesn’t hurt.

Alphabet stock now trades for just 20 times trailing 12-month free cash flow. That looks mighty cheap to me for a company with enduring growth that’s so deeply embedded in the fabric of the global economy. I’m a buyer. Block: Surprise! Block is actually profitable in this key metric

Block, the company formerly known as Square, has continued its steady expansion into the financial industry. Starting with merchants with its ecosystem of digitally integrated point-of-sale solutions and financial management services, Block has been making fast headway with consumers in recent years with Cash App. Nevertheless, the stock is down a whopping 76% in the last year.

Some investors take issue with the company’s bets on Bitcoin ( BTC -1.13%) as a future internet-based currency. However, Bitcoin hasn’t been all bad for Block. Enabling Bitcoin trading helped Cash App quickly onboard millions of users during the pandemic. Once in the ecosystem, Cash App can promote even more valuable services to those new users. Now a commonly used fintech in the U.S., the merchant services segment and Cash App are now making a concerted push internationally, where Block has few users and plenty of untapped potential.

The company recently acquired buy-now pay-later outfit Afterpay (which has a strong presence outside of the states) to help strengthen the bonds between its merchant and consumer apps. And Block just announced a new partnership with international digital payments superstar Adyen ( ADYE.Y -1.19%) to add Cash App Pay as a checkout option to Adyen’s large U.S. merchants. Perhaps that will pave the way for deeper integration overseas too. Time will tell.

Despite heavy spending to expand its list of capabilities and marketing, Block is now profitable on a free-cash-flow basis. In fact, Block has driven healthy free-cash-flow-per-share returns for shareholders over the last five years. The stock now trades for just shy of 60 times enterprise value to free cash flow. I’m not saying this is a “cheap” stock. But given the company’s solid expansion execution, now looks like a fantastic time to buy for the long haul. Doximity: Dedicated to growth, but especially profitable growth

Let’s visit the healthcare industry, often considered a stable place to stash money during uncertain times. However, even healthcare stocks have taken it on the chin during the current bear market. As measured by the Vanguard Healthcare ETF ( VHT 0.08%), U.S. healthcare stocks are down 13% from all-time highs.

Healthcare technology is […]

source 3 Smart Tech Stocks to Buy in 2022 and Beyond

editor Stocks

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