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These 3 Tech Stocks Are Building the Future

Motley Fool - Sun Dec 11, 2022

Investing isn't about looking at the past; it is about evaluating what will happen in the future. In 2022, the future is unfolding at a rapid pace, with technological advances coming in areas like energy, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence. As an investor, if you can find the right companies and get in early on these multidecade trends, there are huge potential gains to be had.

But what are the right stocks to buy on the cutting edge of innovation? Here are three technology stocks helping to build a more abundant future that you can consider for your portfolio today.

1. NuScale Power: The resurgence of nuclear energy

My first pick is NuScale Power(NYSE: SMR), an innovator in the nuclear energy space. With the energy crisis around the globe due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine (among other things), governments, corporations, and individuals are looking for faster ways to decarbonize their economies. Nuclear power, along with other renewable energy resources, looks to be a great candidate to do this.

NuScale was the first company to obtain approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the design of a small modular reactor (SMR). These reactors, as the name suggests, can be built quicker and with fewer materials than the huge nuclear reactors we are all accustomed to. That gives an SMR more flexibility for energy generation while still providing carbon-free electricity for customers. NuScale plans to make money by selling these reactors to power plants, servicing the SMRs, and refueling the reactors. As of this writing, its first plant is set to come online in 2029, seven years from now.

The big concern with NuScale is that it is essentially pre-revenue and will be for many years until these nuclear sites get up and operational. However, if you are an investor with an extremely long time horizon and believe nuclear energy is the future, this could be a great stock to stash away in your portfolio at its current market cap of $2.5 billion.

2. Texas Instruments: A backbone for IoT and electrification

Texas Instruments(NASDAQ: TXN), unlike the other two companies on this list, is a low-risk investment. The company has been a leader in the semiconductor space for decades, servicing industrial and automotive customers with a huge assortment of computer chips.

Computer chips like the ones sold at Texas Instruments are key for electrifying and digitizing global industry. For example, a battery electric vehicle -- which the global economy is transitioning to -- uses more than twice as many semiconductors as a gas-powered vehicle. The same can be true for the Internet of Things (IoT) across factory floors as industrial companies look to increase efficiency with their manufacturing processes. Texas Instruments has and should continue to grow because of these trends.

TXN Operating Income (TTM) Chart.

TXN Operating Income (TTM) data by YCharts.

Texas Instruments is highly profitable, generating $10.7 billion in operating income and $5.9 billion in free cash flow over the past 12 months. With the growth of electric vehicles and internet-connected devices across the globe, the company is poised to grow its earnings power in the future as well. From my seat, that makes the stock an easy buy at these prices.

3. Rocket Lab: Building the space economy

My last stock is Rocket Lab(NASDAQ: RKLB). The company -- as its name implies -- is building capabilities for the burgeoning commercial space economy that is projected to hit over $1 trillion in annual revenue by 2030. Rocket Lab plans to be an end-to-end solution for companies that want to launch and monitor things in space. Its two revenue lines are space systems (64% of revenue last quarter) and launch services (36% of revenue). In 2024, it hopes to start flying its gargantuan Neutron rocket, which can bring even bigger payloads for customers. This, in turn, should drive even more revenue growth for the company.

RKLB Net Income (TTM) Chart.

RKLB Net Income (TTM) data by YCharts.

Rocket Lab looks set to grow, but what makes the company risky is its lack of profitability. Over the last 12 months, the company has lost almost $100 million on just $186.7 million in revenue. These losses will hopefully reverse over the next few years as Rocket Lab scales up its launching and space operations (revenue is up 234% in the past year or so), but there is no certainty that this will happen. Launching things into space is expensive and capital-intensive, and Rocket Lab will likely need to reach a large scale before it becomes profitable for shareholders.

Texas Instruments is a low-risk investment. Both NuScale Power and Rocket Lab are on the opposite end of the risk spectrum due to how early stage their businesses are. If you are considering buying them for your portfolio, that should mean taking a cautious approach by making the stocks a small sub-1% position of your wealth and buying shares consistently over time, taking advantage of market volatility. If you use this strategy, that will help you take advantage of the immense potential upside for these companies will minimizing your downside risk if things go wrong.

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Brett Schafer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends NuScale Power and Texas Instruments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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