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These numbers will tell you if your -5-

NetApp Inc.                     US:NTAP                                                             -10%                                       67.47%                               64.01%                                 -10.6%                       -7%                     77% 
Adobe Inc.                      US:ADBE                                                              24%                                       83.75%                               85.96%                                  -1.2%                       24%                    195% 
Seagate Technology PLC          US:STX                                                             -14%                                       25.87%                               30.32%                                  -7.5%                       48%                     79% 
VeriSign Inc.                   US:VRSN                                                               1%                                       85.59%                               84.22%                                  -3.0%                       22%                    141% 
Automatic Data Processing Inc.  US:ADP                                                               6%                                       45.50%                               45.75%                                  -1.0%                       20%                     88% 
Akamai Technologies Inc.        US:AKAM                                                               6%                                       61.15%                               60.25%                                  -2.0%                       28%                     29% 
Texas Instruments Inc.          US:TXN                                                             -11%                                       62.77%                               63.93%                                  -3.9%                       27%                     75% 
HP Inc.                         US:HPQ                                                               1%                                       18.79%                               16.85%                                  -7.0%                       -9%                     44% 
Qorvo Inc.                      US:QRVO                                                              -9%                                       40.93%                               39.97%                                  -7.1%                       60%                     92% 
Corning Inc.                    US:GLW                                                              -2%                                       33.71%                               40.06%                                  -3.5%                       -6%                     29% 
Skyworks Solutions Inc.         US:SWKS                                                             -18%                                       48.59%                               49.32%                                  -4.4%                       40%                     33% 
Flir Systems Inc.               US:FLIR                                                               8%                                       48.72%                               51.06%                                  -3.0%                       19%                     58% 
TE Connectivity Ltd.            US:TEL                                                              -6%                                       31.88%                               30.72%                                  -3.4%                       25%                     46% 
KLA Corp.                       US:KLAC                                                              29%                                       55.79%                               65.10%                                   2.6%                       74%                    116% 
Applied Materials Inc.          US:AMAT                                                              -6%                                       43.53%                               43.95%                                  -5.4%                       61%                     88% 
Maxim Integrated Products Inc.  US:MXIM                                                             -17%                                       64.27%                               67.34%                                  -2.8%                        6%                     57% 
Xerox Holdings Corp.            US:XRX                                                              -6%                                       38.73%                               38.78%                                  -9.0%                       50%                     74% 
Citrix Systems Inc.             US:CTXS                                                               0%                                       82.01%                               85.26%                                 -10.1%                        4%                     63% 
NortonLifeLock Inc.             US:NLOK                                                              -1%                                       80.10%                               67.57%                                   2.2%                       12%                      6% 
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.  US:HPE                                                              -9%                                       32.22%                               29.50%                                  -9.3%                        8%                     23% 
Lam Research Corp.              US:LRCX                                                              -7%                                       45.37%                               45.45%                                  -8.9%                       79%                    162% 
Broadcom Inc.                   US:AVGO                                                               9%                                       55.05%                               51.77%                                  -5.2%                       39%                     96% 
Micron Technology Inc.          US:MU                                                             -42%                                       28.64%                               61.03%                                  -7.2%                       25%                    145% 
Cisco Systems Inc.              US:CSCO                                                               1%                                       65.13%                               63.26%                                  -7.4%                       -2%                     67% 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Source: FactSet 

Again, having buybacks exceed R&D spending isn't necessarily a dire indication -- Microsoft's (MSFT) third-quarter sales were up 14% from a year earlier, while its gross margin increased considerably. But when a tech company spends more on buybacks than it does on R&D, with slow or no sales growth and/or with a narrowing gross margin, you have a red flag indicating the need for more information to understand whether a company is doing all it can to remain competitive.

Create an email alert for Philip van Doorn's Deep Dive columns here (link).

-Philip van Doorn; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-05-19 0746ET

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