Welcome to the fourth and final quarter of the year, the biggest of the year for most industries -- and that goes for tech, too.
Therefore, the biggest tech stories this year, mobile and social stocks, are gunning for a strong operational finish for the year. And they're likely going to have it, which should bode well for their stock prices.
We're still dealing with the Washington shenanigans -- a government shutdown now and a debt-ceiling drama in a couple of weeks -- but as today's action in the market shows, many investors are looking past this embarrassment.
I believe Facebook (FB) will have a monster fourth quarter. The stock has momentum to climb between now and its fourth-quarter earnings call at the end of January. And don't forget its next earnings call Oct. 21. That should show continued momentum off what we saw in July's second-quarter earnings call. We could see Facebook hit $75 by the end of the year.
Yelp (YELP), Zillow (Z) and OpenTable (OPEN) have all been high-fliers this year. That trend should also continue into the fourth quarter. OpenTable and Zillow have come off recent highs and I expect both to make a run at breaking those levels this quarter. Zillow reports results Nov. 4. That might be the catalyst to take it above $100. OpenTable reports at the end of this month. A good report will take it above $80 for the first time since 2011.
Yelp has had no trouble staying at all-time highs of late. This seems to be the single best mobile/social pure play out there. It's now at $70. It also reports earnings at the end of the month. It now has a market cap of almost $5 billion. We might be looking at $100 before the end of the year.
LinkedIn (LNKD) is also trading at all-time highs around $250. Yet the company continues to show strong revenue gains as more companies shift to its hiring services. Further strength into the end of the year taking it up close to $300 seems reasonable given the big fourth quarter ahead. Their earnings will come at the start of November.
Finally, don't forget about Groupon (GRPN). Some still see this as a daily deals email company. Yet half of North American users did transactions last quarter from a mobile device. This trend will continue. This company is trying to be the leader in local and mobile. At the same time, it's trying to close the Europe gap. If Groupon is able to continue showing a move to mobile in the November earnings call, watch for another big jump in the stock price. People forget that Groupon traded up to $30 post-IPO in November 2011. It can easily go back above $20 on signs that it's a clear leader in local mobile.