Red Hat and IBM faring best in a bad economy

As stocks get battered, it's intriguing to see who is faring best. The 52-week returns on a range of tech stocks hint at where buyers are putting their dollars in a tight economy.

While checking stock prices this afternoon, it quickly became apparent that the recession is not punishing all stocks equally.

In a year that has seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average take a 45 percent haircut, some stocks are swimming upstream in a difficult market. Others, however, are flailing.

The 52-week returns on a range of stocks hint at where buyers are putting their dollars in a tight economy:

  • Red Hat: down 20 percent
  • Sun: down 72 percent
  • Apple: down 27 percent
  • Oracle: down 20 percent
  • Novell: down 56 percent
  • IBM: down 21 percent
  • Microsoft: down 40 percent
  • Adobe: down 51 percent
  • Google: down 28 percent

Looking at the above, it seems like anyone dropping less than 30 percent is probably doing quite well, all things considered. It's particularly interesting to note that Red Hat, at least among this august company, is holding its own and beating a bad market.

Perhaps that's because Red Hat keeps delivering solid results. And that, frankly, is likely due to CIOs voting for Red Hat's value play. Whatever the reason, it's working.

I doubt Red Hat is cheering its 20 percent decline but relatively speaking, it's doing great.

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