ASX tech showdown: Should you buy Altium or WiseTech shares?

Two darlings in the Aussie technology scene go head to head. Which should you buy?

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WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) and Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) are tech shares that have been ASX darlings for a while now.

Their reputations have particularly seen a resurgence this year after the 2022 tech sell-off. 

Altium shares are now trading almost 27% higher than where they started 2023, while WiseTech is up a stunning 35.8%.

So if you feel like your portfolio could do with more exposure to the technology industry, which one's the favoured investment at the moment?

Shaw and Partners portfolio manager James Gerrish gave his thoughts recently:

'Strong earnings report'

Gerrish's team "likes WiseTech as a business", he said in a Market Matters Q&A, but last month's reporting season crystallised their preference.

"We like Altium for increased tech exposure following its recent strong earnings report," he said.

"Conversely WiseTech delivered weaker-than-expected guidance. Profitability might be heading in the correct direction but the share price had built in a huge degree of optimism through 2023 with the stock gaining ~75% at its best."

That sentiment is probably reflected in recent stock price movements.

WiseTech shares have copped a 22.9% haircut since 22 August, while Altium has gained 18.5% since 21 August.

Gerrish acknowledges that makes WiseTech seem like the better value buy.

"Clearly it offers more value now following its… correction but we prefer the risk/reward with Altium, and have more faith in Altium management to execute on their stated plans."

The Altium vs WiseTech debate seems to be divisive within the professional community.

Altium has six out of 15 analysts backing it as a buy on CMC Markets at the moment. Meanwhile eight out of 15 analysts rate WiseTech as a buy.

Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Altium and WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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