Finding cheap tech stocks these days isn't exactly easy. With the broader stock market making huge gains last year -- much of it fueled by technology companies -- some stocks that would have been considered cheap last year may not fit into the traditional view of an inexpensive stock today. 

But investors can still find tech stocks that look cheap now, compared to their potential upside over the next few years. To help you track down a few of those companies, three Motley Fool contributors think you should consider buying Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)DocuSign, and NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) right now. Here's why. 

A woman looking at a computer screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

A discounted price for record growth

Danny Vena (Apple): Investors might be surprised to see Apple listed as a cheap stock, especially considering the company's market cap, which tops out at a whopping $2.27 trillion -- making it the largest publicly traded company on U.S. markets. Its sheer size has many questioning if the bulk of Apple's growth is done.

Yet many investors made the same assumption when Apple's market cap first topped $1 trillion little more than two years ago, and again in August when the company surpassed $2 trillion. Yet passing up the iPhone maker as expensive is missing the forest for the trees.

Naysayers left Apple for dead during the downturn, yet the company grew year-over-year revenue in each and every quarter of fiscal 2020 -- even edging out gains at the worst of the pandemic with its retail stores shuttered. 

In the most recent quarter, as iPhone 12 sales ramped up, Apple reported revenue that grew 21% year over year and posted an all-time record of $111 billion. At the same time, earnings per share of $1.68 set a new watermark, as did revenue from the iPhone, wearables, and services segments. 

It won't stop there. Apple has an installed base of nearly 1 billion iPhones. With nearly 350 million devices in the replacement window, the refresh cycle is just beginning and will likely continue for the coming two years.

Not only that, but the iPhone acts as a catalyst, driving robust growth in Apple's other segments.

Each new device sale will encourage users to upgrade to the latest Apple wearables, including the Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones. In a very short time, the wearables, home and accessories category has grown to 11% of Apple's total sales.

The company's services segment is the gift that keeps on giving. The App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud were already delivering handsome growth, but have recently been joined by a host of other services. These additions include Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Card, and Apple Fitness+. The long-awaited bundle -- dubbed Apple One -- provides further incentive for users to add additional services from the company's growing ecosystem. For fiscal 2020, sales of services grew 16% year over year and represented 20% of Apple's total revenue, and show no signs of slowing. 

Even in the wake of these robust results, analysts expect Apple's growth to continue, with consensus estimates predicting 32% growth in the coming quarter and 22% in the current year. 

Finally, even with its monstrous market cap, consider this: Apple currently sports a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 36 -- which is cheaper than the valuation of the S&P 500, which clocks in at 40.

There are even whispers that Apple could be the first company to top $3 trillion and some analysts think it will happen sometime this year. Frankly, cheap is in the eye of the beholder.

A cloud icon on a computer motherboard.

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DocuSign's stock is a bargain hiding in the clouds 

Brian Withers (DocuSign): Let's start with the elephant in the room. DocuSign is not "cheap" by standard measures. But comparing it with some of its cloud peers, it looks like a solid value today. Let's look at some data as to why investors might consider this e-signature specialist a bargain.

Metrics

Most Recent Quarter Revenue Growth

Price-to-Sales Ratio

Comparative Ratio

DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU)

53.5%

36.2

1.48

Twilio

51.8%

39.5

1.31

Okta

42%

46.6

0.90

MongoDB

37.8%

44.7

0.85

Data source: Ycharts.

Of the four cloud players in the table above, DocuSign posted the best quarterly revenue growth, but carries the lowest price-to-sales ratio. Looking at the last column, which is a ratio of the first two columns, you can see that DocuSign has the highest growth and the lowest P/S valuation by a wide margin. Interested? I thought you might be. Let's look at the reasons why this could be a hidden gem.

First, DocuSign has accelerated its growth during the coronavirus as businesses scrambled to implement remote work environments. Signing documents on paper became incredibly inconvenient, and e-signature adoption skyrocketed. The market may be lumping this stock in with coronavirus momentum stocks. But it would be wrong. As vaccines roll out and businesses come back into the office, no one will want to go back to pen and paper.

Second, DocuSign's strong billings growth means its torrid growth will continue. One just has to look at the rolling four-quarter year-over-year growth of the company's billings, a measure of all open contract values. This number has accelerated over the last four quarters from 35% in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 to an astounding 56% in the most recent quarter. What's even more impressive is that the year-over-year billings growth in the most recent quarter was 63%. This means more customers are committing to spending more money than ever with this e-signature operator. 

Lastly, the company has barely tapped the $25 billion market for its Agreement Cloud platform. This suite of products allows enterprise customers to manage the process of the entire agreement lifecycle in the cloud. As more customers sign on to become e-signature customers, it gives the sales teams even more opportunity to introduce the value of this full-featured product. This software suite will drive growth for many years to come, even if the base e-signature business sees an eventual slow down in adoption.

Given all these growth levers, if you buy a few shares of DocuSign today, you'll be amazed at how "cheap" the stock will look five years from now.

An abstract image of the inside of a computer.

Image source: Getty Images.

A tech leader with more potential 

Chris Neiger (NVIDIA): First, it's worth pointing out that NVIDIA isn't exactly cheap based on the company's forward price-to-earnings ratio of 48. But I think the stock still has plenty of room to run over the next few years as it taps into major tech trends -- making the company's current share price look like a good buying opportunity. 

NVIDIA's bread and butter is its sales of graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming market. NVIDIA's gaming revenue spiked 37% in the third quarter (reported on Nov. 18, 2020) to $2.27 billion, a record for the company. 

While gaming has driven the company's growth for years and will continue to be a core revenue segment for NVIDIA, it's the company's growing opportunity in data centers and growth from the broader GPU market growth that could bring huge gains for the stock.

NVIDIA's GPUs are being added to many data centers to help them boost their processing abilities, particularly for artificial intelligence (AI), and this has caused the company's data center sales to skyrocket 162%, to $1.9 billion, in the third quarter. The world's biggest tech companies are all looking to AI to help boost their cloud computing offerings, and as they do it's likely that NVIDIA's GPU sales will continue growing. 

One of the clearest examples of NVIDIA's ongoing opportunity comes as the global GPU market is estimated to grow into a $200 billion market by 2027, up from just $19.8 billion in 2019.  

If all of that isn't enough to convince you, then also consider that NVIDIA's pending acquisition of ARM Holdings could bring the company long-term growth in the chip licensing space. The opportunity for ARM to help NVIDIA boost its AI and data center capabilities makes NVIDIA look undervalued right now