Happy Friday! There are more good news articles, commentaries, and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Here are eight fascinating ones I read this week.
Sink or swim
Author Sam Arbesman gives a great interview with Farnam Street:
People who cannot deal with change are going to be at a huge disadvantage in the world. These type of people might not have been disadvantaged in previous generations, where change proceeded rather more slowly, but as the many fundamental changes around us — in what we know and in what the world likes — continue to accumulate, we often have to deal with large numbers of these changes in a single lifetime. In the book, I chronicled the large number of computational information storage technologies (ranging from floppy disks to the Cloud) that I have used over the course of three decades, which is a far cry from the one or two that people of the Middle Ages might have used for storing information (books and scrolls). Those who can’t adapt will have a great deal of trouble in this world.
Best Tech Stocks To Invest In 2014: Computer Sciences Corporation(CSC)
Computer Sciences Corporation provides information technology (IT) and professional services to governments and commercial enterprises. The company?s IT outsourcing services comprise operating customer?s technology infrastructure, including systems analysis, applications development, network operations, desktop computing, and data center management services; business process outsourcing; managing transactional business functions for clients, such as procurement and supply chain, call centers and customer relationship management, credit services, claims processing and logistics. It also offers cloud computing and cyber security protection services. In addition, the company provides range of services in the areas of infrastructure as a service, software as a service (SaaS), business process as a service, platform as a service, and other technologies. Further, its IT and professional services consist of systems integration, including designing, developing, implementing, and i ntegrating information systems; and management consulting, technology consulting, and other professional services, consist of advising clients on the strategic acquisition and utilization of IT and on business strategy, security, modeling, simulation, engineering, operations, change management, and business process reengineering. Additionally, the company licenses software systems, including SaaS offerings for the financial services and other industry-specific markets; and provides a range of end-to-end business solutions. It has its operations primarily in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company was founded in 1959 and is based in Falls Church, Virginia.
- [By Tom Taulli]
Innovation: Innovation is a major priority at AT&T. And so far, it looks like the company is making savvy moves, particularly with its push into the cloud. To this end, AT&T has rolled out NetBond, which involves alliances with top providers like IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), CSC (CSC) and Equinix (EQIX). But perhaps the most interesting growth initiative is Digital Life, which allows customers to use their smartphones as remote control devices with homes and cars. All in all, the opportunity could be huge, adding another nice revenue stream — AT&T already has agreements with companies like GM (GM), Ford (F), Nissan, Audi, BMW and Tesla (TSLA)
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
$7.6 billion IT services firm Computer Sciences (CSC) has been doing some consolidating of its own for the last few months. Shares have been stuck trading between resistance at $54 a share and support down at $50 a share since mid-July. But despite its sideways bent, there’s a trade to be made in CSC right now.
Right now, CSC is forming a rectangle pattern, a consolidation setup that’s formed by a pair of horizontal resistance and support level at those $54 and $50 price levels. The rectangle pattern gets its name because it basically “boxes in” shares between those two levels. The signal to watch is the break outside of that box. Support at $50 has some extra strength because it’s a level that was previously a ceiling for shares back in March and again in May. That’s not uncommon for a round number like $50, but it makes an upside breakout a lot more likely from here.
Momentum, measured by 14-day RSI, has moved into neutral mode in the last week, clearing the way for upside without the risk of shares becoming overbought. If shares of CSC can hold a bid above $54, it’s time to buy.
- [By Reuters]
Carlos Osorio/APFord CEO Alan Mulally NEW YORK — Microsoft has narrowed its list of external candidates to replace Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer to about five people, including Ford Motor chief Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, according to sources familiar with the matter. The world’s largest software maker also has at least three internal candidates on its shortlist, including former Skype CEO Tony Bates, who is now responsible for Microsoft’s business development, and Satya Nadella, the company’s cloud and enterprise chief, the sources said. Despite the narrower list — the company started with about 40 names — the process could take a few more months, the sources said. In August, Ballmer said he would retire within 12 months. The names of other candidates couldn’t be learned, but the search committee is interviewing executives from a wide range of sectors, including life sciences and consumer, the sources said. Microsoft (MSFT) declined to comment on the process and on behalf of the internal candidates. A Nokia (NOK) representatives couldn’t be reached immediately for comment late Tuesday. Ford (F) spokesman Jay Cooney said: “There is no change from what we announced last November. Alan remains fully focused on continuing to make progress on our One Ford plan. We do not engage in speculation.” Investors have pushed Microsoft’s board in recent months to look for a turnaround expert, such as Mulally or Computer Sciences (CSC) CEO Mike Lawrie, to succeed Ballmer. Some investors have also suggested to the board that co-founder Bill Gates should step down from his role as chairman, saying he stands in the way of radical reform at Microsoft. Microsoft remains highly profitable and last month beat Wall Street’s quarterly profit and revenue forecasts. But it has lost ground to Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) in mobile computing. Ballmer has focused on making devices, such as the Surface tablet and Xbox gaming console, and turning k
Best Tech Stocks To Invest In 2014: ePlus Inc.(PLUS)
ePlus inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in selling, leasing, financing, and managing information technology (IT) and other assets in the United States. Its Technology Sales segment involves in the direct marketing of IT equipment and third-party software solutions of Cisco Systems, HP, VMWare, NetApp, IBM, and Microsoft; and the provision of proprietary software for enterprise supply management, including order-entry and order-management, procurement, spend management, asset management, document management, distribution, and electronic catalog content management software and services. This segment also provides professional technology services in the areas of data center, storage, security, cloud enablement, and IT infrastructure that cover Internet telephony and communications, collaboration, cloud computing, virtual desktop infrastructure, network design and implementation, storage, security, virtualization, business continuity, visual communications, audio/visual technologies, maintenance, and implementation services. The company?s Financing segment offers a range of leasing and financing options for IT and capital assets, such as computers, associated accessories and software, communication-related equipment, medical equipment, industrial machinery and equipment, office furniture and general office equipment, transportation equipment, and other general business equipment. It also leases and finances equipment, as well as supplies software and services directly and through relationships with vendors and equipment manufacturers. ePlus sells its products primarily through direct sales force, inside sales representatives, and business development associates to commercial customers; federal, state, and local governments; K-12 schools; and higher education institutions. The company was formerly known as MLC Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to ePlus inc. in 1999. ePlus was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on ePlus inc. (Nasdaq: PLUS ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Best Tech Stocks To Invest In 2014: Qlik Technologies Inc.(QLIK)
Qlik Technologies Inc. engages in the development, commercialization, and implementation of software products and related services for user-driven business intelligence that enables customers to make business decisions primarily in the Americas, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and Africa. It provides QlikView Business Discovery platform, which helps people create and share insights and analysis in groups and across organizations. Business users can explore data, ask and answer their own stream of questions, and follow their own path to insight on their own and in teams and groups. The company also offers maintenance and professional services. It sells its products to a range of industry verticals, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, pharmaceuticals, retail, manufacturing, technology, and healthcare through its direct sales force, as well as through an indirect channel partners comprising distribution partners, value-added resellers, system integrators, and original equipment manufacturers to license and support its software platform. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania.
- [By Lee Jackson]
Qlik Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: QLIK) is a favorite at Baird and was recently upgraded to buy at Jefferies. The company engages in the development, commercialization and implementation of software products and related services for user-driven business intelligence that enables customers to make business decisions primarily in the Americas, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. It provides the QlikView Business Discovery platform, which helps people create and share insights and analysis in groups and across organizations. Its strength in business analytics and financial services may bode well after the IBM issues. The Baird price target for the stock is $33, and the consensus number is at $32.27. The stock closed Wednesday at $28.60.
- [By John Udovich]
Yesterday, small cap business intelligence stock MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ: MSTR) surged 18.44% after reporting better-than-expected third quarter earnings – meaning it might be a good idea to take a closer look at it along with small cap peers Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: BIRT) and Qlik Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: QLIK) to see what they might offer small cap investors. After all, everyone is being inundated with huge amounts of data from multiple sources, but its the following small cap stocks that provide software platforms to help customers try to make sense of it all:
- [By Lauren Pollock]
Qlik Technologies Inc.’s(QLIK) third-quarter earnings soared due to a tax benefit, but higher costs more than offset revenue growth. Shares dropped as revenue missed expectations and the company’s outlook for the current quarter was short of analysts’ estimates.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of business software specialist Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ: QLIK ) climbed 13% today after its quarterly results and outlook easily topped Wall Street expectations.
Best Tech Stocks To Invest In 2014: CommVault Systems Inc. (CVLT)
CommVault Systems, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides data and information management software applications and related services primarily in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company develops, markets, and sells a suite of software applications and services under the Simpana brand. Its Simpana software suite includes solution for the backup and restoration of enterprise data for file systems, applications, databases, and virtual machine systems; integrated data archiving solution that optimizes data tiering and improves information governance; and enterprise-wide storage optimization for email and files reducing space on primary storage. The company also provides solutions for protection of critical applications and data with snapshots and real-time replication; solutions to analyze, discover, track, trend, and report on physical and virtual storage usage; and Web browser, which allows search, sort, select, and retrieval of corporate files and in formation from online, archive, and backup data copies. In addition, it offers assessment and design, implementation and post-deployment, training, consulting, and customer support services. The company markets and sells its software applications and related services directly to large enterprises, small and medium sized businesses, and government agencies, as well as indirectly through a network of value-added reseller partners, systems integrators, corporate resellers, and original equipment manufacturers. It licenses its software applications to customers in various industries, including banking, insurance and financial services, government, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical services, technology, legal, manufacturing, utilities, and energy. The company has strategic relationships with Dell, Inc.; Hitachi Data Systems; and NetApp. CommVault Systems, Inc. was incorporated in 1996 and is headquartered in Oceanport, New Jersey.
- [By Alex Planes]
What: Shares of CommVault Systems (NASDAQ: CVLT ) were up by as much as 13% at the start of trading this morning after the company reported earnings that beat expectations. However, the stock has been sliding lower all morning, and has now returned to the same level it reached at the close of trading yesterday.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on CommVault Systems (Nasdaq: CVLT ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Best Tech Stocks To Invest In 2014: NetApp Inc.(NTAP)
NetApp, Inc. engages in the design, manufacturing, marketing, and technical support of networked storage solutions. It supplies enterprise storage and data management software, and hardware products and services. The company offers Data ONTAP, an operating system that supports storage area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) environments; storage efficiency technologies, including FlexVol, FlexClone, and Deduplication technologies; storage management and application integration software, such as OnCommand management software; fabric-attached storage unified storage systems, which support a range of data for users on various platforms; and virtual storage tier; V-Series network-based virtualization solutions that provide SAN and NAS access to the data stored in heterogeneous storage arrays. It also provides data protection software products, including Snapshot, SnapRestore, SnapVault, and Open Systems SnapVault techologies; MetroCluster products; and SnapMirror data replication solution. In addition, the company offers data retention and archive products, and Flash Cache modules; and storage security products for data security and key management in IP SAN, NAS, and tape backup environments; StorageGRID that enables intelligent data management and secure content retention; and professional services, global support solutions, and customer education and training. It serves energy, financial services, government, high technology, Internet, life sciences and healthcare services, manufacturing, media, entertainment, animation and video postproduction, and telecommunications industries. It offers its products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, and Japan. The company was formerly known as Network Appliance, Inc. and changed its name to NetApp, Inc. in March 2008. NetApp, Inc. was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.
- [By Rich Bieglmeier]
NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) will announce financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2014 after market close on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. NetApp executive management will host a conference call at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time to discuss these results and provide their perspective on market dynamics. The call will be broadcast live via the Internet.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Earnings Expected From: Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M), Millennial Media, Inc. (NYSE: MM), NetApp, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) Economic Releases Expected: Spanish CPI, British unemployment rate, eurozone industrial production, US Federal budget balance, Japanese industrial production
- [By Sally Jones] ng>Predictability: 4 out of 5 Stars
Up 45% over 12 months, NetApp Inc. has a market cap of $13.24 billion; its shares were traded at around $38.93 with a P/E ratio of 27.20. The dividend yield is 0.80%.
Incorporated in 1992, NetApp Inc. provides data storage systems and data management solutions that form the foundation for efficient and flexible IT infrastructures. The company’s storage systems help customers streamline operations and lower the cost associated with storing and managing data
The company reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 ended July 26, 2013, with revenue of $1.5 billion, up 5% from the same fiscal quarter a year ago. The company had quarterly net income of $82 million (GAAP), compared to $64 million in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share were reported at $0.23 for the fiscal quarter, up from $0.17 per share, for the same quarter a year ago. The company balance sheet shows $5.084 billion of ca sh, cash equivalents and investments, at the end of the first fiscal quarter of 2014.
In a company press release, president and CEO of NetApp Inc., Tom Georgens, commented on his company’s performance: “NetApp delivered solid results and innovation with the latest release to our clustered Data ONTAP® operating system despite an uneven macro environment, our branded business was strong, with 9% year-over-year growth. This is evidence of the tremendous value we are delivering to customers today and their confidence in our long-term strategy to enable them to navigate the future.”
Regarding guidance for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014, the company expects total revenue in the range of $1.560 billion to $1.660 billion, with EPS in the range of $0.41 to $0.46 per share (GAAP).
Guru Action: As of June 30, 2013, David Tepper reduced his position by 10.45%, selling 74,732 shares at an average price of $36.24, for a gain of 7.4%.
Buying 900,399 sha res at an average pri
- [By Benjamin Pimentel]
NetApp (NTAP) shares ended the day down 2.5% in Tuesday, while VMware (VMW) was off almost 3% and Cisco (CSCO) gave up 0.7%
Best Tech Stocks To Invest In 2014: Xing AG (O1BC)
Xing AG, formerly Open Business Club AG, is a Germany-based company engaged in the provision and maintenance of online business communication services. It offers companies enterprise solutions afforded by Web 2.0 and manages the communities for professional networking. It supplies support in establishing new business contacts, expanding and managing the network of contacts and organizing meetings and events. It enables its customers to identify experts in several fields and receive advice on any topic as well as promote themselves in their business environments. It serves a number of networkers worldwide. The product portfolio consists of four categories: openBC platform; openBC Premium Groups; openBC mobile, with mobile phone access; openBC plugin, supporting Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook. The solutions are offered in 16 languages and data as well as privacy protection is provided. It co-operates with epublica, a Web-based corporate solution provider and Sevenval AG. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Morgan]
RWE AG (RWE), Germany’s second-largest utility, slipped 2.4 percent after RBC Capital Markets cut its recommendation on the stock. Lufthansa followed its European peers higher, recovering some of its Aug. 2 selloff. Xing AG (O1BC), the business social network, jumped the most since October as Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) upgraded its rating on the shares.
Best Tech Stocks To Invest In 2014: I.D. Systems Inc.(IDSY)
I.D. Systems, Inc. develops, markets, and sells wireless solutions for managing and securing enterprise assets, including industrial vehicles, such as forklifts, airport ground support equipment, rental vehicles, and transportation assets primarily in North America. The company offers integrated wireless solutions that enable customers to control, monitor, track, and analyze their enterprise assets. Its campus-based fleet management products include On-Asset Hardware, which provides an autonomous means of asset control and monitoring; Wireless Asset Managers that link mobile assets being monitored with customer?s computer network or to a remotely hosted server; Server Software, which manages data communications between the system?s database and either the Wireless Asset Managers or On-Asset Hardware; and Client Software, which restricts access and limits corruption of system information, as well as minimizes network bandwidth usage. The company?s remote asset management pr oducts comprise On-Asset Hardware, which addresses various remote asset types, such as dry van trailers, refrigerated trailers, domestic containers, and railcars, as well as customer-specific requirements; and VeriWise Intelligence Portal, a hosted Website that provides Internet access to client asset information. The company also offers direct feed of the data to customer through XML or Web services. In addition, it provides maintenance, customer support, and consulting services. I.D. Systems markets and sells its wireless solutions to a range of customers in the commercial and government sectors operating in various markets, such as automotive manufacturing, retailers, shippers, freight transportation companies, heavy industry, retail and wholesale distribution, aerospace and defense, homeland security, and vehicle rental directly, as well as through indirect sales channels, such as industrial equipment dealers. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Wo od cliff Lake, New Jersey.
- [By John Udovich]
Yesterday, small cap identity protection stock Lifelock Inc (NYSE: LOCK) surged 15.64% after reporting better-than-expected third quarter earnings thanks in part to playing on the security fears of consumers, meaning its probably time to take a look at it along with two other security stocks, I.D. Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: IDSY) and View Systems Inc (OTCBB: VSYM), which can also play up the fear factor:
Best Tech Stocks To Invest In 2014: Nokia Oyj (NOK1V)
Nokia Oyj is a Finland-based company engaged in the manufacture of mobile devices and networks. It operates three business segments. Devices & Services segment is divided into two areas, Smart Devices, focused on Nokia’s advanced products, such as smart phones, product development and marketing; and Mobile Phones, active in the area of mass market entry and feature phones, affordable smart phones, services, and applications. It also includes net sale of spare parts. Location & Commerce (HERE) segment develops location-based products and services for consumers, as well as platform services and local commerce services for the Group. Additionally, it provides content and map data to NAVTEQ’s customers. Nokia Siemens Networks segment provides a portfolio of mobile, fixed and converged network technology, and professional services, such as consultancy, systems integration, deployment and maintenance. In August 2013, it acquired Siemens AG’s whole stake in Nokia Siemens Network s. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Caroline Chen]
Activist funds generally acquire equity stakes in companies and try to force management and boards to make changes that boost share prices and investor returns. New York-based Third Point was founded by Loeb and this year disclosed stakes in companies including Sony, Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) and Sotheby’s.
- [By Adam Ewing]
A sale would provide the shareholders with cash, while potentially strengthening DNA against larger rivals Elisa Oyj (ELI1V) and TeliaSonera AB. (TLSN) The IPO could be the biggest in Finland, home of Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) and “Angry Birds” maker Rovio Entertainment Oy, since 2005.
- [By Tom Stoukas]
Alcatel Lucent SA (ALU) jumped 6.3 percent to 2.69 euros. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V), which is set to become a manufacturer focusing on wireless networks after the sale of its handset business, is evaluating a linkup with the French company, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
- [By Sharon Cho]
BYD Electronic International Co. and Compal Communications Inc. led gains of Nokia Oyj (NOK1V)’s Asian suppliers after Microsoft Corp. offered to pay 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) for the Finnish company’s handset business. Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) declined 1 percent.