To say that the internet has had a massive impact on the lives of people around the world is a huge understatement. Most people own smartphones, and many have the ability access all the information learned and recorded since the beginning of time. The growth and expansion of internet capability, along with digital media, will continue well into the future, and some companies will be huge winners.
In a new SunTrust Robinson Humphrey research note wraps up the firm’s just completed Internet & Digital Media (IDM) conference. Major themes that continue to emerge are artificial intelligence and machine learning, which when applied to valuable data is a huge force currently being used by mega cap tech, and increasingly by other companies as well.
Four companies highlighted in the report are rated Buy at SunTrust, and all make sense for aggressive growth accounts looking for alpha-generating ideas.
This French-based advertising tech company is becoming a very hot commodity on Wall Street. Criteo S.A. (NASDAQ: CRTO) engages in the digital performance marketing in France and internationally. Its Criteo Engine solution includes recommendation algorithms that create and tailor advertisements to specific user interest by determining the specific products and services to include in the advertisement; prediction algorithms that predict the probability and nature of a user’s engagement with a given advertisement; and bidding engine for executing campaigns based on objectives set by the clients.
The Criteo Engine solution also comprises dynamic creative optimization; software systems and processes that enable data synchronization, storage and analysis of distributed computing infrastructure in multiple geographies; and experimentation platform, an offline/online platform to enhance the prediction abilities of its models. In addition, it offers data assets, which collect information about the interaction of users with its advertisers and publishers digital properties, and access to advertising inventory.
The SunTrust price target for the stock is $59, the same as the Wall Street consensus target. Shares closed Friday at $53.61.
This company is facing ever more competition, but it continues to try and hold their own. Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) provides internet music streaming services in North America. It allows its listeners to create personalized stations to access free music and comedy catalogs, as well as a personalized playlist generating system. It also offers Pandora One, a paid subscription service to listeners. And it sells audio, display and video advertising to advertisers for delivery on computer, mobile and other connected device platforms.
While Pandora is clearly not the only company with a big desire to be in the music streaming business, it is the current leader in installation and use in the automotive world, and despite poor earnings, a shake-up is perhaps on the way.
The analysts noted this about the current state of affairs for the company:
As it relates to the KKR investment, Board shakeup, and strategic review, we think the company has a strategy in place should it remain independent, but is first pursuing a sale over the next 30 days with the fallback financing/strategy possibly providing some better footing in negotiation.
We wrote recently that some of the interest in a possible sale of the company could be slowing.
The $16 SunTrust price target compares with the consensus target of $13.50. The stock closed Friday at $9.82.