Apps & Software

Baird's 4 Top Speculative Risk Tech Stocks to Buy Now

Despite the intense beating the market took last week, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are still up almost 5% for the year. The top sector for investors through July continues to be technology, up 14.5% year-to-date. The question is, where do investors with a higher speculative technology bias to their portfolio look to now?

A new research report from the software analysts at Baird does a deep-dive through their universe of software stocks and remains very positive as we head in to the fall. With August usually the worst trading month for stocks, we were intrigued by their four “speculative risk” stocks that are rated Outperform. For investors with a large appetite for risk and a tolerance for volatility, these could be winning stocks to own the rest of the year.

Concur Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: CNQR) has remained a top stock to buy at Baird this year. The company’s easy-to-use Web-based and mobile solutions help companies and their employees control costs and save time. Concur Connect is the platform that enables the entire travel and expense ecosystem of customers, suppliers and developers to access and extend Concur’s travel and entertainment cloud. The Baird team sees accelerating growth for the company and a strong market position. The Baird price target is $115, and the consensus target is $108.25. Concur closed Friday at $91.04.

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Tableau Software Inc. (NASDAQ: DATA) was sold off last week despite an impressive earnings beat. Tableau posted second-quarter revenue of $90.7 million and adjusted earnings per share of $0.05. Analysts’ estimates suggested $79.88 million in revenue and a $0.04 per share loss. The company also raised full-year 2014 revenue guidance, setting a new range of $366 million to $372 million. The Baird price target for the stock is $85, and the consensus estimate is posted at $84.44. Tableau closed Friday down almost 5% at $61.94.

ServiceNow Inc. (NYSE: NOW) is an enterprise IT cloud company. They transform IT by automating and managing IT service relationships across the global enterprise. Organizations deploy the company’s services to create a single system of record for IT and automate manual tasks, standardize processes and consolidate legacy systems.

ServiceNow reported a mixed bag of earnings last week. While the company beat revenue expectations, the bottom line figure was merely in line as profit remains elusive, and deferred revenue came up short of Wall Street expectations. The third-quarter revenue guidance beat, however, and many analysts including the Baird team remain upbeat. Baird has a $65 price target, while the consensus is even higher at $71.50. Shares closed Friday at $56.67.

Qualys Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS) wraps up the four “speculative risk” stock ideas to buy in the technology sector. Baird views the company as having a unique market positioning as a cloud-based security vendor. They also see accelerating revenue growth and a strong new product pipeline. Baird has a $25 price target, while the consensus is set at $24.55. The stock closed Friday trading at $23.51.

Clearly “speculative risk” rated stocks are only for very aggressive portfolios with high-risk tolerance. For investors looking to extend technology gains the rest of the year, they may be top picks to consider.

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