Apps & Software

UBS Spotlights 4 Top Software Stocks to Buy

Wall Street firms are renowned for holding conferences, many at fancy locales that draw in the top companies looking to present not only to the host firm, but attending investors. The UBS Global Technology Conference is one of the premiere events, and this year’s event as always, has the big players. In a research note, the UBS analysts summarized presentations and upcoming catalysts from some of the top software companies.

Security remains a top concern, and it was addressed in detail at the conference. In fact, the UBS analysts believe that security likely will continue moving toward a service-oriented delivery model, similar to several other areas of enterprise software. The UBS report highlights four stocks, all are rated Buy.

Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) is a top tech stock that was manhandled during the sell-off in growth names back in October. The stock has still not recovered to where it was trading then, even though it has outperformed the overall Nasdaq composite. The company announced in the spring the availability of Lightroom mobile, only available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud. The new app brings powerful Lightroom tools to the iPad, delivering photography essentials — such as non-destructive processing of files — and utilizing new Smart Preview technologies to free professional-class photo editing from the confines of the desktop. The company is still looking for a compound annual growth rate of 30% bookings and 25% on revenues.

The UBS price target for this top name is $85. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $79.56. Adobe closed Tuesday at $70.83 a share.

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Marin Software Inc. (NYSE: MRIN) is a top stock pick at UBS that could bring home the bacon for investors. The company is a provider of a leading revenue acquisition management platform for advertisers and agencies. The company announced last summer the acquisition of Perfect Audience, a privately held display and social retargeting company. Perfect Audience offers advertisers a powerful, easy-to-use SaaS platform to retarget audiences across the Web, Facebook and Twitter.

UBS has a massive $17 price target for the stock, while the consensus target is $15.13. Marin closed trading Tuesday at $8.20, down almost 3%.

Tableau Software Inc. (NASDAQ: DATA) has taken a huge dive since hitting 52-week highs of over $100 back in February. This sell-off comes despite solid earnings reported in the first three quarters of the year. Tableau is one of the market leaders when it comes to big data and is a global leader in rapid-fire, easy-to-use business intelligence software. UBS sees the company as perhaps the most compelling way for investors to play big data for the mass market, where continued execution momentum and conservative guidance should provide sustained upside and material upward estimate revisions.

The UBS price objective is $97, and the consensus target is higher at $95.58. Shares closed Tuesday at $82.10.

VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) was a top stock to buy on Wall Street until back-to-back mediocre earnings releases. The company is still a leader in cloud storage software, and its cloud computing service is a new offering for customers. The vCloud Hybrid Service hasn’t yet been designed or marketed as a standalone public cloud. Many Wall Street analysts believe that on a pricing basis it is one of the more expensive offerings. The ability to tie its software solutions in with public cloud service may be a huge winner in the future. In fact, the UBS team pointed out that company management sees 2015 growth enhanced by the opportunity with hybrid cloud, SW-defined data-center and end-user computing.

The UBS price target for the stock is $106, and the consensus target is $102.82. VMware closed Thursday at $86.29. Investors can also indirectly own VMware by buying the stock of storage giant EMC, which owns over 43 million shares of the stock. EMC closed Tuesday at $30.39.

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Technology should continue to lead in 2015, and these are four solid software stocks for aggressive growth accounts to consider.

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