For five long years, many of the top software companies in the United States have battled currency headwinds as the dollar has remained elevated, but for the time being those headwinds may be turning into tailwinds, despite the recent dollar appreciation versus the pound following the Brexit decision. Add in valuations that are just slightly higher than the historical norm, and investors looking for solid technology adds to their portfolios may have some golden opportunities.
In a new research report, Jefferies highlights its top software picks for the fourth quarter, and some not only could post solid third-quarter results, they may also be poised for a nice run through the quarter and into 2017. We screened the list for stocks rated Buy with the biggest upside potential to the Jefferies price target, and found four that look very promising.
Jefferies team feels new business at this company may be growing faster than renewals. CA Inc. (NASDAQ: CA) provides information technology (IT) management software and solutions that help organizations plan, develop, manage and secure applications and IT infrastructure in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: Mainframe Solutions, Enterprise Solutions and Services.
The Jefferies analysts feel that with growth outpacing renewals, which is a requirement for revenue growth, their main thesis on the company has been that the stock is not priced for growth, having little downside if they don’t achieve growth, but good upside if they do.
CA investors receive a very solid 3.17% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $38, and the Wall Street consensus target is $33. The stock closed near that level on Tuesday at $32.49.
Check Point Software Technologies
This remains one of the top tech stocks to buy on Wall Street for a security presence. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) is one of the best in helping customers protect against advanced persistent threats (APTs). The company is considered a worldwide leader in securing the internet, providing customers with uncompromised protection against all types of threats, reduces security complexity and lowering the total cost of ownership. Check Point first pioneered the industry with FireWall-1 and its patented stateful inspection technology.
The company’s revenue growth rate has slowed somewhat compared to years of massive quarter-over-quarter gains. However, many on Wall Street think that Check Point should see year-over-year accelerating growth in product licenses, particularly as the security firewall refresh appears to be in the beginning stages.
With current concerns about internet security and hacking, it’s probably a good time to look at companies that help protect computers, servers and infrastructure. Check Point has been doing that for more than 20 years.
Jefferies has a mammoth $100 price target, and the consensus target is just $82.69. The shares closed Tuesday at $76.20.
This stock is down 25% since last December. CommVault Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CVLT) is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform modern data environments. With solutions and services delivered directly and through a worldwide network of partners and service providers, CommVault solutions comprise one of the industry’s leading portfolios in data protection and recovery, cloud, virtualization, archive, file sync and share.
The company’s exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unprecedented control over data growth, costs and risk. CommVault’s Simpana software suite of products was designed to work together seamlessly from the ground up, sharing a single code and common function set, to deliver superlative data protection, archive, replication, search and resource management capabilities.
The $64 Jefferies price target compares with the consensus target of $58.36. Shares closed Tuesday at $52.75.
Although still down from highs printed in the summer of 2015, the stock has rallied nicely off lows printed back in February. VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) provides virtualization infrastructure solutions in the United States and internationally.
The company’s virtualization infrastructure solutions include a suite of products designed to deliver a software-defined data center run on industry-standard desktop computers and servers, and support a range of operating system and application environments, as well as networking and storage infrastructures. Its solutions enable organizations to aggregate multiple servers, storage infrastructure and networks together into shared pools of capacity.
The Jefferies team cites the company’s strong balance sheet, with $8.7 billion in cash and short-term securities and a previously announced $1.2 billion stock buyback program that goes through the end of the year. They also point to the synergies in the deal with Dell, where it acquires EMC, which owns a huge position of VMware stock.
The Jefferies price target is $89. The consensus target is $75.41. The shares closed Tuesday at $72.11.
These four top software stocks to buy all have considerable, double-digit upside to the Jefferies price targets. While all are mature franchises, they are more suited for risk-tolerant accounts as the sector can be volatile.