Deutsche Bank Initiates and Upgrades Top Software Stocks to Buy

Big data and security continue to be the major themes at the Wall Street firms that we cover at 24/7 Wall St. A string of embarrassing data breaches at major U.S. corporations has not only rattled consumers, it has put a spotlight on security, as that has now become job number one.

The software team at Deutsche Bank is right in step with those priorities. In a new research report, they initiate coverage on some of the top software stocks and also upgrade other top names from Hold to Buy.

Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) is initiated as a Buy at Deutsche Bank. The stock remains a leader of the cyber security group when it comes to market share gains. Despite ongoing patent infringement litigation with Juniper Networks, customers are still confident in the company and its products. The company’s platform comprises Next-Generation Firewall that delivers application, user and content visibility and control. It delivers its platform in the form of a hardware or virtual appliance and includes a suite of subscription services, as well as support and maintenance services. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $60.95. Palo Alto closed Wednesday at $62.02.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) is another top name initiated as a Buy at Deutsche Bank. The company announced a 6 million share follow-on offering that was priced at $81. Splunk provides software solutions that provide real-time operational intelligence. It offers Splunk, an engine that collects, indexes and harnesses machine data generated by physical, virtual or in the cloud IT infrastructure, and Splunk Storm, a cloud version of Splunk to analyze cloud-based applications. The consensus price target for the stock is $75.21. Splunk closed Wednesday at $82.24.

Tableau Software Inc. (NASDAQ: DATA) is also initiated as a stock to Buy at Deutsche Bank. Tableau is a $4.2 billion company, but it had just $192.8 million in sales over the past 12 months. This is a massive disconnect between fundamentals and valuation, implying that investors assume Tableau will one day grow large enough to support its valuation. If the stock continues to climb into the lofty valuation, investors will be well rewarded. The consensus price target for the stock is $72.53. Tableau closed Wednesday at $77.58.

NetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N) gets the upgrade to Buy from Hold and has been a top name to buy on Wall Street for the past year. The company provides cloud-based financials/enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suites in the United States and internationally. It offers NetSuite, a platform with financials/ERP, customer relationship management, professional services automation and e-commerce capabilities that automate processes across departments. The consensus price target for the stock is posted at $112.20. NetSuite closed Wednesday at $111.51.

Big data, cyber security, cloud computing and hosting continue to be dominant themes on Wall Street for 2014. With an onslaught of cyber attacks expected to continue, the companies that innovate and stay one-step ahead will prosper. Investors will be well served to add these top names to their portfolio.