As storage and data demand continues to skyrocket, new technologies are always a threat to existing companies, especially if it appears that somebody may have built a better mousetrap. VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) has released new and advanced NSX software, which makes it possible for information technology (IT) organizations to deploy advanced policy-based network services for applications as quickly as a virtual machine (VM), leveraging an existing physical network infrastructure or next generation network hardware from any vendor. The question for investors? Is this good or bad for the top data networking companies.
In a new report from Cowen, the answer to the NSX question is that the application is being employed specifically to provide security to VMs within a data center. Not only will this not hurt the current top vendors in the space, but the Cowen team feels that it might even increase deployment. They see four top companies that are likely to benefit directly.
Cowen has four stocks rated Outperform that are solid investments for investors looking for technology companies to an aggressive growth portfolio.
Arista Networks Inc. (NYSE: ANET) went public in June and has continued to be one of the hot IPO stories of this year. The company delivers software-driven cloud networking solutions for large data center and computing environments. In addition, the company’s 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet switches offer scalability and performance, and it has more than 2,700 customers and more than two million cloud networking ports deployed worldwide.
The Cowen price target is somewhat oddly set at only $85. The Thomson/First Call price target is at $86.94, but shares closed Wednesday at $88.75.
Cisco Systems Inc.‘s (NASDAQ: CSCO) dominance in wireless equipment and its undisputed “800-pound gorilla” status in the industry makes the company an attractive stock to buy now. Earnings for the quarter were solid, but after the big numbers in May, some Wall Street analysts were disappointed with the August results. Many firms on Wall Street, including Cowen, feel that the stock is providing investors a good entry point, despite the fact that some corporate restructuring lies ahead.
The Cowen team also views the integration F5 Networks services into Cisco’s products as a plus for both companies and a leg-up with NSX integration. Investors are paid a 3.05% dividend. The Cowen price target is $34, and the consensus target is much lower at $26.15. The stock closed Wednesday at $24.93.
F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) provides solutions for an application based world. It helps organizations seamlessly scale cloud, data center and software defined networking deployments to successfully deliver applications to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Its solutions broaden the reach of IT through an open, extensible framework and a rich partner ecosystem of leading technology and data center orchestration vendors.
The Cowen analysts’ checks at the recent VMWorld conference point to a number of incremental revenue drivers for F5 Networks, especially when related to VMware directly. These include the company’s integration with VMware’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution and its launch of a key component of its BIG-IQ solution by the end of calendar 2014. The Cowen price target for this tech leader is $133, and the Wall Street consensus is $123.50. Shares closed Wednesday at $125.19.
Infoblox Inc. (NYSE: BLOX) is another top stock in the Cowen report rated Outperform. The company delivers automated network control solutions, the fundamental technology that connects end users, devices and networks. These solutions enable approximately 7,100 enterprises and service providers to transform, secure and scale complex networks.
The Cowen analysts see Infoblox as likely benefiting from VMware’s virtualization solutions. They feel that this should allay concerns that VMware can eliminate or attenuate the need for the company’s Internet protocol address management solution. The Cowen price target is $21, and the consensus target is set at $18.41. The stock closed Wednesday at $14.47.
The Cowen team offers tech investors two solid ways to participate in this fast-growing data networking arena: two tried and true tech names and two up-and-comers. Depending on your risk appetite, you have a choice on how to be involved in this hyper-growth sector.