Groundbreaking Technology Innovation Could Be Huge for 5 Top Tech Stocks

Innovation and change in the technology sector is an everyday event, and often just a ho-hum response is given. Every once in a while though, something really big comes along and it’s a potential game-changer. Think the smartphone introduction or cloud computing. A new report from Stifel does a deep dive on a new application that may have a big impact.

The report notes that there has been a ton of interest in container technology and Docker over the past two years. A container is similar to a virtual machine (VM), but lighter and quicker to turn on and off, making it more scalable in a cloud deployment. Docker containers wrap up a piece of software in a complete file-system that contains everything it needs to run: code, run-time, system tools, system libraries, anything you can install on a server. This guarantees that it will always run the same, regardless of the environment it is running in.

Stifel points to five stocks it rates at Buy that may benefit directly from the deployment of this new innovation.

Arista Networks

Arista Networks Inc. (NYSE: ANET) went public in the summer of 2014 and continued to be one of the hot tech IPO stories of the past year. It delivers software-driven cloud networking solutions for large data center and computing environments. In addition, its 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet switches offer scalability and performance, with over 2,700 customers and more than 2 million cloud networking ports deployed worldwide. At the core of Arista’s platform is EOS, an advanced network operating system.

Many on Wall Street think that Arista could benefit from dual supplier requirements at the Web 2.0 and cloud portals and could see upside to the lofty 30% compound annual growth rates currently forecast. Stifel sees it benefiting as a networking vendor that is levered to data-center deployments.

The Stifel price target for the stock is $95. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $90.39 Shares closed most recently at $61.19.

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A leading maker of fiber optic networking equipment sold to telecom carriers, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) is expected to get a large chunk of the Verizon 100 Gbps Dense Wave Division Multiplex Metro optical network build-out. Some Wall Street analysts think the company could see as much as 30% of the total, and that Verizon could end up being as much as a 10% customer next year.

Ciena leverages its deep expertise in packet and optical networking and distributed software automation to deliver solutions in alignment with its OPn architecture for next-generation networks. The company enables a high-scale, programmable infrastructure that can be controlled and adapted by network-level applications and provide open interfaces to coordinate computing, storage and network resources in a unified, virtualized environment.

In addition to the Verizon deal, a majority of enterprise and Web/cloud data centers are in the process of running high speed 40/100G optical interconnects between their data centers. Some Wall Street analysts feel that Ciena can hit 45% gross margins and low to mid-teens operating margins over the next two or three years. The Stifel team points to the fact the company is leveraged to the data center interconnect market.

The Stifel price target is $30, above the $27.96 consensus target. The stock closed Wednesday at $20.72.

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