One indicator that almost trumps everything other than earnings when it comes to companies is hiring. It sure doesn’t take an economist to figure out that if a company is hiring more people, and doing it in a big way, it certainly isn’t because its business and sales are slowing down. Demand and new hiring go hand-in-hand, and some of the top software companies are doing some big hiring now.
A new RBC research report notes that after a slowdown in the last half of 2015, with eight consecutive months of software job postings sequentially flat or down, 2016 started with three consecutive months of growth, and for the quarter it finished up 3% over last quarter. RBC feels that the hiring trend is a very positive sign as, on average, management teams appear to be positive on the future.
The report highlights 12 companies that are showing the most positive momentum in terms of job postings, and we feature the four that seem to have the most positive Wall Street view.
This is a high-profile old-school software company and has been posting outstanding earnings. Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) operates in three segments. The Digital Media segment provides tools and solutions that enable individuals, small and medium businesses, and enterprises to create, publish, promote and monetize their digital content.
The Digital Marketing segment offers solutions for how digital advertising and marketing are created, managed, executed, measured and optimized. This segment provides analytics, social marketing, targeting, media optimization, digital experience management and cross-channel campaign management solutions, as well as video delivery and monetization to digital marketers, advertisers, publishers, merchandisers, web analysts, chief marketing officers, chief information officers and chief revenue officers.
The Print and Publishing segment offers products and services, such as eLearning solutions, technical document publishing, web application development and high-end printing, as well as meeting the publishing needs of technical and business and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) printing businesses.
Adobe is also reasonably safe route for investors looking to own a company with a marketing automation product, which has become huge.
The Thomson/First Call consensus price target for the stock is $109.68 The stock closed on Monday at $96.55 per share.
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 accelerated almost every quarter over the past year and a half. 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.
The company reported outstanding fourth-quarter results on strong demand for its APT and mobile security technologies. Total revenue was $458 million, representing a 9% increase year over year. Non-GAAP earnings per share came to $1.20, representing a 12% increase year over year.
Gil Shwed, founder and chief executive officer of Check Point Software Technologies, said:
We completed 2015 with revenues in the upper half of our range and earnings that exceeded our projections. Subscription revenues grew 22 percent during the quarter, driven primarily by customer demand for advanced threat prevention technologies including SandBlast zero-day malware protection. … We’re pleased to see that our investment in advanced threat prevention and mobile security are producing results.”
The consensus price target for the stock is $88.69. The shares closed Monday at $89.66.