3 Analyst Must-Own Stocks for the Cloud Data and Self-Driving Revolutions

September 2, 2016 by 247lee

There are two game changing technologies that are going to increase sequentially for this year and beyond, and what they will bring to both consumers and commerce is truly the stuff of the future. While streaming video and data from the cloud are hardly new, the growth rate is the most dynamic in technology. The next is the move toward fully autonomous driving, and with both you have growth drivers for certain tech companies that are incredible.

A new research report from RBC gives a recapitulation of the firm’s recent IT hardware, networking and semiconductor leg of the firm’s bus tech tour. In it the focus is on the unprecedented growth for cloud service providers and the companies that will make the chips going into autonomous driving automobiles. Three stocks are rated Outperform and could be core holdings in technology in an aggressive growth account.

Cisco

This is one of the top mega-cap technology stock picks on Wall Street. Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) designs, manufactures and sells Internet Protocol (IP) based networking products and services related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. It provides switching products, including fixed-configuration and modular switches, and storage products that provide connectivity to end users, workstations, IP phones, wireless access points and servers, as well as next-generation network routing products that interconnect public and private wireline and mobile networks for mobile, data, voice and video applications.

Cisco offers service provider video infrastructure, including set-top boxes, cable/telecommunications access products, and cable modems, as well as video software and solutions. In addition, it provides collaboration products comprising unified communications products, conferencing products, telepresence systems and enterprise mobile messaging products; data center products, such as blade, rack and modular servers, fabric interconnects, software and server access virtualization solutions; security products, including network and data center security, advanced threat protection, web and email security, access and policy, unified threat management, and advisory, integration, and managed services; and other products, such as emerging technologies and other networking products.

Analysts across Wall Street point to an estimated double-digit bookings momentum for Cisco’s Meraki Cloud Services. Many think that Meraki is likely to be a $1 billion plus run-rate business this year, with an incredible 50% to 70% compounded annual growth rate. A jump from 40 GE to 100 GE data center switching and next generation security are also adding to the total sales profile and product mix.

Cisco investors are paid an outstanding 3.3% dividend. The RBC price target for the stock is $35, and the Wall Street consensus target is lower at $32.85. The shares closed most recently at $31.58.

Lam Research

This company remains one of the top chip equipment picks across Wall Street. Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) designs, manufactures, markets, refurbishes and services semiconductor processing equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits. The company offers plasma etch products that remove materials from the wafer to create the features and patterns of a device.

Many Wall Street analysts have highlighted the company and its peers as having a significant equipment opportunity from the NAND evolution as well. Lam Research also appears well positioned to gain share in the wafer fab equipment (WFE) market, driven by a strong focus on technology inflection spending over the next few years.

Despite so-so foundry and logic spending in 2015, many on Wall Street think that Lam Research also will continue to benefit from technology transitions such as FinFET, 3D NAND, multi patterning and advanced packaging in 2015 and beyond. Many analysts believe it is the “cleanest” semi cap story benefiting from cyclical tailwind, SAM expansion and share gains.

While some have protested the company’s acquisition of KLA-Tencor, top analysts across Wall Street feel the deal will go through, making Lam Research the biggest force to contend with in the semiconductor capital equipment space.

Shareholders receive a 1.3% dividend. RBC has a $105 price target for the stock, and the consensus target is $101.28. The stock closed Thursday at $94.63 per share.

NVIDIA

This top chip stock has reported strong earnings this year, and it busted through the roof second-quarter numbers earlier this month. NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) is one of the leaders when it comes to supplying graphics processing technology for the 3D graphics market, including desktop graphics processors and gaming consoles.

NVIDIA is also moving into visual computing chips for cars, mobile devices and supercomputers. The company has a technology partnership with electric car maker Tesla Motors. It has been able to use its ability to leverage past investments, with a more controlled spending structure ahead on unified, which enables strong cash flow that is allowing a focus on capital return, which is currently estimated to be $1 billion next year.

Top Wall Street analysts feel the stock is maturing to a platform company from a pure chip company, and they see the stock continuing to benefit from four secular trends: virtual reality, PC gaming, chips in the automobile industry and graphic processing units (GPUs) in the cloud.

The RBC team noted this in their report:

We held meetings with investors and Nvidia and came away incrementally more positive on the company’s long-term prospects. Important data points included: 1) NVIDIA believes a ~$200–300 virtual reality price point would help inflect game development and adoption;2) HMD units could see an inflection in growth exiting 2017; 3) the quality VR experience can be improved materially over the next several years, allowing average selling prices to be stable;4) NVIDIA reiterated its original 12-month target for an autonomous vehicle built with Drive PX (~8–9 months out from today); and 5) we remain positive on Data Center growth driven by GPU
sales

Investors are paid a 0.7% dividend. The $72 RBC price objective is well above the consensus target of $49.93. The stock closed Thursday at $63.15

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Three top technology companies with very bright futures. Given the pricey market, investors may want to buy partial positions here and see how the often volatile months of September and October play out.