Jefferies Very Positive on 4 Leading Software Stocks for 2020

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Microsoft

This top old-school technology stock saw posted all-time highs this year, and the company has a massive $133.8 billion sitting on the balance sheet. Microsoft Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFT) continues to find an increasing amount of support from portfolio managers, who have added the software giant to their holdings at an increasingly faster pace so far this year and all of last.

Many Wall Street analysts feel that Microsoft has become a clear number two in the public or hyper-scale cloud infrastructure market with Azure, which is the company’s cloud computing platform offering. Some have flagged Azure as a solid rival to Amazon’s AWS service, while others maintain that Microsoft is discounting Azure for large enterprises, such that Azure may be cheaper than AWS for larger users. The cloud was big in the second-quarter earnings report, which was outstanding.

Microsoft shareholders receive a 1.45% dividend. The $160 Jefferies price target compares with both the $156.77 posted consensus price objective as well as the most recent share price of $139.68.

Salesforce.com

This top company has reported solid fiscal 2019 results so far as billings have drastically improved, and this past quarter was no exception. Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) provides enterprise cloud computing solutions, with a focus on customer relationship management to various businesses and industries worldwide. It has one of the most valuable tech brands in the world.

It offers enterprise cloud computing applications and platform services, including Sales Cloud that enables companies to store data, monitor leads and progress, forecast opportunities, gain insights through relationship intelligence and collaborate around sales on desktop and mobile devices.

The company also provides Service Cloud, which enables companies to deliver personalized customer service and support, as well as connect their service agents with customers on various devices, and Marketing Cloud, which enables companies to plan, personalize and optimize customer interactions.

In addition, Salesforce announced earlier this month that it has completed its acquisition of Tableau Software, bringing together the world’s number one customer relationship management company with the world’s number one analytics platform.

Jefferies has set its price target at $171. The consensus target was last seen at $182.72, and shares ended the week trading at $149.37.

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These top companies have had substantial runs over the past couple of years, and with third-quarter earnings about to hit the tape, it may make sense to buy partial positions and see how the results come in. The good news for investors is that they are all leaders in their specific categories and should remain that way for years.