“The Cloud” has evolved from a budding innovation in tech into one of the largest factors driving growth in the technology sector in only a few years. Today, cloud computing is an integral part of software-related firms, which in turn has seen investors search for cloud-focused tech stocks.
In our increasingly interconnect and mobile world, cloud computing has dramatically reshaped the way companies conduct business. Cloud computing, like the smartphone and many other innovations, is hardly a fad, and it seems nearly impossible to think that people will reverse course—unless the cybersecurity concerns become too high.
Think how much market share Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) AWS cloud business was able to gain based on its significant head start into the now booming market over rivals and fellow giants. With this in mind, we have highlighted three stocks that are not only showing strong cloud-related activity but also some strong fundamentals.
Take a look at these three cloud stocks to consider buying right now...
1. Paycom Software, Inc. (PAYC - Free Report)
Paycom is a cloud-based human capital management software firm that boasts it is “one HR and payroll solution for managing employees from recruitment to retirement.” The company posted at the end of July stronger-than-projected second-quarter 2019 results. PAYC executives also upped the firm’s full-year guidance once again. Meanwhile, PAYC shares have surged roughly 80% in the last 12 months and 97% in 2019 to destroy its industry’s 32% expansion. Paycom stock currently rests near its all-time highs at roughly $240 a share.
The Oklahoma City-based firm’s impressive upward earnings estimate revisions activity helps PAYC earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Looking ahead, our Zacks Consensus Estimates call for the firm’s adjusted Q3 earnings pop 33% to hit $0.69 per share, on the back of roughly 29% revenue growth. Plus, Paycom’s full-year fiscal 2019 EPS figure is projected to surge 28%, with sales expected to climb 29% to reach $729.7 million. Paycom’s top and bottom-line growth is expected to continue in 2020 as more companies digitalize and modernize their back-end office operations.
2. Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report)
Microsoft stock has soared over 34% in 2019, hitting new highs to help it become the world’s most valuable public firm with a market cap over $1 trillion. MSFT has not seemed as trendy in recent years as some of the so call-FAANG stocks, such as Apple (AAPL - Free Report) , Facebook (FB - Free Report) , and Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) . Yet MSFT shares have easily outpaced those tech giants over the last 12 months and its growth outlook appears stellar. Microsoft has also been able to avoid government scrutiny and it pays a dividend, which many growth-focused tech companies don’t.
MSFT’s expanding cloud business has helped drive the firm’s recent expansion, including in Q4 fiscal 2019 when Intelligent Cloud revenue jumped 19%, driven by Azure’s 64% growth. The company has cloud deals with powers such as Walmart (WMT - Free Report) . The Redmond, Washington-headquarter firm’s full-year fiscal 2020 revenue is projected to climb 11% to $139.76 billion, with 2021 projected to come in 10.5% higher at $154.42 billion. MSFT’s 2020 EPS figure is projected to jump roughly 10%, while 2021’s earnings are expected to surge 12.8% above our current year estimate. Microsoft is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) right now that also holds “B” grades for both Growth and Momentum in our Style Scores system.
3. Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL - Free Report)
One of Microsoft’s cloud competitors is Google parent Alphabet. The firm has expanded its cloud offerings as it tries to diversify beyond its ad-based search business. Alphabet’s cloud push also includes a plan to enter the potentially massive and nascent cloud gaming market this fall, with the launch of Stadia. In late July, the company posted better-than-expected quarterly financial results and authorized a $25 billion a stock buyback program. Shares of GOOGL surged following the announcement, as investors were eager for the technology powerhouse with billions of cash on hand to return more money to shareholders.
Like its peers, GOOGL is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at the moment and rocks a “B” grade for Growth in our Style Scores system. The firm’s Q3 revenue is projected to jump 20.4% to $32.71 billion. Looking ahead, Alphabet’s full-year revenue is expected to climb 20% this year and 17.5% higher than 2019 in the following period. At the bottom end of the income statement, GOOGL’s EPS figure is projected to climb 13.6%, with nearly 13% further expansion expected in 2020. Investors should also note that GOOGL is trading below its five-year median forward P/E of 25X at 21.7X, which also marks a discount against its industry’s 27.8X average.
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