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If you are shopping for a mortgage, you have probably seen all sorts of offers and advertisements aimed at first-time home buyers and wondered if these are really as good as they sound. In some cases, “first-time” programs are little more than attention getting marketing messages from lenders, while in others they are actual assistance programs for people who may otherwise face challenges with qualifying for a home mortgage or finding a home loan at an affordable interest rate. With this in mind, it is important to understand the difference between mortgage lender marketing programs, actual loan programs, and financial assistance programs.

You can be a first-time home buyer more than once

First of all, even if you have previously owned a home, you (or your spouse) may still qualify as a first-time home buyer. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, first-time home buyer status is not limited to people who have never owned a home before (although that criteria obviously applies). For lending purposes, a first-time home buyer includes anyone who fits one or more of these conditions:

stock report: RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.(RNR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.MONEYSHOW.COM]

    RenaissanceRe Holdings (RNR) is a global provider of reinsurance, as well as various types of insurance and related services. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Bermuda, notes Jack Adamo, editor of Insiders Plus.

stock report: Signet Jewelers Limited(SIG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The stock posting the largest daily percentage gain in the S&P 500 ahead of the close Thursday was Signet Jewelers Limited (NYSE: SIG), which rose roughly 9% to $52.52. The stocks 52-week range is $46.09 to $101.46. Volume was nearly 5 million on the day compared to the average of 1.8 million.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Signet Jewelers (SIG) soared to the top of the S&P 500 today after reporting better-than-expected earnings and offering a staunch defense of the company’s culture.

    Getty Images

    Signet Jewelersgained 8.7% to $70.02 today, while the S&P 500 ticked up 0.1% to 2,364.87.

    CFRA’s Efraim Levy still sees “risks” despite Signet’s defense of itself today:

    We lower our 12-month target by $4 to $81, or 11X our FY 18 (Jan.) EPS of $7.35 (reduced $0.30). We apply a P/E below SIG’s 10-year forward average of 13.4X, to reflect challenges of negative same-store sales, offset by our favorable longer-term view of SIG’s market position. SIG today addressed recent headlines, but we still see risks, despite implied upside potential to our target. Posts adjusted Jan-Q EPS of $4.03 vs. $3.63, in line with Capital IQ consensus and January guidance. Same-store sales fell an in-line 4.5%, dragged down by the Sterling Jewelers division.

    Signet Jewelers’ market capitalization rose to $4.9 billion today from $4.5 billion yesterday.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows shares of Tiffany & Co heading back towards late 2014 highs while mid capSignet Jewelers Ltd (NYSE: SIG) peaked in late 2015 andhas continued to fall off since then:

stock report: Salesforce.com Inc(CRM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) fiscal third-quarter results also are scheduled for Tuesday. The consensus forecast is $0.37 in EPS on $2.65 billion in revenue. Shares were last seen at $107.58. The consensus price target is $115.20. The 52-week range is $66.43 to $107.85.

  • [By Sreekanth Anasa]

    According to Equities.com analyst Michael Markowski, Microsoft could be the first digital companyhit a $1 trillion market capitalization. As of Thursday, Microsoft had the third largest market cap of $486.83B, behind Apple Inc ($619.79B) and Alphabet Inc ($543.04B).Microsoft’s $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn is the big ticket according toanalyst Michael Markowski.The LinkedIn acquisition expands its PE and positions Microsoft to capitalize from emerging online crowdsourced funding.Michael Markowski states”It has a monopoly on the business social media niche or community.” It is well positioned to take advantage of tons of data of 467M LinkedIn users.Microsoft also plans to use LinkedIns social graph to bolster its customer relationship management tool to compete with industry-leadersalesforce (NYSE:CRM).

  • [By WWW.MONEYSHOW.COM]

    Cloud-software leader Salesforce (CRM) – my Top Pick for 2017 among large cap technology stocks — remains well positioned to reap the benefits of the transition away from on-premises solutions.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    “There are two things that mess up your relationships, it’s anger and fear,” explains Robbins. Robbins points to Salesforce (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff as being a total giver, which has set him up for success in business.

stock report: iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund(IBB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Biotech stocks are having a great day today–iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) has climbed 2.5% to $276.92–leading some to suggest that 2017 could be better for investors than 2016 was. Not Baird’s Brian Skorney and Michael Ulz, who “don’t think 2017 will be worse than 2016″ but “aren’t quite sure it will be much better.” They explain why:

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Short story is, growth products are slowing and large net price increases are appearing increasingly unsustainable, even if the government doesn’t intervene. The innovation cycle appears to be in a waning period and, so far, large-caps with boatloads of cash seem to be hesitant to act. 2017 should have some excitement. We may finally see a successful registrational study in Alzheimer’s disease (Axovant Sciences’ (AXON) intepirdine or Merck’s (MRK) verubecestat), CAR T will finally get to plead its case, and we may find out once and for all if those ‘transformational’ PCSK9s are just that…

    A steadily building pharma cash war chest is a big offsetting tailwind. As Princess Leia would say, “Help me M&A, you’re my only hope.”

    Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).

  • [By Craig Jones]

    Guy Adami believes that iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (ETF) (NASDAQ: IBB) is a Buy. He explained that it held well in a tough trading session for the rest of the market.

  • [By ]

    The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSE:XBI) and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:IBB) were each approaching important support levels back in mid-November.

stock report: Match Group, Inc.(MTCH)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    In its first full year as a publicly traded company, online dating conglomerateMatch Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) surged past expectations, climbing 26%.

    A number of factors led to its standout performance, including blockbuster growth from Tinder, strong operating leverage, and consistently beaten earnings estimates. Let’s take a closer look at how things played out in 2016.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap dating site stock Match Group Inc (NASDAQ: MTCH), which was spun off from media and Internet stock IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IAC) and is a peer or remaining dating stock Spark Networks Inc (NYSEMKT: LOV), is the eight most shorted stock on theNASDAQ with short interest of 43.96% according to Highshortnterest.com.

stock report: Rockwell Medical Technologies Inc.(RMTI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Thursday morning, the healthcare sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KERX) and Rockwell Medical Inc (NASDAQ: RMTI).

  • [By Alex McGuire]

    As a service to our readers, the following list provides the 10 top pharmaceutical stocks to watch this month (May 2017), including the biggest gainers from April…

    Pharmaceutical Stock Current Share Price April 2017 Gain
    Cleveland BioLabs Inc. (Nasdaq: CBLI) $3.62 +120.6%
    Nexvet Biopharma Plc. (Nasdaq: NVET) $6.61 +69.7%
    Motif Bio Plc. (Nasdaq ADR: MTFB) $10.10 +68.2%
    Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: AXON) $24.43 +62.3%
    Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: CYCC) $5.49 +46.7%
    Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: CNAT) $8.67 +44.9%
    Akebia Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: AKBA) $13.07 +43.3%
    Akorn Inc. (Nasdaq: AKRX) $33.28 +38.9%
    Rockwell Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: RMTI) $8.78 +37.4%
    Akari Therapeutics Plc. (Nasdaq ADR: AKTX) $15.02 +35.4%

    The best-performing pharma stock of the month – Cleveland BioLabs Inc. – surged 120.6% to $3.53 a share by April 28. That crushed both the Nasdaq Biotech Index’s 1.5% gain and the Dow Jones’ 1.3% rise over the same period.

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018

The stock market gave up ground on Tuesday, but investors saw major benchmarks recover from their worst levels of the day to finish down less than half a percent. Early in the day, poor earnings results from blue chip components of the Dow Jones Industrials weighed on market sentiment, and ongoing uncertainty about whether the Trump administration will be able to deliver on promised government reforms made some investors feel less confident about the future. However, several companies reported good news despite the dour mood on Wall Street, and GNC Holdings (NYSE:GNC), Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), and Cabela’s (NYSE:CAB) were among the best performers on the day. Below, we’ll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

GNC eases shareholders’ concerns

Shares of GNC Holdings jumped 24% after the company posted first-quarter results that, while not perfect, were still not as bad as some investors had feared. Revenue fell 4% from year-ago levels, and same-store sales dropped 3.9% in company-owned locations and 4.6% in domestic franchise stores. Moreover, net income dropped by more than half, leaving the company with just $0.37 per share in adjusted earnings. Yet those numbers encouraged those who are patient enough to give GNC time to remake itself, and CEO Bob Moran pointed to the company’s One New GNC transformation strategy as having shown signs of early success. With new loyalty programs producing some positive effects on transaction counts and volume, GNC hopes that business metrics will hit bottom and start to grow again in the near future.

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: CGG(CGG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Friday afternoon, the energy sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from CGG SA (ADR) (NYSE: CGG) and Geospace Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: GEOS).

  • [By Jonas Elmerraji]

    First up is French oil service firm CGG Veritas (CGG)
    . The Eurozone-based energy stock hasn’t exactly posted blockbuster performance in 2013, but investors who ignore CGG for the final stretch of the year could be making a big mistake. That’s because of a bullish technical pattern that’s emerging in shares right now.

    CGG spent most of the last eight months looking anything but bullish. But an ascending triangle pattern is changing that. The pattern is formed by horizontal resistance to the upside at $26, and uptrending support to the below shares. Basically, as CGG bounces in between those two technical levels, it’s getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout above $26. When that happens, traders have a buy signal.

    The ascending triangle pattern in CGG Veritas isn’t exactly textbook. That’s because the setup is forming at the bottom of a downtrend, rather than in the middle of an uptrend – but it’s a mistake to get caught up on the textbook pictures of what trading patterns are supposed to look like. On a move through $26, the trading implications are just as actionable.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    CGG SA (ADR) (NYSE: CGG) shares shot up 32 percent to $7.15 after the company reported an agreement in principle on financial restructuring plan with main creditors and DNCA.

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: Nuveen Municipal Value Fund Inc.(NUV)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Donald van Deventer]

    The latest implied forward rate forecast from Kamakura Corporation shows projected 10-year U.S. Treasury yields differing -0.07% to 0.03% from last week while fixed rate mortgage yields varied by -0.01% to 0.08%. Mortgage yields, determined by the Monday through Wednesday weekly survey of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, lag Treasury movements simply because of the 3-day yield calculation used in the Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is projected to rise from 2.92% at Thursday’s close (down 0.06% from last week) to 3.374% (down 0.06% from last week) in one year. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield in ten years is forecast to reach 4.639%, 1 basis point lower than last week. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage rate is forecast to rise from the effective yield of 3.69% on Thursday (down 0.001% from last week) to 4.222% (down 0.006% from last week) in one year and 6.29% in 10 years, up 0.038% from last week. We explain the background for these calculations in the rest of this note, along with some mortgage servicing rights metrics. The forecast allows investors in exchange traded U.S. Treasury funds (TLT) (TBT), total return bond funds (BOND), municipal bonds (NUV) and exchange traded mortgage funds (REM) to assess likely total returns over the next 120 months. Treasury-related exchange traded funds affected by the forward rates include:

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: Luxoft Holding, Inc.(LXFT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Steve Symington]

    Luxoft Holding(NYSE:LXFT)announced strong fiscal fourth-quarter results on Monday, after the market closed. Similar to its modest post-earnings drop in February, shares of the software development specialist fell 3.6% on Tuesday as investors absorbed the news.

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: Madison Square Garden Inc.(MSG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Madison Square Garden Co (NYSE: MSG) is estimated to report a quarterly loss at $0.34 per share on revenue of $325.53 million.

    Gogo Inc (NASDAQ: GOGO) is projected to report a quarterly loss at $0.42 per share on revenue of $137.58 million.

  • [By Ian Wyatt, Publisher & Chief Investment Strategist, Wyatt Investment Research]

    Meanwhile, Mark Boyar, of The Boyar Value Fund, recommends another household name: Madison Square Garden (MSG). He thinks the Dolan family could take the company private.

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: Salesforce.com Inc(CRM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) is expected to release its fiscal second-quarter financial earnings report after the markets close on Tuesday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $0.32 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.51 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.24 and $2.04 billion in revenue.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    “There are two things that mess up your relationships, it’s anger and fear,” explains Robbins. Robbins points to Salesforce (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff as being a total giver, which has set him up for success in business.

  • [By Craig Jones]

    Jon Najarian spoke on CNBC's Fast Money Halftime Report about bullish options activity in Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).

  • [By Douglas A. McIntyre]

    By Douglas A. McIntyre

    « Intel’s Place in a Changing AMD and NVIDIA World 13 Cars That Compete with the Tesla Model 3 »
    Read more: Investing, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), GOOGL, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE:TWTR)

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  • [By Craig Jones]

    On CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report,” Jon Najarian said he noticed unusually high bullish options activity in Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) and SPDR S&P Retail (ETF) (NYSE: XRT).

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    “There are two things that mess up your relationships, it’s anger and fear,” explains Robbins. Robbins points to Salesforce (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff as being a total giver, which has set him up for success in business.

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: Towerstream Corporation(TWER)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Towerstream Corporation (NASDAQ: TWER) shares were also up, gaining 9 percent to $3.49. Towerstream is scheduled to report Q2 financial results on August 9, 2016.

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: TherapeuticsMD, Inc.(TXMD)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    On the show’s “Lightning Round” segment, Jim Cramer was bullish on Penn National Gaming (PENN) , KeyCorp (KEY) and TherapeuticsMD (TXMD) .

    Quiet Breakups

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: MGM Resorts International(MGM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Craig Jones]

    Jon Najarian noticed some call options activity in MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). Traders were buying the September 32/37 call spread in the first half of the session on Thursday. Najarian likes the trade and he decided to initiate a long position in MGM Resorts.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    The big casinos certainly want to spend big. Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) says a new integrated resort in Japan will cost anywhere from $6 billion to $10 billion, two to three times more than it spent on building its brand new French-themed Parisian resort in Macau. MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) says it, too, could spend $10 billion for a new casino in Japan, quadruple the cost of its MGM Cotai that’s scheduled to open later this year. Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) hasn’t put a price tag on it yet, though it spent over $4 billion to open the Palace in Macau last August, but CEO Steve Wynn says the opportunity is “thoroughly delicious.”

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    With companies like Under Armour (UAA), MGM Resorts International (MGM), andUnited Parcel Service (UPS) reporting tomorrow, we thought we’d get a jump start on the stocks moving after today’s close:

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: Xerox Corporation(XRX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The stock posting the largest daily percentage gain in the S&P 500 ahead of the close Monday was Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) which rose 3.8% to $30.56. The stocks 52-week range is $22.90 to $30.76. Volume was 3.8 million compared to its average volume of 2.3 million.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) dropped about 23% on Tuesday to post a new 52-week low of $6.46 after closing at $8.73 on Friday. The dip was the result of the company’s completed separation into two firms this morning. After the early drop shares had gained around 17% by late afternoon, probably on the strength of a cash payment of $1.8 billion.

Top 10 Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2018: Nordic American Tankers Limited(NAT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) dropped about 2.4% Wednesday to post a new 52-week low of $2.49 after closing at $2.55 on Tuesday. Volume was around 2.8 million, about double the daily average of around 1.4 million. The firm sent shareholders a letter Tuesday morning explaining the shipper’s recapitalization program. The explanation did not sell any better today.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) dropped about 3% Tuesday to post a new 52-week low of $2.51 after closing at $2.59 on Monday. Volume was around 2.8 million, about double the daily average of around 1.4 million. The firm sent shareholders a letter Monday morning explaining the shipper’s recapitalization program. Apparently the explanation did not sit well.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) dropped about 4.8% Monday to post a new 52-week low of $2.58 after closing at $2.71 on Friday. Volume was around 2.8 million, more than double the daily average of around 2.3 million. The firm sent shareholders a letter this morning explaining the shipper’s recapitalization program.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) posted a new 52-week low of $2.68 Wednesday, down about 27% after closing at $3.67 on Tuesday. The 52-week high is $9.32. Volume was about 20.3 million, more than 20 times the daily average of around 940,000 shares. The company announced priced a sale of $110 million in new shares at $2.75 per share.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) posted a new 52-week low of $2.64 Thursday, down a penny after closing at $2.65 on Wednesday. The 52-week high is $9.32. Volume was about 4.5 million, more than 3 times the daily average of around 1.3 million shares. The company announced Wednesday morning that it had priced a sale of $110 million in new shares at $2.75 per share.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Nordic American Tanker Ltd (NYSE: NAT) were down 25 percent to $2.74 after announcing a $100 million common stock offering.

    ArcBest Corp (NASDAQ: ARCB) was down, falling around 10 percent to $34.85. Stifel Nicolaus downgraded ArcBest from Hold to Sell.

good companies to buy stock

Oil prices today (Tuesday, Sept. 19) are trading above $50 a barrel, which puts oil on track for its highest closing price since July. And we predict oil prices will head even higher before the end of the year, too…

WTI crude oil prices are trading at $50.26 a barrel today and are up 3.5% since just last week, when they opened at $48.23 on Thursday.

Oil prices continue to rebound after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wiped out demand across the southeast United States. The destruction of pipelines, refineries, and commerce across Florida and the Gulf Coast region meant oil pumped out of the ground was being stored instead of used. That boosted supplies and lowered prices. Commercial crude supplies rose 2.2% between the weeks of Aug. 25 and Sept. 8.

good companies to buy stock: Salesforce.com Inc(CRM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Nelson Hem]

    See what Barron's feels the prospects are for Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE: ETP) if it cuts its distribution and dumps its general partner, and salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) with its generous potential upside. Also whether regional banks like Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) could see a boost from a proposed regulatory change, and the sweetheart deal the Koch brothers got with Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP).

  • [By Leo Sun]

    Twilio (NYSE:TWLO) recently hired George Hu as its new COO. Hu spent 12 years at Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), and served as its COO for his final three years between 2011 and2014. That big hire fills the void left after the departure of Roy Ng, who resigned as Twilio’s COO last December.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows Oracle Corporation and SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) giving a similar performance while Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Salesforce.com, inc (NYSE: CRM) have performed even better and International Business Machines Corp (NYSE: IBM) has underperformed:

  • [By Douglas A. McIntyre]

    By Douglas A. McIntyre

    « Intel’s Place in a Changing AMD and NVIDIA World 13 Cars That Compete with the Tesla Model 3 »
    Read more: Investing, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), GOOGL, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE:TWTR)

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good companies to buy stock: Patriot One Technologies Inc. (PTOTF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Elizabeth Loring]

    Last week Patriot One Technologies (OTCQB: PTOTF) (TSX VENTURE: PAT), the Toronto, Ontario based company that aims to limit the spread of active violence through superior detection technology by instantly identifying concealed weapons, even on moving targets. announced the appointment of Mr. John Gillies as a member of it’s Board of Directors.

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    When a small cap or microcap stock like Patriot One Technologies (OTCQB: PTOTF) announces a reseller agreement, some investors may not understand what is meant by such agreements for the top and ultimately the bottom line. A reseller would bea company or individual that purchases goods or services with the intention of selling them for a profit rather than consuming or using them with a reseller agreement governing the terms for the deal. There is also something called avalue-added reseller (VAR) agreement which isa legal contract between a manufacturer and a value-added reseller where the resellerpurchases a product from a manufacturer, adds value to that product in some way and then resells the product as its own with the agreement specifying the conditions that must be adhered to throughout that process.

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    Small cap security stock Patriot One Technologies (OTCQB: PTOTF) has just announced an important reseller licensing agreement and purchase order for an initial sale in the amount of US$500,000 with Mutual Safes International Pty Ltd. of Pretoria, South Africa. Established in 1984, the Mutual Safe Group’s core operation offers an extensive array of premium quality category safes – including UL & SABS rated, deposit and cash management, fire and filing, home, office and gun safes, lockers and truck hoppers. Patriot One Technologies’ CEO had this to say about Mutual Safe Group: “Their customers operate in a high-risk environment every day, and Mutual Safe have become a virtual household name in South Africa as the trusted name in security solutions.”

good companies to buy stock: Packaging Corporation of America(PKG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Stocks on the move: Boise Inc. (NYSE: BZ) is up 26% at $12.55 following the companys acquisition by Packaging Corporation of America Inc. (NYSE: PKG) for $12.55 a share ($1.28 billion). Omeros Corp. (NASDAQ: OMER) is up 68.2% at $8.56 following an analyst upgrade. Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (NYSEArca: NAK) is down 33.3% at $1.48 following an announcement from Anglo American plc that it was withdrawing from a massive copper mining project in Alaska.

  • [By David Sterman]

    That was precisely the rationale behind Packaging Corp. of America's (NYSE: PKG) just-announced $2 billion (in cash and assumed debt) acquisition of rival Boise (NYSE: BZ). The deal will create a $6 billion (in sales) behemoth in the cardboard box industry.

  • [By Christopher Freeburn]

    Shares of Packaging Corp. (PKG) jumped almost 13% in pre-market trading on Monday after the company announced that it will purchase a rival containerboard-maker.

  • [By Daniela Pylypczak]

    Jefferies announced on Monday that it has upgraded Packaging Corp of America (PKG) from “Hold” to “Buy.”

    The firm also raised PKG’s price target from $49.00 to $70.00. Jefferies analystPhilip Ng also gave the companybull-case scenario target of $88. The upgrade comes after the firm announced earlier today that it has agreed to purchase all outstanding shares of Boise Inc. (BZ)for $1.995 billion. Analyst Ng believes the new acquisition will result in an attractive multiple.

    Packaging Corp of America shares rallied 9.73% during Monday’s session. Year-to-date, the stock is up 39.87%.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Packaging Corp. of America(PKG) has jumped 6.3% to $57.99 after it said it would buy Boise (BZ) for $1.28 billion. Boise has gained 26% to $12.55.

good companies to buy stock: ePlus Inc.(PLUS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    ePlus Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUS) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings at $1.21 per share on revenue of $284.62 million.

    Tilly’s Inc (NYSE: TLYS) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $0.07 per share on revenue of $119.93 million.

Barron's On Why Bitcoin Has Stormed Wall Street

Barron's On Why Bitcoin Has Stormed Wall Street
The cover story in this weekend's Barron's features a look at why bitcoin has stormed Wall Street.
Is it the birth of a new asset class or a reprise of tulip mania?
Other featured articles take a look at the prospects for regional bank stocks, a leading MLP, and more.

Rocketing in price before sliding back last week, this volatile cryptocurrency is being embraced by traditional financial players, according to the latest cover story in Barron's. Even as investors celebrate a banner year for stocks, the party next door is so wild there's no longer any way of ignoring it, says the article.

"Bitcoin Storms Wall Street" by Avi Salzman points out that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has green-lighted plans by the CME and the Chicago Board Options Exchange to introduce bitcoin futures. Meanwhile, Nasdaq and Cantor Fitzgerald aim to get in on the action as well, and the big banks are trying to figure out how to get involved.

"If it works, you are witnessing the early stages of the birth of a new asset class," says one expert quoted in the article. Another predicts that "within a year we'll see at least two major investment banks holding Bitcoin on their balance sheet."

See Also: What's The Difference Between Bitcoin And Bitcoin Cash? Which Is The Better Investment?

See why new money and talent have already flooded into the cryptocurrency market. Find out how useful bitcoin is as a currency and why bulls tend to argue that it's like gold. Also see how investors can buy into bitcoin, what the risks are and how insurers feel about it. Why might value investors be interested in bitcoin? Will bitcoin be the Facebook of the crypto world or the Friendster?

The article also includes a chart looking at who the big players are in cryptocurrencies, from traditional exchanges and hedge funds to so-called bitcoin whales and miners to crypto-focused venture capital. Another chart shows the exponential surge in the value of bitcoin in the past year, from $1,000 to $10,000.

"I consider it an experiment, and it is an experiment that might or might not work," says a fund manager. "There is a nontrivial chance it goes to zero." Is it reprise of 17th-century tulip mania?

Other Feature Stories

See what Barron's believes investors can expect from tax reform, with large U.S. multinationals likely to reap a windfall. Is rising inflation a major risk? Also find out whether investors can hedge North Korea risks, as well as the four reasons why some believe this long-winded bull market still has a long way to go.

See what Barron's feels the prospects are for Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE: ETP) if it cuts its distribution and dumps its general partner, and salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) with its generous potential upside. Also whether regional banks like Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) could see a boost from a proposed regulatory change, and the sweetheart deal the Koch brothers got with Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP).

Barron's On Why Bitcoin Has Stormed Wall Street

Barron's On Why Bitcoin Has Stormed Wall Street
The cover story in this weekend's Barron's features a look at why bitcoin has stormed Wall Street.
Is it the birth of a new asset class or a reprise of tulip mania?
Other featured articles take a look at the prospects for regional bank stocks, a leading MLP, and more.

Rocketing in price before sliding back last week, this volatile cryptocurrency is being embraced by traditional financial players, according to the latest cover story in Barron's. Even as investors celebrate a banner year for stocks, the party next door is so wild there's no longer any way of ignoring it, says the article.

"Bitcoin Storms Wall Street" by Avi Salzman points out that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has green-lighted plans by the CME and the Chicago Board Options Exchange to introduce bitcoin futures. Meanwhile, Nasdaq and Cantor Fitzgerald aim to get in on the action as well, and the big banks are trying to figure out how to get involved.

"If it works, you are witnessing the early stages of the birth of a new asset class," says one expert quoted in the article. Another predicts that "within a year we'll see at least two major investment banks holding Bitcoin on their balance sheet."

See Also: What's The Difference Between Bitcoin And Bitcoin Cash? Which Is The Better Investment?

See why new money and talent have already flooded into the cryptocurrency market. Find out how useful bitcoin is as a currency and why bulls tend to argue that it's like gold. Also see how investors can buy into bitcoin, what the risks are and how insurers feel about it. Why might value investors be interested in bitcoin? Will bitcoin be the Facebook of the crypto world or the Friendster?

The article also includes a chart looking at who the big players are in cryptocurrencies, from traditional exchanges and hedge funds to so-called bitcoin whales and miners to crypto-focused venture capital. Another chart shows the exponential surge in the value of bitcoin in the past year, from $1,000 to $10,000.

"I consider it an experiment, and it is an experiment that might or might not work," says a fund manager. "There is a nontrivial chance it goes to zero." Is it reprise of 17th-century tulip mania?

Other Feature Stories

See what Barron's believes investors can expect from tax reform, with large U.S. multinationals likely to reap a windfall. Is rising inflation a major risk? Also find out whether investors can hedge North Korea risks, as well as the four reasons why some believe this long-winded bull market still has a long way to go.

See what Barron's feels the prospects are for Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE: ETP) if it cuts its distribution and dumps its general partner, and salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) with its generous potential upside. Also whether regional banks like Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) could see a boost from a proposed regulatory change, and the sweetheart deal the Koch brothers got with Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP).

Salesforce Stacks Its Deck Beyond CRM

Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) has stacked its deck for growth over the long haul. The company has the financial fundamentals, a growing customer base, and an expanding footprint with existing customers, a passionate invested user community, and the next generation management team needed to propel high growth into the future. Its closest competitors lag far behind. Any dips in its share price present a good time to buy.

Financial Fundamentals

Salesforce exceeded analyst expectations yet again. It ended Q3 with almost $15.9 billion in booked business, on and off the balance sheet. Combined third quarter revenue was $2.68 billion, an increase of 25% year over year. Subscription and support revenues were $2.49 billion, an improvement of 25% year over year. Professional services and other revenues were $194 million, an increase of 20% year over year. Net income was $51.4 million, $0.07 per share. Adjusted EPS at $0.39 beat analyst estimates of $0.37. GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.07.

Deferred revenue is also growing. As of October 31, 2017, the balance sheet showed $4.39 billion, an increase of 26% year over year and 24% in constant currency.

Revenue that is unbilled and deferred but contracted (not on the balance sheet) ended the third quarter at approximately $11.5 billion, up 34% year over year.

Salesforce is forecasting revenues of 2.8-2.81 billion and an EPS of $0.32-0.33 for the fourth quarter which may disappoint some traders who had forecasted revenues of $2.79 billion and EPS of $0.34. This may be partly why Salesforce share prices have fallen/flattened since Q3 results were announced one week ago. It is also likely that investors are cashing in on big gains.

Newer Cloud and Platform Revenues Growing Quickly

Salesforce which began as a CRM (customer relationship management) cloud solution has grown its business beyond its initial Sales Cloud. It now sells subscriptions and services on several additional clouds, including its Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, and its Platform(aka App Cloud.)

Salesforce subscription revenue breakdown

(Source: Salesforce Q3 press release)

In the Q3 earnings conference call, Salesforce revealed solid revenue growth beyond its flagship Sales Cloud (which grew at 16.8 percent) to its Service Cloud (25.1 percent y/y growth), Platform (33.6 percent y/y growth), and Marketing and Commerce Cloud (40 percent y/y growth.)

More than 70% of Salesforce’s business is with customers who use more than one Salesforce Cloud.

Product Pipeline + Partnerships

Salesforce has leading edge products such as Einstein Analytics (artificial intelligence), Quip (a Salesforce subsidiary with next generation productivity apps), and a slew of add-on products such as its Industry Clouds for Health, Financial Services, and Communities as well as SteelBrick (configure, price, and quote software), Pardot (e-mail marketing), and LiveMessage among others. These are newish and represent $.31 of every dollar Salesforce earns.

Salesforce also announced a partnership with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in November which has not even begun to bear fruit. Through it, the companies will work together to bring Google Analytics, the same ones it uses for its successful ad business, to Salesforce customers. When integrated into Salesforce’s products, Salesforce customers will have complete views of customer journeys on and offline, something that competitors like Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), SAP (NYSE:SAP), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) aren’t able to provide.

On a call with investors last week, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said that “We’re on a path to exceed $20 billion faster than any enterprise software company in history.”

Salesforce’s Massive Community of Evangelists

Dreamforce, the company’s user conference, drew more than 150,000 Salesforce enthusiasts (called Trailblazers) to San Francisco earlier this month. They engaged not only with Salesforce executives to learn firsthand about the company’s portfolio of products, but they also attended workshops, showed off their certification badges to each other (they don’t mean much at your kids’ soccer game, but they do within user communities), and were inspired by celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman, will.i.am, the Bush twins, and former first lady Michelle Obama. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that club? Belonging is important to millennials, and they will soon be making software buying decisions.

This is a generation of buyers who value the recommendations of their peers, they don’t download white papers like older executives did.

Salesforce Expertise Tied to Career Success

salesforce badge collector

Salesforce introduced new learning pathways and programs on Trailhead for its Trailblazers (Salesforce users.) More than 450,000 have signed up to learn how to develop applications on and use the Salesforce platform. This is a group of users that collects badges, certifications, and builds careers as they learn. Not only can they make Salesforce look good in their workplaces, but their livelihoods are invested in the success of Salesforce where they work.

Next Generation of Leaders

Salesforce has identified its next generation of leaders. CEO Benioff promoted entrepreneur and former Google and Facebook executive Brett Taylor to President Product Development. Taylor has brought some highly successful and popular web-based technology products to market, including Google Maps, FriendFeed (sold to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)) and Quip (sold to Salesforce). He also founded the Google I/O, the Google developer program. Benioff also announced that Alex Dayon who came to Salesforce in 2008 to launch Salesforce’s new clouds (Marketing, Service, Commerce and Platform) is now the company’s President and Chief Strategy Officer.

Taylor and Dayon know what the next generation of business leaders want, they have built some of the most widely used software offerings for millennials and are well-positioned to lead Salesforce into the future with products that inspire and empower the digital generation.

Salesforce’s stock is currently trading at $103.70. Full year guidance is $12.45-12.5B. The company told investors that it expects to be at $20-22B for FY22. For anyone who intends to hold it over the long term, it’s a buy.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

About this article:ExpandAuthor payment: $35 + $0.01/page view. Authors of PRO articles receive a minimum guaranteed payment of $150-500.Tagged: Investing Ideas, Long Ideas, Technology, Application SoftwareWant to share your opinion on this article? Add a comment.Disagree with this article? Submit your own.To report a factual error in this article, click here

Deere, GameStop and More Earnings Coming This Week

Thanksgiving is coming this week and the markets will be taking Thursday off. Also, many people will be taking off the Wednesday before and Friday after. So most of the action next week will be happening on Monday and Tuesday in this abbreviated trading week.

24/7 Wall St. has put together a preview of some of the top companies reporting their latest results in the coming week. We have included the consensus earnings estimates from Thomson Reuters, as well as the stock price and trading history for these companies ahead of the report.

The main part of the earnings season has come and gone, now the stragglers are starting to pour in. While most of the major names have already reported, there are still some big names coming this week.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) fiscal third-quarter results are scheduled for Monday. The consensus estimates are calling for $0.33 in earnings per share (EPS) and $861 million in revenue. The shares were last seen trading at $27.90. The consensus price target is $22.15, and the 52-week trading range is $16.19 to $39.29.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is set to release its most recent quarterly results Monday as well. The consensus forecast calls for $0.62 in EPS on $1.17 billion in revenue. Shares ended the week at $68.79 apiece. The consensus price target is $72.15, and the 52-week range is $42.92 to $69.09.

Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) will report its most recent quarterly results on Tuesday. The consensus estimates are $0.97 in EPS and $2.17 billion in revenue. Shares closed trading at $49.72 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $45.00 to $64.23. The consensus price target is $49.79.

Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) fiscal third-quarter results also are scheduled for Tuesday. The consensus forecast is $0.37 in EPS on $2.65 billion in revenue. Shares were last seen at $107.58. The consensus price target is $115.20. The 52-week range is $66.43 to $107.85.

Lowes Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is expected to release its most recent quarterly results Tuesday. The consensus forecast calls for $1.02 in EPS and $16.58 billion in revenue. Shares ended the week at $80.22. The consensus price target is $85.68, and the 52-week range is $67.77 to $86.25.

24/7 Wall St.
Why This May Be the Perfect Time to Chase Warren Buffett’s Largest Stock Picks

DSW Inc. (NYSE: DSW) is set to release its most recent quarterly results Tuesday. The consensus forecast calls for $0.53 in EPS and $709.63 million in revenue. Shares ended Friday’s session at $22.15. The consensus price target is $19.86, and the 52-week range is $15.14 to $25.96.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) will report its most recent quarterly results on Tuesday as well. Wall Street is looking for $0.43 in EPS and $1.96 billion in revenue. Shares closed trading at $16.31 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $15.85 to $26.85. The consensus price target is $22.05.

And Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) will share its most recent quarterly numbers on Wednesday. The consensus estimates call for $1.45 in EPS and $6.99 billion in revenue. Shares were last seen trading at $135.77, in a 52-week range of $91.33 to $136.69. The consensus price target is $132.37.

2017 Q4 IT Spending Could Be Huge: 3 Stocks to Buy Now

Regardless of how you feel about the current political climate in the United States, one thing seems very clear: business optimism is as high as it has been in years. And with a very surprising third-quarter gross domestic product reading of 3%, despite some of the worst storms in a generation, the trend seems to be going higher. One of the positives from optimism in the corporate world is renewed and, most importantly, increased levels of spending, and that seems to be the case when it comes to information technology (IT) spending in the fourth quarter.

In a new research report, Oppenheimer has tallied the results from its fifth annual fourth quarter IT spending survey, and they look very positive. The analysts note that the report provides an updated assessment of demand conditions and can be a sentiment indicator of directional changes in IT spending through year’s end. The report said this:

Positively, the trend lines show an inflection, and reveal strengthening IT spending patterns versus prior years. The survey data points to a healthy operating environment for new software sales and should translate into good fourth quarter technology earnings results. Bottom Line: The trend lines and qualitative feedback suggest a more optimistic mindset from IT buyers this fourth versus prior years, which is a positive data point for upcoming quarterly results for large-cap software vendors, and best-of-breed SaaS vendors with technology visions that are aligned with customer demand, are differentiated, and have difficult-to-replicate products and services.

Three companies could be big winners, and their shares look like good buys now.

Salesforce.com

This top company reported solid fiscal 2018 second-quarter results as billings drastically improved.Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM)provides enterprise cloud computing solutions, with a focus on customer relationship management to various businesses and industries worldwide.

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.

The company’s guidance for revenues of $20 billion to $22 billion (17% to 21% compounded annual growth rate) in fiscal 2022 is consistent with top analysts long-term framework and has upside. Many see battle lines emerging given the Salesforce-Google partnership versus Adobe and Microsoft, as digitization becomes a pronounced theme.

The Wall Street consensus price objective for the stock is $114.22. The shares closed trading on Wednesday at $105.43 apiece.

Oracle

This top software stock was hit hard in late September and offers a very good entry point.Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) develops, manufactures, markets, sells, hosts and supports database and middleware software, application software, cloud infrastructure, hardware systems and related services worldwide.

The companylicenses its Oracle Database software to customers, which is designed to enable reliable and secure storage, retrieval and manipulation of various forms of data. ItsOracle Fusion Middleware software aims to build, deploy, secure, access and integrate business applications, as well as automate their business processes.

Oracle reported a stronger-than-expected August quarter, as fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue guidance was in-line with Wall Street. The companys Cloud revenues guidance at 43% year over year was lower than some estimates, causing some to overestimate SaaS organic growth. Oracle looks poised to deliver mid-single-digit software revenue growth and double-digit earnings per share growth.

Shareholders are paid a 1.57% dividend. The posted consensus price target is $56.40, and the stock closed Wednesday at $48.82 a share.

24/7 Wall St.
Why This May Be the Perfect Time to Chase Warren Buffett’s Largest Stock Picks Workday

This top company also looks to benefit from increased IT spending, and it has had a very solid year for investors. Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY) is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. Workday delivers financial management, human capital management and analytics applications designed for the world’s largest companies, educational institutions and government agencies.

Earlier in the fall, Workday hosted a very upbeat and positive analysts day, and many feel that the company is transforming into a platform story, customer growth is reaching an inflection point, and the module attach rate is very strong. Long-term operating margins are being increased as many analysts feel that big picture of the companys operating leverage is not fully reflected in the stock price.

Note that the consensus price target for the shares is the same as the $106.61 most recent closing price.

2017 Q4 IT Spending Could Be Huge: 3 Stocks to Buy Now

Regardless of how you feel about the current political climate in the United States, one thing seems very clear: business optimism is as high as it has been in years. And with a very surprising third-quarter gross domestic product reading of 3%, despite some of the worst storms in a generation, the trend seems to be going higher. One of the positives from optimism in the corporate world is renewed and, most importantly, increased levels of spending, and that seems to be the case when it comes to information technology (IT) spending in the fourth quarter.

In a new research report, Oppenheimer has tallied the results from its fifth annual fourth quarter IT spending survey, and they look very positive. The analysts note that the report provides an updated assessment of demand conditions and can be a sentiment indicator of directional changes in IT spending through year’s end. The report said this:

Positively, the trend lines show an inflection, and reveal strengthening IT spending patterns versus prior years. The survey data points to a healthy operating environment for new software sales and should translate into good fourth quarter technology earnings results. Bottom Line: The trend lines and qualitative feedback suggest a more optimistic mindset from IT buyers this fourth versus prior years, which is a positive data point for upcoming quarterly results for large-cap software vendors, and best-of-breed SaaS vendors with technology visions that are aligned with customer demand, are differentiated, and have difficult-to-replicate products and services.

Three companies could be big winners, and their shares look like good buys now.

Salesforce.com

This top company reported solid fiscal 2018 second-quarter results as billings drastically improved.Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM)provides enterprise cloud computing solutions, with a focus on customer relationship management to various businesses and industries worldwide.

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.

The company’s guidance for revenues of $20 billion to $22 billion (17% to 21% compounded annual growth rate) in fiscal 2022 is consistent with top analysts long-term framework and has upside. Many see battle lines emerging given the Salesforce-Google partnership versus Adobe and Microsoft, as digitization becomes a pronounced theme.

The Wall Street consensus price objective for the stock is $114.22. The shares closed trading on Wednesday at $105.43 apiece.

Oracle

This top software stock was hit hard in late September and offers a very good entry point.Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) develops, manufactures, markets, sells, hosts and supports database and middleware software, application software, cloud infrastructure, hardware systems and related services worldwide.

The companylicenses its Oracle Database software to customers, which is designed to enable reliable and secure storage, retrieval and manipulation of various forms of data. ItsOracle Fusion Middleware software aims to build, deploy, secure, access and integrate business applications, as well as automate their business processes.

Oracle reported a stronger-than-expected August quarter, as fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue guidance was in-line with Wall Street. The companys Cloud revenues guidance at 43% year over year was lower than some estimates, causing some to overestimate SaaS organic growth. Oracle looks poised to deliver mid-single-digit software revenue growth and double-digit earnings per share growth.

Shareholders are paid a 1.57% dividend. The posted consensus price target is $56.40, and the stock closed Wednesday at $48.82 a share.

24/7 Wall St.
Why This May Be the Perfect Time to Chase Warren Buffett’s Largest Stock Picks Workday

This top company also looks to benefit from increased IT spending, and it has had a very solid year for investors. Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY) is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. Workday delivers financial management, human capital management and analytics applications designed for the world’s largest companies, educational institutions and government agencies.

Earlier in the fall, Workday hosted a very upbeat and positive analysts day, and many feel that the company is transforming into a platform story, customer growth is reaching an inflection point, and the module attach rate is very strong. Long-term operating margins are being increased as many analysts feel that big picture of the companys operating leverage is not fully reflected in the stock price.

Note that the consensus price target for the shares is the same as the $106.61 most recent closing price.