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Cowen Very Positive on 4 New and Old-School Tech Stocks

Despite market worries, one thing aggressive investors can count on is that technology innovation will not be slowed by market gyrations or Chinese currency devaluations. To put that into perspective, the age of the true smartphone was ushered in by the iPhone in 2007, less than 10 years ago. So the huge advances in just that short time frame are remarkable.

In a series of new research reports, Cowen has four top stocks to buy that are a combination of new and old-school technology. All of them look poised to go significantly higher between now and the end of the year, and all are rated Outperform.

Cisco Systems

This is the top mega-cap technology stock pick on Wall Street and perhaps a surprising defensive pick as well. Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) posted outstanding earnings this week, and many on Wall Street, including the team at Cowen, are raising their price targets significantly higher. Cisco is also one of the 24/7 Wall St. top 10 stocks to own for the next decade.

Earlier this year, Cisco won an important contract for the Verizon build-out of the company’s next-generation 100G metro network. While Cisco’s optical business is small as a part of total revenue, this win is seen by Wall Street as a significant endorsement of the investments Cisco has made into its optics business.

ALSO READ: 3 Security Software Stocks to Buy as IT Budgets Continue to Explode

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.

Cowen remains confident that its current forward estimates, which are above consensus and the highest on Wall Street, are spot on, and points out that metrics at the tech giant are up across the board.

Cisco investors are paid a very solid 2.9% dividend. The Cowen price target for the stock is $37, and the Thomson/First Call consensus target is much lower at $31.17. Shares closed Thursday at $28.70, up almost 4%.

LinkedIn

This stock has been hit hard this year, and could be offering aggressive tech investors an outstanding entry point. It is also rated as one of America’s best companies to work for. LinkedIn Corp. (NASDAQ: LNKD) continues to dominate the interconnecting of business professionals with over 300 million members worldwide. Uneven earnings and some corporate missteps have turned the stock into a volatility victim. An improving economy and demand for highly skilled workers have provided the impetus for earnings surprises.

ALSO READ: Oppenheimer Lifts Financials to Overweight: 4 Large Cap Leaders to Buy

The Cowen team recently met with company and learned that the new Sales Navigator product, which was launched last year, is doing well. LinkedIn has ramped sales, selling the product to well over 200 at this point, with field sales having an increasingly rising impact. Field sales accounted for almost 50% of bookings in the second quarter and almost 50% of revenue. Also, last year most of SN revenue and bookings were generated on a self-serve basis.

The analysts are looking for further updates from the company at the Sales Connect conference in Las Vegas in October. The Cowen price target is posted at $260, and the consensus target is $255.43. The stock closed Thursday at $188.82.

GoPro

This has been another roller-coaster stock and it could be offering a sweet entry point. GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) had a super-hot IPO last year but has been all over the place since. The company develops hardware and software solutions to help consumers in capturing, managing, sharing, and enjoying engaging recorded content. The company offers HERO line of capture devices, such as cameras; premium accessories, including battery BacPac, smart remote, and LCD touch BacPac accessories; and mounts, comprising equipment-based mounts.

Cowen sees the company as not only the market leader in it specific arena, but the company expanding the product line it pioneered with a range of new devices that should appeal to sports enthusiasts and families. The firm also thinks that the new software should drive ease of use, while content licensing drones and virtual reality will be a boost for long-term growth.

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Cowen initiates the stock with an Outperform rating and a $75 price target. The consensus target is $76.54. The stock closed Thursday at $59.50.

Pandora Media

This company is facing ever more competition, but it continues to hold its own. Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) is clearly not the only company with a big desire to be in the music streaming business, but it is the current leader in installation and use in the automotive world, with a penetration rate right at 70%, and it hopes to stay that way.

Cowen points out that while the webcasting royalty hearings at the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) and the associated rulings are still up in the air. While not binding toward the judge’s decision, the upcoming mid-September ruling could include the Merlin deal as a market rate transaction as the three judges determine final per track rates in mid-December. The Merlin rates are expected to be very close to what Pandora currently pays and below what the Sound Exchange is asking for. This huge stock overhang, when removed, could provide investors big upside.

Another plus for the company is the revenue potential from its new Sponsored Listening ad unit, which is set to be rolled out in the third quarter. Pandora’s ad unit allows the listener to take advantage of one hour of ad-free music streaming by listening, viewing and interacting with an advertisement from a brand that sponsors the ad-free hour.

The Cowen price target is posted at $23, and the consensus target is $21.86. The shares closed on Thursday at $18.57.

ALSO READ: 3 Drilling Stocks to Buy Ahead of 2016 Recovery

Some new, and some old and established. All these tech companies have a unique niche, as well as market leading capability. For aggressive investors, they all could be solid additions to a growth portfolio with a long-term horizon.

By Lee Jackson


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