|Bid||18.47 x 2200|
|Ask||18.47 x 1300|
|Day's Range||18.46 - 18.86|
|52 Week Range||17.10 - 27.08|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.22|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||6.81|
|Earnings Date||Nov 27, 2019 - Dec 2, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.64 (3.42%)|
|1y Target Est||20.08|
As this week's Business Journal cover story about the explosion of Bay Area unicorns this year was being delivered to subscribers, several members of the herd made news. Here are the details about that and other venture news at the end of the week.
HP (HPQ) expands its personal systems portfolio with the introduction of a slick, ultralight premium convertible notebook, HP Elite Dragonfly.
Let's see if HP Inc. (HPQ) stock is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now, or if investors subscribing to this methodology should look elsewhere for top picks.
HP’s under one-kilogram premium PC achieves breakthrough power in a “lighter than air” design for those on the goUnveils stunning premium curved displays and accessories for.
UBS analyst John Roy downgraded HP Inc. shares to neutral from buy on Monday, writing that he expects fiscal 2020 to be a "transition year" for printer supplies and personal computers. He doesn't project growth for the printer-supply business in the next 18 months, following a 7% drop in the latest quarter amid macroeconomic softness and execution changes overseas. "The industry is in a secular decline and the long-term growth depends on the ability to gain market share," Roy wrote. "We expect print supplies to remain under pressure due to secular trends, lack of consolidation, and competition from third party suppliers." He also expects mix and cost headwinds to contribute to a weaker PC market in fiscal 2020. "The good times for PCs look to be ending," Roy wrote. He lowered his price target to $20 from $26 in conjunction with the downgrade, which came a week after Bernstein also downgraded the stock on concerns about the printing-supply business. HP shares are off 2.1% in premarket trading Monday, and they've dropped 6.7% so far this year as the S&P 500 has gained 20%.
3D Systems' (DDD) D2P's automatic segmentation tools enable medical practitioners to create accurate, digital 3D anatomic models from medical imaging data.
Chief executives and M&A bankers bury their dead by night. M&A is the business equivalent of grand opera or elite sport, as dramas like HKEX’s £32bn bid for the London Stock Exchange show. CEOs and their advisers still get pay rises and success fees – if, unlike HP’s Leo Apotheker, they hang on to their jobs.
Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) caught the market off guard when the company unexpectedly released its fiscal 2020 Q1 earnings after the bell on Wednesday. Oracle hit on expected EPS, but revenue was short of what analysts had been expecting. More alarming to investors, it was also announced that co-CEO Mark Hurd will be taking a leave of absence for unspecified health-related reasons. Oracle stock opened at $53.32 on Thursday -- down 5.27% -- before recovering slightly to close at a 4.26% loss.Source: Jer123 / Shutterstock.com Oracle Reports Q1 Earnings a Day EarlyInvestors can be unsettled when companies pull an audible and change the date they report earnings without warning. Doing so can send a signal that the company is trying to avoid analyst scrutiny -- or at least delay it by catching them off guard. Oracle was expected to report its fiscal 2020 Q1 earnings on Thursday evening. Instead, the company pulled off a surprise Q1 earnings release after the bell on Wednesday.Earnings per share of 81 cents were in line with expectations, but the $9.22 billion in quarterly revenue was a gain of just 0.3% compared to Q1 2019 and missed analyst expectations. Guidance for Q2 was also lower than expected, setting up ORCL stock to take a hit.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsAlso noted in those earnings was confirmation that Oracle's board has approved an increase in share repurchases by an additional $15 billion, after spending $5 billion on buybacks during Q1. * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession All in all, the market reaction to the Q1 earnings report was very different from last quarter when Oracle stock got a boost instead of taking a hit. Co-CEO Is Taking a Medical Leave of AbsenceAnother factor that almost always unsettles investors is an unexpected change in leadership at a company. And Oracle stock felt the effect of that issue on Thursday as well. During the Wednesday evening earnings call, it was announced that co-CEO Mark Hurd would be taking a leave of absence for an unspecified duration, for medical reasons.Hurd joined Oracle in 2010 after his tenure as CEO and president of HP (NASDAQ:HPQ) ended as a result of accusations of an inappropriate relationship with an assistant. In 2014, when Oracle founder Larry Ellison stepped down from the CEO position to become CTO, Hurd took the reins as co-CEO along with former Oracle CFO Safra Catz. During the time that Hurd and Catz have run the company, Oracle stock had seen roughly 45% growth. That is until yesterday, when the news sank in and ORCL Stock dropped 4.26%.During Hurd's absence, Oracle announced that Safra Catz will continue as CEO, with Larry Ellison also helping to cover his responsibilities. Oracle Stock Price Slightly Lagging MarketsSo far in 2019, Oracle stock is up 19% (with yesterday's drop factored in), which is not too bad all things considered. However, it's being outperformed by the broader markets: the Nasdaq Composite is up 23% while the S&P 500 has notched a 20% gain. Is Now the Time to Buy ORCL Stock?With Oracle stock closing on Thursday at $53.89, there is a case to be made that the market over-reacted to the company's announcements. On the other hand, when the Oracle stock price crossed the $60 threshold in early July, that was an all-time high for ORCL. If you look to market analysts, the 26 polled by CNN Business have a median 12-month price target for Oracle of $57.00 representing a bit of upside.If you were eying an Oracle investment after seeing the Oracle stock price pass $60 in July, but didn't want to buy at the peak, Thursday's drop can be looked at as a buying opportunity.As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Big IPO Stocks From 2019 to Watch * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession * 7 Stocks to Buy Benefiting From Millennial Money The post Oracle Stock Slumps on Surprise Earnings, Co-CEO Leave of Absence appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.In Shenzhen’s glitzy financial district, a five-year-old outfit creates a 360-degree sports camera that goes on to win awards and draw comparisons to GoPro Inc. Elsewhere in the Pearl River Delta, a niche design house is competing with the world’s best headphone makers. And in the capital Beijing, a little-known startup becomes one of the biggest purveyors of smartwatches on the planet.Insta360, SIVGA and Huami join drone maker DJI Technology Co. among a wave of startups that are dismantling the decades-old image of China as a clone factory — and adding to Washington’s concerns about its fast-ascending international rival. Within the world’s No. 2 economy, Trump’s campaign to contain China’s rise is in fact spurring its burgeoning tech sector to accelerate design and invention.The threat they pose is one of unmatchable geography: by bringing design expertise and innovation to the place where devices are manufactured, these companies are able to develop products faster and more cheaply.“Ninety percent of the world’s headphones are produced in China, 90% of China’s headphones are produced in Guangdong, and 90% of Guangdong’s headphones are made in Dongguan,” explains SIVGA co-founder and product chief Zhou Jian, an 18-year audio industry veteran who has done work for global brands like Sennheiser Electronic GmbH & Co., Sony and Bose. His company is based in Dongguan because, he says, “Dongguan’s industrial chain is near perfect.” Zhou estimates there are hundreds of specialist factories in the area focusing on a particular component, such as screws, and his network of contacts among those suppliers has been invaluable. It was “support from these good friends” that got SIVGA, short for Sound Impression Via Genuine Artwork, off the ground.Now employing more than 30 people and offering a premium brand called Sendy Audio, SIVGA sells a luxury pair of $599 headphones called Aiva. Featuring handcrafted wooden ear cups and intricately detailed metal grilles, the Aiva have shipped more than 2,000 units into a niche, high-margin market that’s usually reserved for U.S. boutique outfits like Audeze and Campfire Audio. “As far as we know, we are the only company in Dongguan with a woodworking department,” Zhou says, while also pointing out that at SIVGA “the development time is short and many decisions can be made on the spot.” This instant design responsiveness is a signature feature of China’s new tech upstarts, and Zhou sums it up with an old Chinese proverb: “small boats change course easier than big boats.”DJI is the pioneer that proved Chinese tech companies could aspire to be more than just manufacturing contractors or fast copiers. “DJI leads the industry with features like automatically avoiding obstacles in flight, which it implemented first,” notes Techsponential lead analyst Avi Greengart. “Rivals in the U.S., France and Taiwan have not been able to catch up.” DJI’s lead is based on the same geographic synergies as SIVGA’s. When a U.S. rival suffers a manufacturing hitch or defect, its ability to identify and react to the problem is hampered by the distance between its designers and manufacturers. DJI doesn’t have that problem, which has helped propel it to being the top drone maker in the world.“These are Chinese companies that want to be industry leaders and innovators. DJI and Insta360 are perfect examples of that movement,” says Anshel Sag, mobile industry analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy. “A big part of it comes from the entrepreneurial spirit of Shenzhen.”Like Dongguan, which this year saw a large new Huawei Technologies Co. campus open, Shenzhen is a nexus of component makers and suppliers eager to find new customers for their wares. The cacophonous Huaqiangbei bazaar in the city exhibits a wild array of gadgets from smartphone-electric shaver hybrids to neon-lit unicycles with Bluetooth speakers. That commoditized fray offers inspiration but also an impetus to rise above it with genuine innovation. The successful companies are the ones who make the most of the rabid production and iteration around them.“In Shenzhen, there’s a well-established supply chain system,” says Insta360 founder Liu Jingkang. “From a research perspective, in-house R&D may only contribute 60% of a product, the rest needs to be finished in factories.” The CEO of OnePlus, another company based in the city, has expressed pride in its ability to prototype new devices at great speed because he’s just a 45-minute drive away from its assembly lines.Even without being Apple Inc., Chinese companies are now building world-class, premium products, though China’s signature feature of undercutting the established market remains. Whether or not a Chinese company is first to a technology, it makes sure to be first to a breakthrough price.Backed by Xiaomi Corp. in 2014, Huami is responsible for creating the massively popular Xiaomi Mi Band, which has flooded the China market at a $20 price. The Mi Band offers most of the features of a Fitbit fitness tracker — including step counting and heart-rate monitoring — at a fraction of the cost. After expanding to sales in the U.S. and launching its own Amazfit brand, Huami is now shipping in excess of 5 million devices per quarter, and its chief executive talks openly about “taking out” at least some of its larger rivals, including Apple and Samsung Electronics Co.“The operating models for Garmin and other European and U.S. smart device vendors are flawed. Their retail price is very high,” Huami CEO and founder Wang Huang says. “You will only be able to sell very expensive products to a very small group of customers because mainstream and lower-end markets will be eroded by companies like us.”Evidence for the Huami chief’s words abounds in the smartphone market, where the top group of manufacturers is increasingly dominated by Chinese names like Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei. 2018 saw these brands make major inroads into the European market, relying on better pricing and faster feature introductions. Xiaomi “consistently produces budget flagship phones with first-to-market implementations,” says Techsponential’s Greengart. Along with SIVGA, Huami and Insta360, they’re following in the footsteps of companies like Lenovo Group Ltd., which was among China’s early breakout successes after buying IBM Corp.’s PC business in 2004. Their global ambitions and innovation pose a serious threat to the leadership of a plethora of U.S. tech products in areas from design to functionality, whether they be GoPro cameras, Apple iPhones or HP laptops.China’s rapidly rising tech creators are not without commercial savvy. Many of them are planning to seek capital on Shanghai’s new trading venue for startups, locally known as the Star board. Ninebot Inc., the Xiaomi-backed outfit that acquired Segway in 2015, aims to raise $300 million there. In unicorn territory, the Google-backed Mobvoi, which creates natural language translation algorithms for its Wear OS smartwatches, is also said to be seeking a high-value listing on the Star market.Royole, the startup that earned a measure of notoriety by beating Samsung to selling the world’s first foldable device in 2019, has managed to secure a deal with Louis Vuitton that will see the two companies putting flexible screens on handbags of the future. Like Huami initially leaning on the Xiaomi brand to build itself up, Royole stands a chance to be a luxury goods player with the help of a bigger company. The differences between California’s Silicon Valley startups, which have tended to do a better job of marketing and deal-making, and China’s new generation of homegrown businesses are gradually disappearing.How and Why the U.S. Says China Steals Technology: QuickTakeAmerican critics, such as President Donald Trump, commonly point to a track record of Chinese companies copying features from abroad, and one of their bits of evidence is the way Apple’s iPhone software and design seem to be habitually recreated by Huawei, Xiaomi and others. There’s not much that a Western company can do in such situations. When Segway filed a complaint against a number of Chinese brands for IP violations, it ended up conceding the fight and getting acquired by one of its defendants.The observable change now is that a new generation of innovative companies aren’t waiting for someone else to show them the blueprint. China’s rapid ascent in innovation goes beyond anecdotal evidence from startups like DJI and Huami, and the country’s corporations now rank among the world’s most prolific patent applicants.“The trend of China moving to high-end manufacturing, research and design is unstoppable,” said Jia Mo, a Shanghai-based analyst with consultancy Canalys.To contact the reporters on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Gao Yuan in Beijing at email@example.com;Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at email@example.com, Vlad Savov, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The stock market, incredibly enough, is holding its own after a small stumble last week. Although not in full-blown rally mode, treading water while investors take some time to reassess where things are is a type of win in-and-of itself.Still, some groups have been hit harder than others, and some names within certain groups are lagging their sector-based benchmarks. Tech stocks are among the names that lost the most ground since the market-wide July peak. They've also been less than impressive on the way back up, held back by some names more so than others. * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September Not all of those laggards are necessarily names not worth owning, though. In fact, their recent weakness has made some of the top tech stocks even bigger and better bargains.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsHere's a rundown of the market's top tech stocks to buy while trading at beaten-down prices. Broadcom (AVGO)Source: Sasima / Shutterstock.com It has hardly been a disaster, but the 11% setback Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) shares have suffered since their April peak is decidedly sub-par.Yes, fears about the trade impasse with China were a key part of this weakness, though not just fears of a slowdown. The company warned investors in June that the ban on doing business with Huawei Technologies would ultimately shave $2 billion worth of revenue off of its top line this year. The trade war is also pegged as the reason Broadcom was blocked from acquiring Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) … a deal that would have proven a boon here at the advent of 5G connectivity.Capitalism finds a way. Even if the trade meeting planned between President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping for October isn't progressive, analysts are still modeling slow and steady profit growth for this year and next. Per-share earnings should be up 10% next year. FireEye (FEYE)Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com As of December, it looked like FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE) had finally escaped its funk. Fueled by continued sales growth and a move deeper into operational profitability, at the time, FEYE stock was up nearly 90% from its early 2017 lows.The market changed its mind once again though. Despite the fact that the cybercrime and hacking threat only worsens every year, investors sold off their stakes in the small cybersecurity name. Since December, FireEye shares have fallen 30%. The tepid guidance issued as part of last quarter's earnings report accounted for a sizeable chunk of that weakness. * 7 Low-Risk Mutual Funds to Buy Now The pullback may have created an opportunity to step into a now-undervalued name, however. As Bank of America's Tal Liani opined after FireEye's quarterly report, the phase-out of its third generation product and launch of its fifth-generation product is all but complete, setting the stage for a full recovery of gross margins. Citrix Systems (CTXS)Source: Shutterstock Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) allows enterprises and institutions to get more out of their IT infrastructure. More than just networked computers, Citrix offers tools and apps to let teams collaborate and communicate.The market for such platforms is robust, but so is the competition. Citrix perpetually seems to be a step ahead of the others, securing the best deals. Case in point? Last month, Citrix Systems announced it would be the name to develop a "desktop as a service" solution for software giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).Partnerships like that are the reason the company has been able to make slow and steady progress. Subscription-based revenue, up 41% a quarter ago, adds more stability to its top and bottom lines.CTXS stock is down 18% since the end of August of last year, but now valued at less than sixteen times next year's projected earnings, the worst may all be in the past. Dell Technologies (DELL)Yes, this is the same Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) that was started by Michael Dell in 1984, only to be taken private in 2013. Through a complicated corporate structure involving VMware (NYSE:VMW), it became a publicly-traded entity again.The backstory seems irrelevant given the weak demand for personal computers right now. Except the environment isn't as weak as it seemed to be as recently as the first quarter of this year … at least not for Dell. Though last quarter's top line was only up 1%, it was up 1% when most of its rivals saw their sales decline. Earnings of $2.15 per share of DELL stock also trounced estimates for a profit of only $1.50. * 10 Buy-and-Hold Stocks to Own Forever As Raymond James analyst Simon Leopold put it, Dell is "a nice house in a tough neighborhood." II-VI (IIVI)Source: Shutterstock When most investors are looking for tech stocks to buy, II-VI (NASDAQ:IIVI) isn't a name that often comes to mind. Indeed, II-VI likely isn't even a name most investors have even heard of. Aside from the odd moniker, with a market cap of only $2.4 billion, the optoelectronic components company doesn't get much in the way of the media's attention.Don't let its small size fool you. II-VI packs a punch. Last quarter's top line improved to the tune of 13%, and operating profits grew 29%.Disappointing guidance negated those strong quarterly results, allowing a long-standing dry spell for IIVI stock to grow a little longer. Shares are now priced at 25% less than early-2018 peak value. With more of the same kind of earnings and profit growth translating into a forward-looking P/E of 11.65, II-VI looks like a lower-risk, bargain-priced pickup particularly now that it's going to merge with Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR). Oracle (ORCL)Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com All too often, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) appears to be a proverbial punching bag. From being criticized for not offering 'real' cloud-based solutions to being on the wrong side of a legal argument with the Defense Department to downplaying its own MySQL platform if hosted by a competitor, the company can't catch a break.Yet, the stock continues to march forward. It's anything but a straight-line march. After rallying from its late-2018 low near $43 to the July high near $60, ORCL stock fall back to nearly $51 last month. Now it's approaching $55 again. * 8 Precious Metals Stocks to Mine For If you can stomach the headline-driven volatility, these dips have proven great entry points. That may have something to do with the fact that Oracle rarely fails to grow its top and bottom lines, regardless of alarming headlines. Teladoc Health (TDOC)Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC) isn't profitable and probably won't be for a long, long time. Ergo, it's not a holding that's right for everybody's portfolio. If you understand the risks and nuances involved with a young startup though, TDOC stock has earned a spot in a list of stocks to buy for the story, even if not for the results.Teladoc Health, in simplest terms, offers virtual doctor's visits by using the internet to allow patients to make video calls to physicians. The company's doctors can even write prescriptions for users of the service.It's certainly out of the ordinary, or was anyway. It has quickly becoming the norm, so much so that Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) has launched an app to help its customers find a telehealth option that's often more convenient than going to a clinic.Further validating the idea is raw growth. Teladoc's top line is on pace to grow 30% this year, and 25% next year. ServiceNow (NOW)Source: Shutterstock Last week, information technology sector research outfit Gartner put software company ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) in its so-called magic quadrant … for the sixth year in a row. The accolade means not only is ServiceNow's core product a game-changer, but the company also delivers IT service management better than any other players in the same sliver of the tech world.Gartner's lofty opinion doesn't inherently make NOW stock a buy. But, in some regards, ServiceNow's results reflect how Gartner feels. This year's revenue is projected to be up nearly 33%, while next year's is forecasted to improve almost 29%. Earnings are growing commensurately with revenue. * 7 Cheap Energy Stocks to Buy as the Sector Lights Up It's also worth noting that, despite the 17% setback since its mid-July peak, analysts still collectively feel NOW stock merits a price target of $317.72. That's 25% better than the stock's present price. HP (HPQ)Source: Shutterstock HP (NYSE:HPQ), the consumer-facing half of 2015's split from the entity that would also spawn Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE), has been more than a little roughed up lately. Tepid PC demand has dragged HP stock from its late-2016 peak of $85.76 to a multi-year low of near $36 earlier this month. The bounce back to the current price of $43 only wipes away a tiny portion of that loss.Bernstein analyst A.M. Sacconaghi made an interesting and valid point this week though, suggesting the sentiment surrounding HP stock was so pessimistic that it also serves as something of a floor.It's valuation certainly helps on that front. Although its future is fuzzy, priced at only seven times its trailing profits and a modest 8.5 times next year's expected earnings, investors have more than priced in the most extreme of headwinds. Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH)Source: Shutterstock Finally, add Cognizant Technology Solutions (NASDAQ:CTSH) to your list of tech stocks to buy after an unnecessarily severe selloff.As of the latest look, even with the rebound from its May low near $57, CTSH stock's current price around $64 is still 25% less than where shares were trading in March of last year. The selloff has nothing to do with a lack of growth or value though.While the all-purpose IT outfit has never been a high-growth machine, single-digit sales growth has been reliable for years thanks to the company's stature as, in Forrester Research's words, "a strong choice for a broad range of modernization and migration tasks, including accelerated cloud migration." Top-line growth should perk up again next year as well.The real hook here, however, is the stock's valuation. Priced at less than 15 times next year's expected earnings, there's a reason shares have already stopped falling and started testing the water of higher highs.As of this writing, James Brumley held a long position in FireEye. You can learn more about James at his site, jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September * 7 of the Worst IPO Stocks in 2019 * 7 Best Stocks That Crushed It This Earnings Season The post 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The recently completed reorganization under a new holding company should help Xerox (XRX) attain greater strategic, operational and financial flexibility.
HP stock is facing an increased likelihood that despite management’s efforts, printing will continue to be a “melting ice-cube” business, Bernstein’s A.M. Sacconaghi, Jr. wrote in a note to clients Monday, downgrading the stock to Market Perform from Outperform.
HP Inc. shares are off 0.6% in Monday morning trading after Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi downgraded the stock to outperform from market perform. "With supplies growth expected to be negative in both 2019 and 2020, and supplies now having declined at a 4% [compound annual growth rate] since 2011, we worry that printing may be facing greater structural headwinds from the shift to digital (i.e., people printing less) and increased pressure from cloned/remanufactured supplies," he wrote. "In short, there is a higher likelihood the printing business is a 'melting ice-cube'-despite myriad efforts by HP to improve the business-and the stock accordingly warrants a lower multiple." Sacconaghi said that the credibility has been "seriously undermined by having guided down supplies twice this year." HP shares have dropped 7.1% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has risen 19%.
VMWare's (NYSE:VMW) meteoric rise after inking a key partnership a couple years ago just goes to show: "Data is the new oil."That phrase was first coined in 2006 by a British statistician named Clive Humby. He should know; he created the first supermarket loyalty card on behalf of Tesco (OTCMKTS:TSCDY). And with the data gleaned from that "Clubcard" program, the U.K. grocery chain doubled its market share from 1994 to 1995 alone. Talk about a valuable commodity!These days, companies like VMWare are crucial in keeping this gravy train going. And VMW stock is up roughly 70% for us at Growth Investor.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe "VM" in "VMWare" stands for virtual machines, which is software that solves a big problem for many businesses: too many servers.The more your company grows, the more data storage you need, but multiple servers quickly become a major headache - and costly. Instead, you can just log into VMWare, and do all your computing on one server. Things run faster and more efficiently, with less confusion. No wonder VMWare grew both earnings and revenue (+12% year-over-year) in the second quarter, both of which beat Wall Street expectations. * 7 Stocks to Buy In a Flat Market Now, these days, many companies don't keep their own servers, or even rent space in a data center…they just use cloud (online) storage. Or they use some combination of the three. And when it comes to this "hybrid cloud," VMWare has pretty much cornered the market.That's thanks to a historic partnership with one of my other Growth Investor picks: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). You might think of Amazon more for online shopping, or to buy e-books for your Kindle. Well, these days, its biggest profit driver is actually Amazon Web Services (AWS).VMWare was already a leader in the cloud computing field; it is the infrastructure platform choice of 100% of the Fortune 500\. It also has strong marketing relationships with computer hardware vendors, like Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL), HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) and IBM (NYSE:IBM). Now that this "private cloud" company has partnered with Amazon's "public cloud" service, customers don't need to choose.Below you can see VMWare's products for your data center and for VMWare Cloud, plus Amazon's own cloud services - and how they can all interact. For Big Data, VMWare and AWS is a "one-stop shop."Source: VMWare.comHospitals, banks, car companies, the Make-a-Wish foundation, even candy companies and colleges all use VMWare to make their data operations more modern (and thus more secure).There's just one final frontier for VMWare and AWS (and their customers): the "mother of all technologies." Crunching the NumbersUp until now, technologies have certainly made our lives easier and more efficient…but with a lot of room for human error. People trip over cords, spill their coffee, and get tired.Artificial intelligence (A.I.) does not.As scientists find even more applications for artificial intelligence - from healthcare to retail to self-driving cars - it's incredible to imagine how much data will be involved.To create A.I. programs in the first place, tech companies must collect vast amounts of data on human decisions. Data is what powers every A.I. system.So any one company that can help with customers' data issues - is the one company that's most worth investing in.After all, in the 2003 oil boom, investors could either speculate on oil futures contracts… or they could have bought shares in Core Laboratories (NYSE:CLB).Core did no drilling or exploration of its own. It provided technology to lots of companies who did. And as oil prices climbed from $30 per barrel in 2003 to $100 per barrel in 2008, Core's customers had more money to spend on exploration. Along with that, CLB stock rose 1,100%…with less risk.Now, picture an industry like Big Oil as a huge skyscraper with lots of offices. By buying stock in an individual oil company, it's like having a key to one of those offices. By buying Core Laboratories, it's like having a "Master Key" to all of them. The A.I. "Master Key"Core Laboratories was the Master Key to the 2000s oil boom. And here, the Master Key is the company that makes the "brain" that all A.I. software needs to function, spot patterns, and interpret data.It's known as the "Volta Chip." Last week, VMWare just signed a big deal with this very company -- and its Volta Chip is what makes the A.I. revolution possible.Some of the biggest players in elite investing circles have large stakes in the A.I. Master Key: * Ron Baron, billionaire money manager with one of the biggest estates in the Hamptons. * Ken Fisher, author of The Ten Roads to Riches and other bestsellers, who's made the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list. * Mario Gabelli, namesake of the Gabelli Funds, with a salary of $85 million for one year -- Wall Street's highest paid CEO.None of them, however, are programmers…or any kind of tech guru. You don't need to be an A.I. expert to take part. I'll tell you everything you need to know, as well as my buy recommendation, in my special report for Growth Investor, The A.I. Master Key. The stock is still under my buy limit price -- so you'll want to sign up now; that way, you can get in while you can still do so cheaply.Click here for a free briefing on this groundbreaking innovation.Louis Navellier had an unconventional start, as a grad student who accidentally built a market-beating stock system -- with returns rivaling even Warren Buffett. In his latest feat, Louis discovered the "Master Key" to profiting from the biggest tech revolution of this (or any) generation. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Deeply Discounted Energy Stocks to Buy * 7 Stocks to Buy In a Flat Market * 10 Stocks to Buy to Ride China's Emerging Wealth The post VMWare (VMW) Just "Struck Oil" - Here's How to Invest appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Readers hoping to buy HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Back in the day, PCs were hip and investors chased computer stocks to sky-high valuations. Everyone was buying a desktop, and then a laptop, and the companies that supplied them could do no wrong.Then came the smartphone. We all know to blame Apple Inc. for the end of the PC era. Though Steve Jobs didn’t invent the “phone + internet” mash-up, the iPhone spurred competitors to make such devices useful and customers took to them with glee. A decade-long smartphone boom followed.Take a look at the recent share price performance of handset makers and there’s not much left to be gleeful about. As handsets got boring, so too did the shares of the companies that relied on them for revenue. HTC Corp. and Xiaomi Corp., two of the few firms left that focus on handsets, have seen their shares plummet in the past year. PC makers, on the other hand, have been a little more exciting.Yet if you divide the universe of smartphone and PC makers in two, you’ll discover something interesting: Those that primarily focus on corporate customers or lead the market in a key non-consumer business are outperforming those that get a larger slice of revenue from smartphones and consumer PCs. Since Dec. 21, when Dell Technologies Inc. started trading again after a take-private deal in 2013, its shares jumped 21%. International Business Machines Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. have all climbed since that date. (2) By contrast, LG Electronics Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., HTC, HP Inc., Acer Inc. and Xiaomi all dropped. The first major outlier is Apple. I suspect that’s because fund managers sitting on piles of cash realized that it probably makes sense to put money into companies with fat margins and a cult following, even if it’s lost a little luster. ZTE Corp. also did well, but that’s mostly because it’s recovering from being at the wrong end of U.S. national-security policy.Instead of looking at PCs versus smartphones, a paradigm that worked well for around a decade, the better way for investors to divide the technology-hardware sector is consumer and enterprise. The two HPs – Enterprise and Inc. – serve as the perfect example. HP Inc. gets 60% of its revenue from desktop and notebook PCs, while HP Enterprise sells servers, storage and networking services. HP Enterprise is up 10% while HP Inc. fell 7% over the period. IBM is up 22%, Acer is down 13% and Xiaomi has fallen 36%. The lines do get a little blurred. Lenovo, for example, is also in the server and smartphone businesses, and Dell gets around 11% of its revenue from consumer PCs. Having divided their investible universe along these new fault lines, however, punters would be foolish to believe that the bull-run in enterprise will continue unabated. Both HPE and Dell last week raised their full-year earnings forecast, spurring shares to rise. In reality, that bottom-line strength appears to come from better margins and cost control rather than a rosier outlook for revenue. “We’ve tried to position the company to be successful in any economic environment,” Dell CFO Tom Sweet told Bloomberg News. That kind of attitude deserves the 10% single-day spurt the stock received. But cost control can only go so far. If a global economic slowdown and the trade war don’t abate, then not even fiscal pragmatism can save earnings.Sell-side analysts are adjusting accordingly. They’ve trimmed most companies’ 2019 revenue forecasts over the past six months, as well as next year’s EPS estimates.By examining more closely the end-market and customer base for each company, investors will find it easier to sort likely winners from losers. In the face of even bigger problems for the economy, however, a new analytic framework won’t change the fact that tough times are still ahead.(1) That's when Dell shares started trading. The rise/fall divide since that date is somewhat coincidental, but the wider point still stands: Enterprise has largely outperformed consumer.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.