ThinkEquity has outlined its top technology stock picks for 2011. The stocks include AMD, Spansion, Entropic, Micron Technology, Nvidia, Aruba Networks, Mellanox, Stec, Google and Priceline.
Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD): The brokerage said the chip maker outlined more competitive PC/server platforms for 2011, new Fusion-integrated central processing unit/graphics processing unit (CPU/GPU) platforms for PCs with over 100 design wins, and the transition to a fables flexible operating model.
The brokerage added AMD's product mix and gross margins will likely continue to improve, driven by an improved product mix such as Fusion PC platforms, more competitive Opteron 4000/6000 server platforms, continued strength in discrete PC graphics, and better operational execution.
ThinkEquity said We recommend buying AMD shares, trading close to five-year trough valuations of 0.9x EV/TTM revenues and 5.9x EV/TTM EBITDA.
Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE): The brokerage view CODE as the market leader in the embedded NOR flash memory solutions segment. Spansion has a diversified customer base of over 4,000 global customers, good design win momentum, a focused new management team, a flexible Fab Lite manufacturing strategy and recent strong revenue and earnings growth.
Since emerging from chapter 11 in May 2010, the company has executed well with four quarters of embedded flash revenue growth, regained market share of 2-3 points every quarter, achieved strong design win momentum, and generated strong cash flow from operations.
Entropic Inc. (NASDAQ: ENTR): The brokerage said its checks suggest that the Entropic's ongoing business with equipment providers to DirecTV, Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner Cable continues to be strong.
We believe ENTR may exit 2010 with 90-95% market share and while Broadcom may capture 20-25% of the market in 2011, we expect ENTR to maintain its leading position due to its technology lead and field-proven silicon, the analysts at ThinkEquity wrote in a note to clients.
Micron Technology (NYSE: MU): The company's management has indicated a positive and more-balanced DRAM and NAND flash demand/supply outlook for 2011. The company also indicated a more-resilient near-term business model with low exposure to the weak PC DRAM segment (25 percent of revenues).
Micron also indicated strong demand for NAND flash and price reductions consistent with learning curve cost reductions. With many smartphone and iPad/new Web tablets ramping, Micron management expects the benign pricing environment for NAND flash to continue in 2011.
Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA): ThinkEquity analysts said the company is regaining momentum in the high-end PC graphics market with the GTX 580/570/560 family and focused on new potential growth opportunities in high-end computing and Web tablets.
Nvidia also holds its leading position in professional graphics and has won designs in the smartphone/Web tablet market at Asustek, Acer, Motorola, and HTC.
Going forward, the company's Tegra platform for smartphones/Web tablets on the Google Android platform and continuing growth in high-end cloud computing and professional graphics with Quadro would likely lead to steady earnings growth.
Aruba Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN): The company is set to benefit from the rapid proliferation of wi-fi devices and WLAN adoption across the globe. As enterprises move to 802.11n WLANs, there is a need to upgrade the infrastructure of the WLAN significantly, which is unlike the change from 11b to 11g, creating a significant opportunity for Aruba to gain market share.
We think that ARUN is the largest WLAN pure-play and the mind-share leader in the market, which we believe is a result of ARUN's superior Security-based differentiation, the analysts said.
Apart benefiting from secular trends, the company also holds a significant advantage over larger, more-diversified networking companies in that an expansion of WLAN and network rightsizing does not cannibalize existing revenue streams from physical wired edge ports.
Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX): Mellanox, after its acquisition of Voltaire is likely to have north of 90 percent share of the InfiniBand market.
We believe InfiniBand is likely to see widening adoption beyond traditional High-performance Computing use cases as Clustered Hardware (Servers and Storage) becomes more ubiquitous in the data center, the analysts said.
The move to Cloud architectures enabled by Server Virtualization, the emergence of Converged Infrastructure from large system vendors especially Oracle and the growing prevalence of Scale-out Storage architectures is likely to significantly increase the demand for a low-latency high-throughput interconnect such as InfiniBand.
NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP): The company is gaining significant market share over the past year due to a strong storage-optimization-based product positioning especially in virtual-server-related Storage deployments, ramping distribution and sales presence, and increasing penetration into the enterprise.
The brokerage expects these growth drivers to continue driving share gains for NetApp and solidify its recently-achieved No.2 position in the Storage market.
The analysts said: Considering our belief that NTAP is strongly positioned in the strongest Storage growth markets, is gaining significant share at scale and has seen a significant reset in its earning power, we believe there is material potential upside in NTAP stock at current levels.
Stec, Inc. (NASDAQ: STEC): Stec is the only provider qualified and shipping product in the Enterprise Storage Market for Fibre Channel and SAS interface drives. While competition appears inevitable in the market in the future, the brokerage believes the company has a strong technological and qualification lead at the OEMs, which should enable it to maintain market share leadership in the future.
Given our expectation that the Enterprise Storage SSD market is likely to be significantly up in 2011 over 2010, and STEC appears likely to maintain an edge over competition in terms of technology and, hence, market share, we believe STEC shares at current levels do not capture the potential upside in terms of market potential or competitive positioning, the analysts said.
VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN): ThinkEquity said it continues to like VeriSign shares because the company's focus and growth rate potential improved yet again in 2010, following the sale of the SSL certificate business to Symantec.
We believe Verisign will be able to accelerate its near-term growth rate by 100-200bp in 2011-12 with its managed DNS initiative, and we expect the internationalized domain names and TLD outsourcing businesses to supplement growth starting in 2012, the analysts noted.
OPNET (NASDAQ: OPNT): The brokerage expects the company to continue competing successfully against larger application monitoring vendors, helped by the breadth of product portfolio and deep experience in network design and lifecycle technologies.
The analysts see OPNET is capable of a sustained organic revenue growth rate approaching the mid-teens, which should enable the company to achieve scale advantages and increase gross margin profitability.
NetScout (NASDAQ: NTCT): The brokerage likes NetScout's differentiated capabilities in highly instrumented service-aware network monitoring, troubleshooting, and analytics. It believes NetScout's potential market opportunity and focused capabilities can enable the company to take market share and further distinguish itself competitively.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG): The brokerage expect outperformance for Google, given continued strength in the paid search market driven by a modestly improving economy and online share gains and traction with non-search businesses, primarily display and mobile. The brokerage is modeling 18 percent and 19 percent revenue and EPS growth, respectively, in 2011.
GSI Commerce (NASDAQ: GSIC): The brokerage expects continued solid top line results for GSIC driven by eCommerce segment and expects GSIC to continue to outperform the broader eCommerce sector. Further, continued strength in the higher margin marketing services business and traction with the RueLaLa private sales business would also benefit the company.
Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU): ThinkEquity expects another strong year of growth for Baidu in 2011 driven by continued consumer Internet adoption as it expects China to add another 70 million Internet users in 2011 up from about 450 million at the end of 2010.
Baidu is also expected to benefit from continued merchant adoption coupled with strong growth in emerging categories including eCommerce.
We believe these factors should lead to 60 percent plus growth in 2011 and we expect continued strong incremental margins which we expect to lead to 70 percent plus EPS growth, analysts said.
Ctrip (NASDAQ: CTRP): ThinkEquity sees the China travel market should remain robust in 2011, with approximately mid-teens growth. Additionally, while concerns linger with CTRP regarding high speed train rollouts, tougher comps in 2011 due to the Shanghai expo, and airline commission rates, it believes these concerns have created an attractive entry point in Ctrip.
We believe Ctrip should be able to sustain mid-20's long-term revenue growth, analysts wrote in a note to clients.
Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX): ThinkEquity said though it is favorable on the 2011 prospects of a number of companies in the online marketing services ecosystem, it believes that Marchex has a relatively open-ended opportunity as the early leader in the emerging market for call-based advertising.
We are particularly favorable on the company's partnership with Skype, by which the company is selling and providing technology to enable advertiser-sponsored Skype Out calling over PCs, analysts said.
Priceline (NASDAQ: PCLN): The brokerage said Priceline remains well positioned for continued International market share gains given its supplier-friendly hotel model (agency model and reasonable commission rate) and attractive consumer offering (largest number of European hotels, TripAdvisor-like hotel reviews).
For 2011, ThinkEquity expects international bookings growth of about 40 percent or approximately 2 times the market growth for online bookings.