RealTime IT News

CA Shares Surge on Upgrade, Cloud Business

CA shareholders got some good news Wednesday morning when Deutsche Bank analyst Todd Rakar upgraded the enterprise software developer's stock from a "hold" recommendation to a "buy" and bumped up his 12-month price target from $22 to $28 a share.

CA (NASDAQ: CA) shares rallied up $0.81, or 4 percent, to $22.71 on the news.

In a research note Wednesday morning, Rakar said the company is primed to benefit from the popularity of its virtualization and cloud-based software products throughout 2010.

"We believe CA’s emerging opportunity in virtualization/cloud computing management is significant and could help accelerate growth over the next 2-3 years," he wrote. "CA’s recent product is encouraging and we think 2010 could be a key inflection point in establishing CA as a beneficiary of virtualization/cloud computing.

In August, CA unveiled management software used to monitor and automate the use of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) as well as other applications used to help enterprise customers build their private clouds for employees, partners, suppliers and customers.

And last month it introduced PC Tune-Up and PC Tune-Up Plus, a pair of cloud-based computer optimization applications that promise to clean up hard drives, identify and repair performance problems and incorporate antivirus and antispyware protection.

Last quarter, CA posted a profit of $218 million on sales of $1.07 billion. Analysts are expecting a profit of $1.68 a share on sales of slightly more than $4.3 billion in the current fiscal year.

CA shares surged to a 52-week high of $24.15 in October, up more than 60 percent since the stock bottomed out at $15.13 in March.

Following Rakar's upgrade, four of the 13 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" rating while the remaining nine analysts are calling it a "hold."