3. SAP (SAP): SAP dominates the global market for enterprise-application software used for accounting, customer-relationship management and supply-chain management.
Shares are up 8.6% this year, versus the 12% gain by its applications-software peers.
Its price-to-earnings ratio is 21.5, versus its peers' average of 31, suggesting it is selling at a discount.SAP has a three-year annual sales growth rate of 9.1%, while net income has grown 2.9% annually over the same period. Performance is expected to improve slightly better than that seen by the economy. Analysts forecast a 15% rise in sales in 2010, to $17 billion, a turnaround from the 8% decline of 2009. They forecast 2010 earnings per share of $2.86 versus $2.13 in 2009, and an increase of 12%, to $3.19, in 2011. SAP has a $59.4 billion market value, and institutional investors own 5% of the stock. Of analysts covering SAP, seven, or 35%, rate its stock "buy," 10 rate it "hold" and three rank it "sell." A median price target of $49.72 suggests a return of 2.5% in the next 12 months. Goldman Sachs is more bullish, predicting a gain of 12% to $54.50.
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