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15 Hot, Highly Rated Technology Stocks of 2012 (Update2)

5. Informatica (INFA)

Company profile: Informatica sells enterprise data integration software, which helps companies gather, analyze, and order data located in disparate systems and databases.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 29% this year and have a three-year annualized return of 51%. T. Rowe Price, Fidelity and Columbia Wanger Asset Management each owned 11% of its shares at the end of 2011. S&P found five "buy" ratings, five "buy/holds," 11 "holds," and one "sell," in its survey of analysts.

4. Salesforce.com (CRM)

Company profile: Salesforce.com is the leading provider of hosted customer relationship management (CRM) software services, which includes its lead product, its salesforce automation software.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 29% this year and have a three-year annualized return of 69%. Fidelity owns 14.8% of its shares, more than double that of the next largest shareholder. S&P downgraded the shares to "strong sell" from "hold," on Feb. 14, as its shares have exceeded S&P's price target and because it is facing increased competition.

But many other analysts remain bullish as it has 17 "buy" ratings, 14 "buy/holds," seven "holds," one "weak hold," and five "sells," according to S&P's survey.

3. SolarWinds (SWI)

Company profile: SolarWinds, with a $2.7 billion market value, is a developer of software products aimed at serving the needs of small and medium-size business users of network, storage and virtualization management tools.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 32% this year and 72% since its public launch in 2009. Analysts expect its earnings will grow 15% to $1.14 per share this year. S&P's survey of analysts' ratings found five "buy" ratings, three "buy/holds," five "holds," and one "sell." Fidelity owns 8.3% of its shares, almost double that of the next largest shareholder at the end of 2011, and it almost doubled the number of shares it owns to 6 million in the fourth quarter.

2. Rovi (ROVI)

Company profile: Rovi is a provider of interactive programming guides and search services that are embedded into consumer electronics products. Customers include movie studios, record labels, and hardware manufacturers.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 39% this year and have a three-year annualized return of 32%. S&P found nine "buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," three "holds," and one "sell," in its survey of analysts. For fiscal 2012, those same analysts expect Rovi's earnings to grow by 6% to $2.60 per share.

1. Parametric Technology (PMTC)

Company profile: Parametric Technology, with a market value of $3.2 billion, licenses computer-aided design, product life-cycle management, and enterprise content management software that allows clients in several industries to design and build products faster.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 47% this year and have a three-year annualized return of 39%. Columbia Management owned almost 11% of its shares at the end of 2011, almost double that of the next largest investor. The biggest customers for its product life-cycle management (PLM) products are in the aerospace and auto industries, which are subject to cyclical downturns, but they appear to be in an up-cycle now.

S&P has its shares rated "hold" on valuation concerns, but its survey of analyst found four "buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," and four "holds."'

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 15 Hot, Highly Rated Technology Stocks of 2012 portfolio on Stockpickr.

Stock quotes in this article: INFA, PMTC, ROVI, CRM, RAX 
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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