2 Cloud Stocks to Buy Now

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There's no question that technology companies will continue to lead the market. As profits grow, the major indexes soar.

The cloud is the new growth area. As the concept is fully embraced, software companies will be the primary drivers of that transition -- except they are not all the same. Some are better positioned than others to generate high-margin businesses that produce the type of growth Wall Street craves.

Here are two names to consider in 2013.

Oracle ( ORCL) -- Price target $40

The first name that comes to mind is database giant Oracle. There is no shortage of critics when it comes to assessing the company's business and competitive threats. But the company continues to see increased demand for its products and services -- particularly in the areas of the cloud, which produced $222 million in revenue.

In its most recent quarter, Oracle posted $8.2 billion in revenue. Net income arrived at $2 billion, or 41 cents per share - representing a year-over-year profit increase of 11%. On a non-GAAP basis, the company produced $3.6 billion in operating income, which was 6% higher year over year. This was helped by the company's 2% improvement in operating margin, which arrived at 44%.

Likewise, software licenses as well as cloud subscription revenue grew 11% to $1.6 billion. As a sign of how well the company's model is working, Oracle continues to generate tons of cash, while consistently managing its expenses.

Although competition from the likes of IBM ( IBM) and SAP ( SAP) certainly exists, Oracle has been able grow its cloud products such as Exadata, Exalogic and Exalytics by 100% during the quarter. These will be the major drivers of the company's growth for many years to come.

Salesforce.com ( CRM) - Price target $200

The popular bear argument against Salesforce.com continues to be its valuation. Admittedly, I have raised this same concern.

However, after the company's most recent quarter I was forced to become a believer. Although its lack of profitability continues to be a sore spot, for now its strong growth is too much to ignore.

Salesforce.com had a record quarter, during which the company posted 35% revenue growth reaching $788 million, or 33 cents per share. The performance was helped by better than expected showing in the company's services support and subscription business, which grew 35% year over year.

Equally impressive was the company's 20% year-over-year growth in operating income, which surged 20%. The company continues to grow various business segments such as professional services at an annual rate of over 30%, all of which contributed to an 18% jump in operating income. But the company said the best is yet to come, projecting guidance of $4 billion in revenue.

That stock should be bought on that basis alone. Aside from 35% revenue growth, management is showing incredible confidence in the company's business. Executives don't go out of their way to apply pressure on themselves if they don't really believe the goal is realistic. What it says is that "we have this thing figured out."

Impressively, despite its high forward P/E of 85, the company continues to prove not only that it can grow into its valuation, but it's willing to raise the bar in the process.

Perhaps the bear concerns about profits just might be overblown -- at least for now. The stock should reach $200 by the second half of 2013.

At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Richard Saintvilus is a private investor with an information technology and engineering background and has been investing and trading for over 15 years. He employs conservative strategies in assessing equities and appraising value while minimizing downside risk. His decisions are based in part on management, growth prospects, return on equity and price-to-earnings as well as macroeconomic factors. He is an investor who seeks opportunities whether on the long or short side and believes in changing positions as information changes.

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