Big data, faster and more efficient communication and improved technological infrastructure are all going to play a key role in the next big web-based revolution – the internet of things. As companies like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) rush to take a leadership position in the space, smaller, less well known companies are drawing collateral benefit from the advances. As IoT coalesces, there is a good possibility of substantial roll-up of smaller firms by the current tech leaders with more than a tad of interest in the space. Here are 4 possible targets to keep an eye on for the near future.
RadiSys Corporation (NASDAQ:RSYS)
RadiSys specializes in what’s called Small Cell Offloading. Because of the huge increase in mobile data transfer via tablets and cell phones, the current infrastructure is struggling to keep up. Small cell offloading is a way to take the load off networks such as 3G, 4G and LTE, freeing up space for added use. They are smaller than the macrocells currently used for this sort of offloading (range is measured in meters for small cells versus kilometers for macrocells) but they are ideal for office buildings, homes etc., and are much more efficient than their larger counterparts.
It’s a space that analysts expect to grow exponentially over the next few years, slated to generate revenues of $1.2 billion next year and $6.5 billion between now and 2019, and RadiSys is a leader in the sector, having provided behemoths such as Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) with small cell technology. With 2015 financials just around the corner and a recent analyst upgrade, it’s one to watch.
Sysorex Global (NASDAQ:SYRX)
Sysorex has three main focus areas – location technology, data analytics and migration, and electronic publishing. It generated $63 million revenues in 2014 from a range of private, commercial and government contracts, and during the first three quarters of 2015, recorded just shy of $50 million in revenues. At last count, it had a little over $5 million cash with a further $11 million in net receivables, which have likely realized by now, yet its market capitalization is just $13 million. From a value perspective, a company that has its entire market capitalization held in cash and generates 4-5 times multiple of its market cap in revenues each year looks like a good deal.
The core technology on which the company relies, and the technology from which it generates the majority of its revenues is its LightMiner platform. It’s one of the only technologies in the world that can absorb every type of data and provide conversion and visualization in real time, so it could end up playing a big part in the booming big data space going forward. Big data, in turn, will form the basis of the IoT, which is estimated to grow to a gargantuan $1.7 trillion in revenue by the end of the decade. Sysorex is an off the radar stock, well positioned to take a portion of one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
Ciber, Inc. (NYSE:CBR)
With a valuation just shy of $250 million, Ciber is one of the bigger names on our list, and those familiar with IT services industry will likely already know the name. Founded in 1974 in response to the huge demand for computing consulting services at the time, the company now has 80 offices globally and employs upwards of 6,500 people in 15 countries. It does everything from application building to data analytics to consulting services, and had served more than 2000 blue chip companies in its lifetime.
All this does not mean that it isn’t undervalued. In each of the last three years Ciber has generated in excess of $850 million in revenues, and during the nine months to September last year, recorded just shy of $600 million.
Despite this, it’s down 25% on 2015 highs, and more than 90% on all time highs. The latter were recorded in 1998, so take them with a pinch of salt, but it demonstrates that with the right market sentiment, this company can grow exponentially. The long and short of it is that any company valued at one third its annual revenues, in an industry set to explode, is one to keep a close eye on.
NCI, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCIT)
This one is a military tech play. NCI generates 70% of its revenues from Department of Defense contracts in the US, with services that range from data analysis of its weapons systems to hardware and application integration. It submits proposals each year with total values in excess of $1 billion, and expects to have generated $335 million during full year 2015, up from the $317 million recorded in 2014 and the $332 million recorded in 2014. It’s the only company in this list that generates net income, recorded as $7.7 million and $8.5 million during 2013 and 2014 respectively, and expects a bottom line of $10.6 million during 2015 – $0.78 per share on count of 13.6 million shares.
The company just picked up two prestigious recommendations, the Victory Media’s 2016 Military Friendly Employers List and CMMI-DEV Maturity Level 3, and a $9 million US Air Force contract that will see guaranteed payment this year, and an option to extend for a further four years.
Its current market valuation is only $162 million. NCI is down 28% from 2015 highs, against a backdrop of wider market weakness, despite its continued revenue growth and bottom line improvements. When markets pick up, this move could well prove a temporary correction and an opportunity to get into this small cap tech company at a discount.
Any one of these companies could become an acquisition target considering the numbers involved, especially as competition in the space heats up and industry leaders look for a competitive edge in new technologies.
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