Stocks to buy

Cloud computing is more than just using someone else’s computer. The ability for large teams to collaborate, create and publish together seamlessly has upended business workflows in a way few technologies have ever before. No modern large company can even exist without cloud capabilities, and the largest companies are buying ever more cloud space for ever bigger ideas. Today, we’ll look at three top cloud computing stocks to buy.

Over the past decade, the “Cloud Czars” have dominated the market. They brought with them cloud-based enterprise software for every occasion. Now, however, smaller, more nimble cloud companies are breaking through with specially curated clouds to suit their customers’ needs. It may well be that the best high-potential cloud stocks are now the small ones that don’t get talked about as much. If you ignore them, you may miss out on the biggest gains.

Several underrated cloud companies are now creating clouds that are targeted toward a single market or sector. These products are looking to supersede the Cloud Czars’ clouds and may fragment the cloud market significantly as they take market share.

It’s important to recognize that not everyone’s cloud is alike, and one or the other may offer a distinct advantage that will weigh heavily in customers’ decision-making. There’s still a growing demand for cloud services tailored to the needs of the customer instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. So, keep an eye on these cloud stocks with big upside potential.

Oracle (ORCL)

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Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) is still a small player in the cloud market, but it has room to grow. As a major cloud provider for enterprise customers, Oracle should not be discounted among its larger competitors. As a cloud stock, it has high potential and may yet prove more nimble in the long run.

Nearly two-thirds of Oracle’s revenue comes from cloud services, indicating its increased importance to the company. For EU customers, Oracle recently introduced EU Sovereign Cloud. This cloud will be located in EU data centers and staffed by EU residents. The data will even be isolated from non-EU clouds. Oracle hopes to ensure that its Sovereign Cloud can abide by all EU data regulations and take market share from its competitors who flaunt them. With some of its competitors having run afoul of EU laws recently, this could prove a very good bet.

Oracle’s most recent annual report shows revenue growing by 18% and 22% on a constant-currency basis to $50 billion. Net income rose nearly 27% to $8.5 billion.

Oracle’s cloud revenue is growing at an impressive pace, up around 50% in fiscal 2023, and the company’s focus on the EU market could drive further growth. Countries want to control their citizens’ data and are willing to use laws and regulations to do so. Cloud companies that can abide by those laws while still providing high returns will have massive upside potential going forward.  And that makes Oracle one of the top cloud computing stocks to buy.

Salesforce (CRM)

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Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is a powerhouse in the cloud computing industry, offering an all-in-one solution for businesses to run their operations efficiently. Its comprehensive suite of cloud-based services powers customer relationships, processes management and everything in between.

The stock ticker CRM stands for customer relationship management, and it isn’t just for show. Salesforce’s CRM platform is the core of its business model. Its cloud allows businesses to track every aspect of their operations, from purchases and inventory management to order fulfillment, payment processing and customer satisfaction. Centralizing these functions on a single cloud is the key to Salesforce’s success.

Salesforce is also barrelling forward with a new offering called AI Cloud. It will use machine learning and predictive analytics to provide insights and automate tasks. If AI applications really are the next evolution in technology, Salesforce’s AI Cloud could be a huge hit.

Salesforce’s fiscal 2023 annual report shows growth in revenue but not earnings. Revenue increased 18% and 22% on a constant-currency basis to $31.4 billion while net income declined from $1.4 billion to $208 million. Salesforce needs a more profitable way to make money, and AI Cloud could well be the answer.

Salesforce is one of the older data center and cloud application companies in the business. With more than two decades in the software as a service (SaaS) business, it’s got more experience than almost any SaaS company out there. But it isn’t resting on its past victories. Instead, it’s moving ahead into cutting-edge cloud services.

Adobe (ADBE)

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Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) sits at the intersection of technology and creativity. Its suite of cloud products remains the gold standard for creatives in every industry. And Adobe’s Creative Cloud provides a seamless experience by integrating all its major software applications into one ecosystem. In this way, Adobe has quietly been making a name for itself as one of the best high-potential cloud stocks.

Adobe’s cloud enables users to design, edit and share. This has been a godsend to large art teams and has been revolutionizing the way creative projects are done. Not only that, Adobe is pushing boundaries in the technology of art (or “art-tech” if you prefer). It has added generative AI called Firefly to Adobe Photoshop. Between cloud and AI, Adobe is perhaps the most dominant creative company you can buy.

The key to Adobe’s financial strength has been its revenue model. Around 90% of its revenue comes from subscription-based software services. This gives Adobe predictable, recurring income. And that revenue has been growing.

For Q1, Adobe reported a 9% year-over-year increase in revenue to $4.7 billion. Net income was roughly flat from a year earlier at $1.2 billion, but Adobe increased research and development spending by 18% to $827 million. If this R&D spending can lead to more new offerings like Firefly, Adobe will continue its dominance of the artistic cloud for years to come.

The bottom line is that Adobe is the go-to software source for all enterprise-level art projects. And that makes it a cloud stock with great upside potential.

On the date of publication, John Blankenhorn did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

John Blankenhorn is a neuroscientist at Emory University. He has significant experience in biochemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceutical research.

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