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Microsoft Inc.'s (NASDAQ: MSFT) latest earnings report is just the latest reason why it deserves a spot in every investor's portfolio. A 21% year-on-year revenue boost... a 47% year-on-year net income increase.
As impressive as those numbers are, they don't even come close to telling the real story of what's going on here.
You see, the company's older products, like Windows, aren't seeing any growth at all. In fact, they're actually hiding big-growth divisions, like Microsoft's superstar Cloud product, Azure. Azure grew 51% year over year, and several other businesses in connection to it saw similar growth profiles.
Microsoft is really firing on all cylinders when it comes to its business Cloud, which is of course a big part of the reason why MSFT shares are trading north of $304 right now.
For investors who've been in for years, that's great, but for the millions of investors just starting out - well, it can feel like the train's left the station.
I'm going to name a company that's absolutely essential to Microsoft and its Cloud; they're inextricably linked. The firm I've got in mind is the largest independent vendor of software solutions for migrating, managing, and protecting data in Microsoft 365. Microsoft's outrageous Cloud success has helped this company grow revenue 38%, year over year.
Best of all, this backdoor stock play on Microsoft is trading for around $9 right now - more than 33 times cheaper than MSFT itself...
Microsoft's Supercharging "Ace in the Hole"
As 5G wireless becomes more and widespread, any business that operates its services on the Cloud is going to see its potential for scaling and service massively increase. It's hard to overstate just how big a deal this trend is.
The result of this is going to be huge profit potential for anyone investing in the Cloud computing sector.
But Jersey City, NJ-based AvePoint Inc. (NASDAQ: AVPT) is a star example. I like everything about this company...
As one of Microsoft's largest partners, it meets with the company regularly to discuss what's coming down the pipeline. In addition, it gets API access ahead of time to learn the products. This gives it the ability to roll out new products to customers without major issues. To top it all off, it's also a five-time winner of the Microsoft Partner of the Year Award.
Founded in 2001, AvePoint isn't just a flash in the pan. It's a well-established, leveraged play off of Microsoft's fast-growing businesses like Office 365, Teams, SharePoint, and Azure. And let's not forget that most businesses today are building work-from-home plans into their permanent structure. Over the last year, corporations have learned what an important role Cloud access plays in the day-to-day operations of a business and ensuring that they run smoothly. And with roughly 60% of the workforce preferring to work remotely, having a reliable Cloud network is vital in the success of the business.
The New World of IT Growth
Data growth and the Cloud have entirely revolutionized the IT landscape.
Microsoft Teams has expanded its user base almost 100% in the last year, and the shift to the Cloud is expected to continue its growth at a compound annual rate of 21% through 2027. Deploying these technologies and managing them can be difficult, and that's exactly where AvePoint comes in. The company is bridging the gap between what Microsoft Cloud offers and what enterprises require. And that's part of the reason why AvePoint maintains 8 million loyal users. In fact, its net revenue retention rate is 110%, meaning it can still grow without the need to acquire a single new customer.
With a large and addressable multibillion-dollar market, the firm sees a clear path to double-digit revenue growth with a target as high as $1 billion in revenue - that's more than six times what it made in 2020.
This is not a company - or stock - you can afford to sleep on. Not only is it benefiting from the huge growth of Microsoft's massive Cloud business, but it has also started deploying business products from Google and Salesforce - yet another way to grow its business with current and new customers.
At around $9 a share, AvePoint is trading at roughly 11x the enterprise value to sales and at 10x price to sales, much lower than the rest of the high-growth software industry. If you don't own Microsoft, AVPT - at a fraction of the cost of MSFT and offering the same level of growth and benefits - is one stock you don't want missing from your portfolio. And if you do own a piece of "Mr. Softy," this stock makes the perfect high-growth "kicker."
Growth really defines the entire tech sector, not just software as a service (SaaS). I know one electric vehicle (EV) stock, for instance, that had a fantastic 10x run last year. It's still a very, very small company, and a very cheap stock - trading at just $2 after that extreme run. This EV company is looking to make its U.S. debut on the "Big Board" of a major stock exchange. If the shares get listed here - something that could happen literally any day now - it could potentially repeat that massive run. Not up to $5, $10, or even $15, but it could rise to well over $20 per share... netting an incredible 1,147% gain (or more) within the next year. Michael's got some more about this stock here...
About the Author
Alex Kagin is the Director of Technology Investing Research at Money Map Press. He has spent the last decade working in equity research, most recently with Energy Capital Research Group (ECRG), where he led technology stock research along with working as part of a team developing a customizable financial data platform for securities analysis.
Prior to joining ECRG, Alex spent 8 years at DeMatteo Research, a boutique primary research firm and broker-dealer servicing the institutional investment community. He managed the Tech, Media, and Telecom vertical where he spent time connecting with hundreds of tech executives and hedge funds to get the pulse of the market.
Alex has a B.S. in Economics from American University and previously held Series 7 and 63 security licenses.