Frank Curzio's WALL STREET UNPLUGGED Podcast

How to Profit From the ‘Future Predicting’ Sector

big data stocks

It’s been a tough year for Big Data stocks.

Big Data is the process of using advanced tools to analyze and interpret massive amounts of information. The goal is to use this past data to predict human behavior and interactions. And “predicting the future,” so to speak, is one of the biggest trends in technology.

These tools are extremely valuable information to EVERY company in the world. Imagine being able to know the exact time and date someone will enter your store … what this person plans to buy … or how much this person is willing to spend.

Multinational consulting firm McKinsey says Big Data services can allow consumers to capture $600 billion in economic surplus. That’s probably why tech heavyweights IBM, Accenture, Oracle, Microsoft, EMC and Cisco have spent tens of billions of dollars building up their Big Data platforms.

Despite the huge opportunity in this market, most Big Data stocks significantly underperformed the market year-to-date. This includes pure-play names Tableau Software (DATA)Splunk (SPLK) and Hortonworks (HDP).

future predicting stocks

These companies had incredibly high expectations. That’s why after Tableau Software reported much weaker-than-expected earnings in early February, most names in the sector fell alongside in sympathy.

I suggest using this pullback as a buying opportunity. In fact, several pure-play Big Data stocks could be acquired in the short-term following the recent pullback in the entire sector.

Let me explain …

I have to admit, I was a skeptic on Big Data.

That was until retail giant Target announced it could predict which of its female customers were pregnant — within the first trimester. This was based on spending patterns which were then fed into computer-driven models.

World Cup soccer winner Germany also used Big Data analytics to beat its rival Brazil in the semifinals. The national team worked with software giant SAP to create custom analysis and performance data on every Brazilian player.

In short, Germany used video from on-field cameras to capture thousands of data points every second. This includes the actual speed of each player and patterns Brazil used every game. This helped Germany find major holes in Brazil’s defense and ultimately led to a 7-1 thrashing of the host nation.

Today, billions of dollars continues to flow into Big Data analytics. Yet last quarter, pure-play Tableau Software reported a major slowdown in growth. The stock fell more than 40% on the news and pushed down the entire sector.

But this slowdown in growth is an isolated situation …

For example, Big Data consultants NewVantage Partners came out with a recent survey from Fortune 1000 executives. This includes companies like JPMorganCVS Health and Johnson & Johnson.

Based on this survey, more than 60% said they are spending money on Big Data initiatives. This includes using analytics to drive better performance in production and operations. Only 5% of the firms said they spent more than $50 million on Big Data initiatives in 2014…

However, nearly 30% of the companies surveyed said they expect to pay greater than $50 million on Big Data analytics by next year. Plus, more than 50% of these firms have appointed a new position called Chief Data Officer since Big Data has become such a priority.

As of last quarter, JPMorgan said it put $9 billion aside to invest in their Digital and Data & Analytics platform. The largest banking company based on assets now has more than 40,000-plus technologists on staff.

In fact, the financial services industry spent $114 billion on mobility, cloud and Big Data analytics last year, according to consulting firm IDC Financial Highlights.

Keep in mind … this is just one industry!

Industrials, retailers, energy, utilities, gaming, healthcare and even governments around the world are spending loads of cash on Big Data analytics. Their goal is to track the patterns of individuals and businesses so they could better target these customers.

Big Data is a trend that is still in its infancy. I think pure-play companies like SplunkQlik Technologies (QLIK) and MicroStrategy (MSTR) have great platforms. These names continue to grow, yet they are trading well off their highs following the recent warning by Tableau.

My advice is to start doing your homework on Big Data names.

Huge money continues to flow into this sector, which should bode well for these three players. Plus, following the recent sell-off, I wouldn’t be surprised if Big Data leaders IBM or Oracle try to acquire one of these pure-play names in the short term.