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A Big Upgrade for Art Technology Group

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Every day, the sun rises on Wall Street, and a plethora of professional analysts wake to issue new opinions on stocks. Here at the Fool, we use our "This Just In" column to examine some of these picks-- and the track records of the firm behind them -- so individuals can make better investing decisions.

In addition to following professional banks, anyone can use Motley Fool CAPS to monitor the collective opinions of more than 150,000 members, many of whom demonstrate better investing insight than published analysts do.

After being stuck for more than a year at no better than a three-star rank, enough top-performing CAPS members have turned bullish on Art Technology Group (Nasdaq: ARTG  ) recently to upgrade it from to a more formidable four stars. A total of 299 members have given their opinion on the e-commerce software provider, with many offering analysis and commentary to explain their recent optimism.

Art Technology is a strong player in the e-commerce software space, set to flourish as more retailers and businesses adopt new ways for their customers to purchase products online. The past holiday shopping season saw a big jump in e-commerce growth, and many of Art Technology’s customers had increased conversion rates using its platforms. The company reported record revenue and earnings, expanded gross margins in 2009, and has a strong outlook for customer demand going forward. 

Companies like (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) and eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY  ) helped consumers warm up to the idea of e-commerce over the last decade. Now, as consumers increasingly shop from their wireless phones, more retailers see opportunity online. Art Technology has worked with companies such as Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) and AT&T (NYSE: T  ) to help power their online businesses, holding its own against other small players such as Digital River and even big boys such as IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) .

The company's recent acquisition of InstantService is expected to complement its existing technologies. A secondary stock offering in the works suggests that Art Technology may be on the hunt for more companies. With a debt-free balance sheet and momentum working in its favor, CAPS members like this company's growth potential.

Do you think Art Technology Group deserves its raised status? Add your thoughts in the comments box below on this page, or head over to CAPS to rate the company.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service looks for companies with strong management poised to beat the market over the long haul. To see all the stocks that have helped Tom and David Gardner beat the market by 51 points on average, take a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his sock puppet collection with one that eerily resembles Howard Stern. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Best Buy and Microsoft are Inside Value recommendations., Best Buy, and eBay are Stock Advisor picks. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on eBay and a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. The Fool's disclosure policy could never break a B in any of the sciences.

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