A Big Upgrade for Blue Coat Systems

After spending much of the past year hovering around a three-star rank, Blue Coat Systems (Nasdaq: BCSI  ) has impressed enough top-performing members of our 165,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community lately to climb into the four-star category. A total of 462 members have given their opinion on the network communications specialist, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

Following the recent hit that shares of Blue Coat Systems took after its unwelcome fiscal first-quarter earnings forecast, some CAPS members see an opportunity to jump into a beaten-down growth opportunity. The company reported a 17% jump in fiscal fourth-quarter revenue as many companies are resuming spending on technology, and ended up with a $17 million backlog compared with $6.1 million the same time last year.

Not to be discouraged by outlooks from competitors Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) and McAfee (NYSE: MFE  ) that also were shy of Wall Street's expectations, some investors remain bullish on Blue Coat. Cisco recently reported a 63% jump in quarterly earnings, which analysts see as a positive trend in corporate technology spending, while others that participate in the Wide Area Network (WAN) optimization space such as F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV  ) , posted fiscal second-quarter profit growth of 75%. Juniper Networks' (NYSE: JNPR  ) CEO said he's confident in growth in the second half of the year after posting a 24% jump in second-quarter revenue, and technology bellwether Intel's (Nasdaq: INTC  ) largest quarterly profit in a decade has given investors more confidence in the positive trends in corporate spending.

Although Blue Coat may not get the same attention as larger players like Cisco, the company holds its own in the WAN optimization market. According to a market share report from Infonetics Research, Blue Coat has continued to lead the WAN optimization market through the first quarter -- a market Infonetics expects to grow by 29% over the next four years. The growth potential has worthy competitor Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD  ) putting WAN optimization as a spending priority, but many CAPS members see Blue Coat holding an edge and capitalizing on its solid position.

Do you think Blue Coat Systems deserves its raised status? Add your thoughts in the comments box below on this page, or head over to CAPS to rate the company and check out all the information and opinions the community offers, absolutely free.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock could use an upgraded mode of transportation. He owns shares of Intel, which is an Inside Value pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. The Fool owns shares of Intel. The Fool's disclosure policy is second only to Tang as the best invention to come from space exploration.


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