Morgan Stanley thinks this small cap stock is about to take off

Don’t let the drop in the share price of Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA) fool you. Morgan Stanley is tipping a turnaround in the next few weeks after management reaffirmed its bullish outlook for the current half of the financial year.

That has not stopped the stock from re-testing its three-month low of 89 cents as it shed 1% in value following its strong rally over the past year that has pushed Nearmap up 82% compared with the relatively paltry 4.5% gain by the All Ordinaries (Index:^AORD) (ASX:XAO) index.

In contrast, other high-profile tech stocks have performed as follows. Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) is up 67%, WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) is 87% stronger and Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) is 156% ahead.

High-flying tech stocks can be volatile but Morgan Stanley thinks that there is a 70% to 80% chance that Nearmap will outrun the market within the next two weeks or so, as investors digest the latest update from the company.

Management’s bullish take on the second half of FY18 when it reported its interim results in February seems to be coming to pass as Nearmap said that its annualised contract value (ACV) for its US business has hit over US$10 million at the end of March 2018.

It also commented that the strong growth momentum in ACV for the US and Australia that was seen at its latest interim result is rolling through to the current half.

Nearmap posted record growth in February with US ACV surging to US$8.5 million from US$5.3 million at the end of June 2017, while Australian ACV rose to $43.3 million from $40 million over the same period.

The introduction of new products and services should keep the momentum going for some time yet, with Nearmap offering “measurable obliques” to the market place. This new product allows users to measure the size of buildings and to inspect sites from four cardinal positions.

Nearmap has also launched new panoramic content, a new user interface, and added New Zealand to its library of aerial city surveys.

The company has developed an aircraft-mounted camera technology that captures city images for urban planners, architects, property developers and solar panel installers.

Its diverse range of customers helps lower the risks of a downturn in any one industry while the slumping Australian dollar against the US currency will benefit its bottom line given the strong growth in its US operations.

Morgan Stanley has an “overweight” recommendation on the stock with a price target of $1.40 a share.

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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of NEXTDC Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Nearmap Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium and WiseTech Global. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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