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German software behemoth, SAP SE SAP recently launched SAP S/4HANA Retail, a special version of the SAP S/4HANA platform for merchandise management. This will help retailers develop an omnichannel end-to-end retailing solution, thus meeting the rising demands of the digital economy.

Noteworthy features of industry-specific SAP S/4HANA Retail include the ability to provide end-to-end support for all core retail processes, offer meaningful insights into operational retail data and a simple and intuitive user interface. This will enable users to access real-time information, thus enhancing decision-making process.  

SAP believes that there is a pressing demand among retailers to optimize processes and retail frameworks. The SAP S/4HANA Retail will aid customers in exploring other business models. SAP S/4HANA's powerful real-time predictive analytics will enable clients meet present needs of the market and plan for future ones flawlessly.

Without doubt, SAP S/4HANA has been the company's biggest top-line driver ever since its introduction in 2015. This platform has established itself as a "mission critical control center" for businesses pursuing digital transformation. SAP foresees the demand for S/4 HANA to surge, as SAP Cloud powered by HANA is the only 'real-time digital data offering' which helps in modernizing client operations.

During third-quarter 2016, the company had gained 400 customers, of which 40% are entirely new. This hugely fueled the company's revenues. Over the past six months, SAP's shares recorded an average return of 13.7%, outperforming the Zacks categorized Computer-Software industry average return of 9.2%.

SAP makes constant upgrades and introduces fresher versions of this platform to maximize growth. With cut-throat competition in the retail domain, we perceive that an increasing number of companies will likely join the SAP S/4 Retail bandwagon to outshine peers, boosting SAP's profitability.

SAP is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2016 earnings on Jan 24. Overall, the company has a dismal earnings track record, having missed estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters, with an average negative surprise of 1.8%. Currently, brokers are on the sidelines for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock as its earnings estimates remained unchanged, over the past 30 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year 2016 also remained unchanged at $3.12, over the same time frame.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader computer & technology sector Exa Corp. EXA , Science Applications International Corporation SAIC and SecureWorks Corp. SCWX . While Exa Corp. sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Science Applications and SecureWorks Corp. carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Exa Corporation develops, markets, sells, and supports software products, and provides professional services for simulation-driven design. The company has an excellent earnings surprise history, beating estimates each time over the trailing four quarters, and has an average beat of 68.1%.

Science Applications International Corporation provides technical, engineering, and enterprise information technology services in the U.S. It boasts a remarkable average surprise of 9.2% for the trailing four quarters, beating estimates all through.

SecureWorks Corp. provides intelligence-driven information security solutions focused on protecting organizations from cyber attacks. The company has beaten estimates twice in the trailing four quarters, with an average surprise of 34.2%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc.

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