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Is Informatica Under a Cloud?

Stocks in this article: INFA MSFT ORCL IBM CA

There is no hurry jumping on board with Informatica. Stock dumping as a result of warnings like this one take time for sellers to rotate out of and buyers to find value. Watch for the second break above $32.50 as the one that "sticks."

Operating margins, while already low compared to selected peers, appear to have room to grow if revenue begins climbing again.

Other companies to keep an eye on for warnings and results include:

Microsoft (MSFT) reports after the close on July 19th. The mean estimate is 63 cents per share in earnings.

Oracle (ORCL) reported in June and has gained about 10 percent in market value since. The problems Informatica finds itself in don't appear to be a concern for the database giant.

International Business Machines (IBM) reports after the close on July 18. The mean estimate is $3.42 per share in earnings.

IBM shares fell Friday along with the overall market in general. It's hard to say what impact Informatica had, if any, on Big Blue. CA (CA) reports after the close on July 26. The mean estimate is 56 cents per share in earnings.

CA was not immune to the weakness Friday. Shares dropped almost 2.5% but well above the 200-day moving average.

Take a look at the comparison table, and it's not a surprise what happened to Informatica. Operating margins are second only to IBM for the lowest. Microsoft and Oracle margins are twice as large. None of the companies have a "sell" rating; however, a sell rating may be on its way for Informatica.

What's the best play with Informatica? There should be a particularly attractive trade coming up Monday and or Tuesday. Near the end of the day, if still trading lower, sell out of the money puts. Investor fear of continued losses tends to push portfolio insurance prices up dramatically, at the same time the stock will likely find support.

It's not one to get greedy with so hold on for a few days and as the implied volatility falls (hopefully with a nice dead-cat bounce) exit out with a quick hit and run for profits. Otherwise, for longer-term investors, the best play is to wait until we are closer to the next earnings release for an entry.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

At the time of publication the author did not hold a position in any stock mentioned.
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