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International Business Machines Corp (IBM): Today's Featured Technology Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

International Business Machines (IBM) pushed the Technology sector lower today making it today's featured Technology laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, International Business Machines fell $2.88 (-1.5%) to $189.83 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.5 million shares of International Business Machines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $189.83-$192.22 after having opened the day at $191.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $192.71. Other companies within the Technology sector that declined today were: Wireless Ronin Technologies (RNIN), down 15.3%, BOS Better Online Solutions (BOSC), down 10.9%, Spire Corporation (SPIR), down 10.2%, and Aehr Test Systems (AEHR), down 9.1%.

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International Business Machines Corporation provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems and Technology, and Global Financing. International Business Machines has a market cap of $216.89 billion and is part of the computer hardware industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate International Business Machines a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates International Business Machines as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Viasystems Group (VIAS), up 12.4%, MERU Networks (MERU), up 11.7%, LDK Solar Company (LDK), up 10.7%, and magicJack VocalTec (CALL), up 10.3%, were all gainers within the technology sector with Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU) being today's featured technology sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the technology sector could consider Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) while those bearish on the technology sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Technology (REW).

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