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Apple Inc (AAPL): Today's Featured Computer Hardware Winner

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

Apple (AAPL) pushed the Computer Hardware industry higher today making it today's featured computer hardware winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Apple rose $8.14 (2.1%) to $398.67 on average volume. Throughout the day, 15,169,807 shares of Apple exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17,807,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $391.28-$402.20 after having opened the day at $392.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $390.53. Other companies within the Computer Hardware industry that increased today were: Performance Technologies (PTIX), up 18.3%, Silicom (SILC), up 8.5%, Synaptics (SYNA), up 4.8% and XRS (XRSC), up 4.6%.

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Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication devices, and portable digital music and video players, as well as sells various related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions. Apple has a market cap of $368.2 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 26.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apple as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Echelon Corporation (ELON), down 5.6%, Lantronix (LTRX), down 4.7%, OCZ Technology Group (OCZ), down 4.6% and STEC (STEC), down 4.5% , were all laggards within the computer hardware industry with Dell (DELL) being today's computer hardware industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the computer hardware industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Technology (IYW) while those bearish on the computer hardware industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Semiconductor (SSG).

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