Facebook(FB) - Get Report shares surged on Thursday after the social media giant issued blowout quarterly results, saying that more than 1 billion people use its site every day. Facebook is one of several best investments in the tech sector, according to Credit Suisse analysts. 

The tech sector in general is chugging along better than the broader market this year, helped by a slate of semiconductor deals. For the year, the S&P 500 Information Technology Index is up 7.6% compared to the S&P 500 Index, which is up 2%.

So what are some of the other best investment ideas for tech stocks right now?

Credit Suisse analysts updated a "Top Picks" investment ideas note to clients on Wednesday. The research note puts forth the analysts' best investment ideas in a variety of sub-sectors for the next six-to-12 months. Analysts were allowed to choose up to three stocks in their coverage area and ranking them. The updated exercise resulted in a list of 119 top stock ideas.

The below list of 10 best tech stock ideas are the first ranked picks by Credit Suisse tech analysts. TheStreet paired them with ratings from TheStreet Ratings for added perspective.

TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

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FB

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1. Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report
Industry: Technology/Internet
Year-to-date return: 39.4%

Credit Suisse's Target Price: $115

Credit Suisse Said: We differentiate ourselves on product-by-product deep dive and projections for existing desktop and mobile products and upcoming Instagram, Premium Video and Graph Search. Our analysis leads to the following conclusions (1) FB will be able to drive revenue growth without material lift in ad loads, (2) Street models are too conservative and underestimate the long-term monetization, potential of upcoming new products, and (3) Optionality and upward bias to estimates which do not contemplate contribution from multiple other products (like Offers, 3P Mobile Ad Network, etc.)

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates FACEBOOK INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate FACEBOOK INC (FB) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. 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, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 13.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 38.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • FB's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 8.47, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,880.00 million or 40.19% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 1.45%.
  • The gross profit margin for FACEBOOK INC is currently very high, coming in at 94.81%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 17.78% trails the industry average.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FB's share price has jumped by 38.25%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: FB
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ADI

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2. Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) - Get Report
Industry: Technology/Semiconductors
Year-to-date return: 8.7%

Credit Suisse's Target Price: $72

Credit Suisse Said: Proliferation of force-touch applications across multiple Apple products; Significant exposure to I/A/I and shareholder return target (80% of FCF over the next 5 years)

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates ANALOG DEVICES as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate ANALOG DEVICES (ADI) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. 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, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ADI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.17 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.36, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 26.78% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, ADI should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income increased by 19.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $180.61 million to $216.48 million.
  • ANALOG DEVICES has improved earnings per share by 19.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ANALOG DEVICES reported lower earnings of $1.98 versus $2.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.96 versus $1.98).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ADI
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LRCX

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3. Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) - Get Report
Industry: Technology/Semiconductor Equipment
Year-to-date return: -2.9%

Credit Suisse's Target Price: $98

Credit Suisse Said: Increasing SAM opportunity (3D NAND, multi-patterning in logic and DRAM)

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates LAM RESEARCH CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate LAM RESEARCH CORP (LRCX) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 38.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.43, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, LRCX has a quick ratio of 2.38, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • LAM RESEARCH CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, LAM RESEARCH CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.70 versus $3.68 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.01 versus $3.70).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income increased by 104.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $141.08 million to $288.68 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: LRCX
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ADSK

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4. Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) - Get Report
Industry: Technology/Software
Year-to-date return: 5.7%

Credit Suisse's Target Price: $80

Credit Suisse Said: We believe that several significant drivers to Autodesk's financial performance-including (1) increasing revenue per user due to the forced migration to subscription offerings (2) monetizing new cloud-based add-on services and standalone software, (3) expanding the company's user base via rental license offerings, and (4) eventually raising maintenance pricing to converge with the higher-priced Basic Subscription model-will result in meaningful long-term upside to revenue (at limited incremental cost) versus the market's current expectations as implied by Autodesk's current share price.

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates AUTODESK INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate AUTODESK INC (ADSK) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • ADSK's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that ADSK's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 2.12 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, ADSK has outperformed against the industry average of 18.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for AUTODESK INC is currently very high, coming in at 89.34%. Regardless of ADSK's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ADSK's net profit margin of -38.63% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $77.20 million or 19.75% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, AUTODESK INC has marginally lower results.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, AUTODESK INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ADSK
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TWOU

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5. 2U, Inc. (TWOU) - Get Report
Industry: Technology/SMID Cap Software
Year-to-date return: 8.6%

Credit Suisse's Target Price: $40

Credit Suisse Said: Recent weakness in shares following a short report, which we believe to be inaccurate and misleading, creates a good buying opportunity, in our view. We believe the most important difference between TWOU and for-profit education entities centers around the (1) control of the student admissions process and (2) well documented difference in successful outcomes following the completion of 2U's programs.

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates 2U INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate 2U INC (TWOU) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to -$28.66 million or 31.67% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Diversified Consumer Services industry average. The net income has decreased by 12.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$7.34 million to -$8.24 million.
  • 2U INC's earnings per share declined by 11.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.37 versus -$0.73).
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is higher, and it has outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over the past year.
  • Compared to other companies in the Diversified Consumer Services industry and the overall market, 2U INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: TWOU
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HPQ Price

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6. HP Inc. (HPQ) - Get Report
Industry: Technology/Tech Hardware/Telecom Equipment
Return since Nov. 1 (when it split the company): 15.8%

Credit Suisse's Target Price: $19

Credit Suisse Said: Given stabilizing operations, scope for more predictable cash distribution, conservative guidance and steep undervaluation we see a TP of $45 for HPQ based on our SOTP valuation.

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates HEWLETT-PACKARD CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate HEWLETT-PACKARD CO (HPQ) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. Among the primary strengths of the company is its attractive valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • HEWLETT-PACKARD CO's earnings per share declined by 9.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate these figures will begin to experience more growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HEWLETT-PACKARD CO's EPS of $2.62 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $2.62. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.63 versus $2.62).
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 25.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.1%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • HPQ's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that HPQ's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 0.67 is low and demonstrates weak liquidity.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HEWLETT-PACKARD CO has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HPQ