International Business Machines

(

IBM

) pushed the Computer Hardware industry higher today making it today's featured computer hardware winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 3.7%. By the end of trading, International Business Machines rose $7.06 (3.9%) to $188 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7.5 million shares of International Business Machines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $184.21-$188.35 after having opened the day at $184.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $180.94. Other companies within the Computer Hardware industry that increased today were:

Mitek Systems Inc

(

MITK

), up 11.1%,

Black Box Corporation

(

BBOX

), up 10.5%,

Mercury Computer Systems Inc

(

MRCY

), up 9.6%, and

Identive Group Inc

(

INVE

), up 9.6%.

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. International Business Machines has a market cap of $214.76 billion and is part of the

technology

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, equal to the average computer hardware industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates International Business Machines as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

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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