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 Computer Hardware industry higher today making it today's featured computer hardware winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, International Business Machines rose $2.07 (1.1%) to $197.77 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.6 million shares of International Business Machines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $194.20-$198.11 after having opened the day at $194.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $195.70. Other companies within the Computer Hardware industry that increased today were:

Aruba Networks

(

ARUN

), up 14.4%,

iGo

(

IGOI

), up 5.5%,

NetApp

(

NTAP

), up 4.1%, and

Key Tronic Corporation

(

KTCC

), up 4%.

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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 $227.45 billion and is part of the

technology

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, below the average computer hardware industry P/E ratio of 14.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate International Business Machines a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 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 increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. 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 negative front,

Stratasys

(

SSYS

), down 7.3%,

Dataram Corporation

(

DRAM

), down 5.4%,

OCZ Technology Group

(

OCZ

), down 3.7%, and

Mad Catz Interactive

(

MCZ

), down 3.7%, were all laggards within the computer hardware industry with

Juniper Networks

(

JNPR

) 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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