This month my favorite small-cap stocks to buy are largely technology stocks, which is not surprising as consumer electronics, IT providers and other technology firms are seeing strong sales even as other sectors suffer. That's because a mix of hot new gadgets like the Amazon ( AMZN) Kindle and the Apple ( AAPL) iPhone 4 remain hot commodities even when consumers aren't spending on other big-ticket items. Also, while companies are reluctant to hire new workers, they simply must upgrade computer systems to stay competitive and boost productivity without adding more bodies to the payroll. These trends have resulted in impressive earnings for the quarter across a number of technology stocks. Here are my favorite small-cap stocks in the tech sector now.
Radware ( RDWR) makes networks work smarter by searching the best path for data and optimizing traffic. This allows companies to run their IT systems more efficiently instead of having to pony up big money for new hardware. According to recent earnings, Radware revenues were $35.2 million on the quarter, a 30% increase when compared with the $27.1 million that the company posted in the second quarter of 2009. Earnings for RDWR were $4.3 million, or $0.21 per share, compared with $0.6 million, or $0.03 per share, in the equivalent quarter last year. Analysts had predicted earnings of $0.20, resulting in a positive surprise of 5% for the company. That's a good sign of future growth.
Acme Packet (APKT)
Acme Packet ( APKT), based in Burlington, Mass., is a high-tech company that makes communications equipment that helps Internet-based networks communicate more easily with each other. The company recently reported second-quarter financial results showing record gains. Total revenue for the quarter was $53.3 million, compared with $32.9 million last year, resulting in a year-over-year increase of 62%. Net income stood at $12.4 million, or $0.18 per share, at the end of the quarter, compared with $4.5 million, or $0.07 per share, in the previous year's second quarter. Analysts had predicted earnings of $0.17 per share, yielding a 5.88% earnings surprise for the company. Acme's fundamentals are sound, and I'm bullish on this small-cap tech stock.
Radcom ( RDCM) is an Israel-based company, which makes test equipment and software used in the creation, installation and maintenance of corporate computer networks. Most recently, the stock was buoyed by an excellent financial report for the second quarter. The company said that its quarterly revenue was $4.6 million, an increase of 77% compared with last year's equivalent quarterly revenue of $2.6 million. Net income was $487,000, or $0.09 per share, compared with a loss of $795,000, or $0.16 per share, in 2009. This equated to a remarkable 156% year-over-year increase.
Spreadtrum ( SPRD) designs and markets baseband communications chips for the red-hot wireless telecom market. The company's semiconductors, which are compatible with a range of international wireless standards, are sold to manufacturers of cell phones, which then incorporate them into their products. Spreadtrum reported strong sales for its second quarter Aug 12. In its report, the company said sales increased fourfold to $71.4 million from only $16.2 million a year ago. When compared with analysts' expectations for sales of $67.1 million, the company recorded a 6.41% sales surprise. While the company did beat sales estimates, overall EPS missed estimates. However, investors didn't care as the stock was up 4.6% at the close on Friday. Earnings for the quarter were $11.1 million, or $0.21 per share, which came in below analysts' estimates of $0.23 per share -- a miss of 8.70%. Still, on a year-over-year basis, the company posted an increase in earnings of 172%. The real reason for the stock's strong market performance following earnings was the sales increase and its strong guidance for the third quarter. The company expects sales of $88 million to $96 million in the period, significantly higher than analysts' forecasts of $76.7 million.
FSI International (FSII)
FSI International ( FSII) is a tech stock in the cleaning business. Specifically, it designs, manufacturers and markets machines that are used to clean semiconductor wafers. In its latest quarter, FSI International's sales rose 86.4% to $28.7 million, compared with $15.4 million in the same quarter a year earlier. During the same period, its earnings rose to $5.9 million, or $0.18 per share, compared with a loss of $2.8 million, or $0.09 per share, previously. The analyst community had been expecting earnings of $0.14 per share, so FSI International posted a 28.6% earnings surprise. The company announced that it received orders totaling $29.5 million, which is near the high-end of its previous guidance.