International Business Machines Corp (IBM): 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.

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 2.1%. By the end of trading, International Business Machines rose $2.44 (1.2%) to $200.84 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.7 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 $198.12-$201.32 after having opened the day at $198.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $198.40. Other companies within the Computer Hardware industry that increased today were: Cisco Systems ( CSCO), up 9.6%, OCZ Technology Group ( OCZ), up 8.7%, Dot Hill Systems Corporation ( HILL), up 8.3%, and Lantronix ( LTRX), up 8.1%.

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 14.5, 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 8.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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 solid stock price performance, 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 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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