Apple Inc (AAPL): Today's Featured Computer Hardware Laggard

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.

Apple ( AAPL) pushed the Computer Hardware industry lower today making it today's featured Computer Hardware laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, Apple fell $19.74 (-3.3%) to $576.80 on average volume. Throughout the day, 21.1 million shares of Apple exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $574.75-$596.95 after having opened the day at $595.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $596.54. Other companies within the Computer Hardware industry that declined today were: Stratasys ( SSYS), down 12.4%, Echelon Corporation ( ELON), down 8.7%, Universal Display Corporation ( PANL), down 6.2%, and Identive Group ( INVE), down 4.8%.
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Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication devices, and portable digital music and video players, as well as sells various related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions. Apple has a market cap of $558.06 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 47.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 38 analysts that rate Apple a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apple as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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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