Altera Corp. (ALTR): Today's Featured Technology 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.

Altera ( ALTR) pushed the Technology sector lower today making it today's featured Technology laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Altera fell $1.62 (-4.6%) to $33.56 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 11.1 million shares of Altera exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $31.65-$34.15 after having opened the day at $32.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.18. Other companies within the Technology sector that declined today were: Apple ( AAPL), down 12.3%, BTU International ( BTUI), down 10.9%, Cirrus Logic ( CRUS), down 10.8%, and eOn Communications Corporation ( EONC), down 10.4%.
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Altera Corporation, a semiconductor company, designs, manufactures, and markets programmable logic devices (PLD), HardCopy application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) devices, pre-defined design building blocks, and associated development tools. Altera has a market cap of $11.38 billion and is part of the electronics industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Altera a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Altera as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the positive front, Revolution Lighting Technologies ( RVLT), up 31.4%, Travelzoo ( TZOO), up 24.3%, Dataram Corporation ( DRAM), up 15.5%, and Giga-tronics ( GIGA), up 13.5%, were all gainers within the technology sector with NetApp ( NTAP) being today's featured technology sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the technology sector could consider Technology Select Sector SPDR ( XLK) while those bearish on the technology sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Technology ( REW).

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