Stock markets continued to hold their gains for 2013. For the year-to-date, the S&P 500 ( SPX) is up 6.81%, while the technology sector is under-performing. As measured by the PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ), the ETF is up 4.02% so far. The rising bullishness brings higher risks for a sell-off, but bears are taking profits on their bets for a number of tech stocks: (More Tech Lists: Watch These 9 Blackberry Suppliers) Data Source: Bloomberg Notable Companies to Watch: 1. NVIDIA Corporation ( NVDA): Provides visual computing, high performance computing, and mobile computing solutions that generate interactive graphics on various devices ranging from tablets and smart phones to notebooks and workstations. Market cap at $7.95B, most recent closing price at $12.73. Short-selling volume for NVIDIA ( NVDA) declined by 24.5% between January 15 and January 31, 2013. The company reported quarterly earnings that beat estimate, but guidance was once again light. In its Q4 report, Tegra sales rose +90% compared to a year-ago. Graphics chip sales rose 7%, but NVIDIA was cautious on its mobile growth. The company will need an integrated baseband and app processor to compete more effectively against chip-giant Qualcomm ( QCOM). The company earned $0.28 per share in Q4 on revenue of $1.11B. NVIDIA expects revenue to be $940M, below estimates of $1.07B in Q1.
2. OCZ Technology Group, Inc. ( OCZ): Designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes computer components for computing devices and systems worldwide. Market cap at $140.71M, most recent closing price at $2.08. Short-sellers reduced their bearish position in OCZ (OCZ) by 9.5%. Shares plunged 10.2% after the short-volume decline. OCZ said revenue is expected to be between $65M-$85M for Q2 and Q3 ending August and November 2012, respectively.
3. CIENA Corp. ( CIEN): Provides communications networking equipment, software, and services that support the transport, switching, aggregation, and management of voice, video, and data traffic. Market cap at $1.64B, most recent closing price at $16.15. CIENA rose steadily throughout February, after open short- volume declined 7.5% to 17.28M shares. Its competitor, JDS Uniphase ( JDSU) reported very strong earnings and gave strong guidance. The optical components and testing segment remains very strong.
4. Cree, Inc. ( CREE): Develops and manufactures light emitting diode (LED) products, silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) material products, and power and radio frequency (RF) products. Market cap at $5.33B, most recent closing price at $45.72. Cree rallied significantly, and is up nearly 50% for the quarter. A short-squeeze scared off some bearish investors, as open short-selling declined 5.5% to 15.1M shares. Cree’s Q2 results were strong, and guidance for next quarter is even better. The company’s vertical integration from retail to supply is on-track to allay worries of weakness ahead. Cree named Mike McDevitt as interim CFO as its new permanent CFO.
( List compiled by Kapitall Contributor Chris Lau)