Apple Inc (AAPL): 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.

Apple ( AAPL) pushed the Computer Hardware industry higher today making it today's featured computer hardware winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.3%. By the end of trading, Apple rose $4.75 (1.1%) to $450.81 on light volume. Throughout the day, 11.6 million shares of Apple exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 20.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $446.60-$451.60 after having opened the day at $449.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $446.06. Other companies within the Computer Hardware industry that increased today were: Aruba Networks ( ARUN), up 22.1%, Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), up 12.3%, Dataram Corporation ( DRAM), up 8.9%, and OCZ Technology Group ( OCZ), up 8.3%.
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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 $421.5 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 15.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 33 analysts that rate Apple a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apple as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Crossroads Systems ( CRDS), down 7.9%, XRS ( XRSC), down 5.3%, Concurrent Computer Corporation ( CCUR), down 5%, and Quantum Corporation ( QTM), down 3.8%, were all laggards within the computer hardware industry with Finisar Corporation ( FNSR) being today's computer hardware industry laggard.

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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