These Three High-Volume Stocks Soared on Wednesday

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Micron Technology (MU), Rite Aid  (RAD) and Plug Power (PLUG), three stocks which frequently top the most actively-traded list, soared on Wednesday.

Micron Technology rocketed 9.8% higher to $23.85 and saw 90.8 million shares change hands by market close after posting better-than-expected earnings a day earlier. The semiconductor developer reported net income of 77 cents a share for the first quarter ended Nov. 28, 2013, well over the 43 cents a share expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Rite Aid closed 6.4% higher to $5.65 and saw 51.9 million shares change hands. The gains were sparked by a JPMorgan research report which rated the drugstore as "overweight", up from a previous "neutral" rating, on the view retail pharmacy is well-positioned across the board.

Plug Power continued to book gains, adding 18.2% to $4.55 by market close and contributing to an overall 174.1% increase since the year began a mere five trading sessions ago. By the session's close, 105.6 million shares had changed hands, more than five times its three-month average daily volume.

The fuel cell developer has been marching upwards since last week after exceeding expectations with its fourth-quarter orders. The company said it met its fourth-quarter 2013 order targets, totaling approximately $32 million and including contracts with Walmart (WMT) and Procter & Gamble (PG).

Investors were also pleased with Plug Power's plan to develop hydrogen fuel-cell range extenders for 20 FedEx (FDX) delivery trucks, a $3 million project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC (MU) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 44.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 729.16% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 226.69% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MU should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC turned its bottom line around by earning $1.00 versus -$1.04 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.16 versus $1.00).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income increased by 802.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$243.00 million to $1,708.00 million.

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