Today's Unusual Social Activity Stock: Rackspace Hosting (RAX)

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Rackspace Hosting ( RAX) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Rackspace Hosting as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • RAX has 18x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 5.27 mentions/day.
  • RAX has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $159.1 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on RAX:

Rackspace Hosting, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides cloud computing services, managing Web-based IT systems for small and medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises worldwide. RAX has a PE ratio of 66.2. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Rackspace Hosting a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Rackspace Hosting has been 2.7 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Rackspace Hosting has a market cap of $5.6 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. The stock has a beta of 1.40 and a short float of 18.8% with 3.76 days to cover. Shares are down 16.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Rackspace Hosting as a hold. 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 and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 16.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Although RAX's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.38, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for RACKSPACE HOSTING INC is rather high; currently it is at 67.22%. Regardless of RAX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RAX's net profit margin of 4.19% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, RACKSPACE HOSTING INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 49.82%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 42.10% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, RAX is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.
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