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The Technology sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.2%. Laggards within the Technology sector included Optical Cable ( OCC), down 1.6%, Qualstar ( QBAK), down 3.0%, BTU International ( BTUI), down 4.0%, ARI Network Services ( ARIS), down 1.8% and LightPath Technologies ( LPTH), down 5.9%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

LightPath Technologies ( LPTH) is one of the companies that pushed the Technology sector lower today. LightPath Technologies was down $0.09 (5.9%) to $1.43 on light volume. Throughout the day, 18,950 shares of LightPath Technologies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 38,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.43-$1.52 after having opened the day at $1.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.52.

LightPath Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes optical components and assemblies. LightPath Technologies has a market cap of $21.3 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 11.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates LightPath Technologies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates LightPath Technologies as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LPTH go as follows:

  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, LPTH's share price has jumped by 86.41%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • LPTH's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, LPTH has a quick ratio of 2.38, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 49.28% is the gross profit margin for LIGHTPATH TECHNOLOGIES INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of LPTH's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LPTH's net profit margin of -6.94% significantly underperformed when compared to 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. Compared to other companies in the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry and the overall market, LIGHTPATH TECHNOLOGIES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.47 million or 579.71% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: LightPath Technologies Ratings Report

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At the close, BTU International ( BTUI) was down $0.11 (4.0%) to $2.64 on average volume. Throughout the day, 10,750 shares of BTU International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $2.60-$2.80 after having opened the day at $2.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.75.

BTU International, Inc. designs, manufactures, sells, and services thermal processing equipment and related process controls for use in the electronics, alternative energy, automotive, and other industries worldwide. BTU International has a market cap of $26.2 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 9.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates BTU International as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been an overall disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on BTUI go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, BTU INTERNATIONAL INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • BTU INTERNATIONAL INC has improved earnings per share by 42.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BTU INTERNATIONAL INC reported poor results of -$1.21 versus -$1.16 in the prior year.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that BTUI's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.72 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • 35.59% is the gross profit margin for BTU INTERNATIONAL INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -15.28% is in-line with the industry average.
  • This stock has increased by 31.10% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the future course of this stock, we feel that the risks involved in investing in BTUI do not compensate for any future upside potential, despite the fact that it has seen nice gains over the past 12 months.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: BTU International Ratings Report

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Qualstar ( QBAK) was another company that pushed the Technology sector lower today. Qualstar was down $0.04 (3.0%) to $1.28 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6,453 shares of Qualstar exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.26-$1.28 after having opened the day at $1.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.32.

Qualstar Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and sells power supplies and data storage systems worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Power Supplies and Tape Libraries. Qualstar has a market cap of $16.2 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 16.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Qualstar as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on QBAK go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, QUALSTAR CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • QBAK's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 41.20%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • QUALSTAR CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, QUALSTAR CORP reported poor results of -$0.85 versus -$0.35 in the prior year.
  • 45.17% is the gross profit margin for QUALSTAR CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -7.29% is in-line with the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$1.40 million or 14.57% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, QUALSTAR CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.77%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Qualstar Ratings Report

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