3 Computer Hardware Stocks Pushing Industry Growth

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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 25.94 points (-0.2%) at 17,111 as of Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,156 issues advancing vs. 1,888 declining with 146 unchanged.

The Computer Hardware industry as a whole closed the day up 1.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.3%. Top gainers within the Computer Hardware industry included Xplore Technologies ( XPLR), up 9.3%, Dataram ( DRAM), up 3.3%, Concurrent Computer ( CCUR), up 2.7%, Acorn Energy ( ACFN), up 16.9% and Identiv ( INVE), up 17.9%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Identiv ( INVE) is one of the companies that pushed the Computer Hardware industry higher today. Identiv was up $3.19 (17.9%) to $20.99 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 593,678 shares of Identiv exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 90,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $18.04-$21.06 after having opened the day at $18.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.80.

Identiv, Inc. operates as a security technology company that establishes trust in the connected world, including premises, information, and everyday items. It operates in four segments: Premises, Identity, Credentials, and All Other. Identiv has a market cap of $141.3 million and is part of the technology sector. Shares are up 209.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Identiv a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Identiv as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on INVE 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 Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry and the overall market, IDENTIV INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to -$2.56 million or 15.99% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 15.99%, IDENTIV INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -20.62%.
  • 41.68% is the gross profit margin for IDENTIV INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of INVE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, INVE's net profit margin of -11.73% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • IDENTIV INC's earnings per share declined by 13.3% 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, IDENTIV INC continued to lose money by earning -$3.40 versus -$8.40 in the prior year.
  • INVE's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.31 is sturdy.

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

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

At the close, Acorn Energy ( ACFN) was up $0.28 (16.9%) to $1.94 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 610,969 shares of Acorn Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 363,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.66-$2.02 after having opened the day at $1.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.66.

Acorn Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides technology driven solutions for energy infrastructure asset management worldwide. It offers oil and gas sensor systems, a fiber optic sensing system for the energy, commercial security, and defense markets. Acorn Energy has a market cap of $37.5 million and is part of the technology sector. Shares are down 58.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Acorn Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ACFN 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 Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry and the overall market, ACORN ENERGY INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ACORN ENERGY INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.35%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -117.02% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • ACFN'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 70.97%, 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.
  • ACFN, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.7%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • ACORN ENERGY INC has improved earnings per share by 37.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ACORN ENERGY INC reported poor results of -$1.60 versus -$0.94 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.68 versus -$1.60).

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

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

Concurrent Computer ( CCUR) was another company that pushed the Computer Hardware industry higher today. Concurrent Computer was up $0.21 (2.7%) to $8.03 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 75,040 shares of Concurrent Computer exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 31,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $7.80-$8.10 after having opened the day at $7.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.82.

Concurrent Computer Corporation provides software, hardware, and professional services for the multi-screen video and real-time markets in North America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and South America. It operates through two segments, Products and Services. Concurrent Computer has a market cap of $72.7 million and is part of the technology sector. Shares are down 3.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Concurrent Computer a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Concurrent Computer as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CCUR go as follows:

  • CONCURRENT COMPUTER CP has improved earnings per share by 9.1% 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. During the past fiscal year, CONCURRENT COMPUTER CP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.49 versus -$0.35 in the prior year.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$1.05 million or 12.37% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, CONCURRENT COMPUTER CP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 35.74%.
  • The gross profit margin for CONCURRENT COMPUTER CP is rather high; currently it is at 58.92%. Regardless of CCUR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CCUR's net profit margin of 5.91% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, CCUR has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.

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

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

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.

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