3 Stocks Pushing The Computer Software & Services Industry Lower

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.

The Computer Software & Services industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.1%. Laggards within the Computer Software & Services industry included GRAVITY ( GRVY), down 1.6%, One Horizon Group ( OHGI), down 2.7%, Formula Systems (1985 ( FORTY), down 1.6%, GSE Systems ( GVP), down 5.8% and CounterPath ( CPAH), down 8.1%.

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

Aspen Technology ( AZPN) is one of the companies that pushed the Computer Software & Services industry lower today. Aspen Technology was down $4.02 (10.0%) to $36.31 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 5,728,849 shares of Aspen Technology exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 710,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $31.57-$37.35 after having opened the day at $33.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.33.

Aspen Technology, Inc. provides process optimization software solutions to manage and optimize plant and process design, operational performance, and supply chain planning in the United States, Europe, and internationally. Aspen Technology has a market cap of $3.5 billion and is part of the technology sector. Shares are down 3.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Aspen Technology a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Aspen Technology as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on AZPN go as follows:

  • ASPEN TECHNOLOGY INC has improved earnings per share by 38.1% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ASPEN TECHNOLOGY INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.92 versus $0.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.21 versus $0.92).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Software industry. The net income increased by 30.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $20.40 million to $26.68 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 25.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • AZPN has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.16, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, ASPEN TECHNOLOGY INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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

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At the close, CounterPath ( CPAH) was down $0.08 (8.1%) to $0.96 on average volume. Throughout the day, 36,899 shares of CounterPath exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 48,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.92-$1.08 after having opened the day at $1.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.04.

CounterPath has a market cap of $37.9 million and is part of the technology sector. Shares are down 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate CounterPath a buy, 1 analyst rates 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.

GSE Systems ( GVP) was another company that pushed the Computer Software & Services industry lower today. GSE Systems was down $0.09 (5.8%) to $1.47 on average volume. Throughout the day, 29,753 shares of GSE Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 31,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.40-$1.57 after having opened the day at $1.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.56.

GSE Systems, Inc. provides simulation, educational, and engineering solutions and services to the nuclear and fossil electric utility industry, and the chemical and petrochemical industries worldwide. GSE Systems has a market cap of $26.3 million and is part of the technology sector. Shares are down 2.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates GSE Systems as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GVP go as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$2.32 million or 160.43% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The gross profit margin for GSE SYSTEMS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.75%. Regardless of GVP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GVP's net profit margin of -23.99% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • GVP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 12.36% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, GSE SYSTEMS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • GSE SYSTEMS INC 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, GSE SYSTEMS INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.58 versus $0.06 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: GSE Systems 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.

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