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The Technology sector as a whole closed the day up 1.3% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.0%. Laggards within the Technology sector included BluePhoenix Solutions ( BPHX), down 2.3%, ModSys International ( MDSY), down 2.3%, LookSmart ( LOOK), down 2.7%, GRAVITY ( GRVY), down 1.9% and Video Display ( VIDE), down 5.4%.

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

Gartner ( IT) is one of the companies that pushed the Technology sector lower today. Gartner was down $6.29 (7.4%) to $79.05 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,232,277 shares of Gartner exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 288,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $76.72-$82.42 after having opened the day at $82.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.34.

Gartner, Inc. provides independent and objective research and analysis on the information technology (IT), computer hardware, software, communications, and related technology industries in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and internationally. Gartner has a market cap of $7.4 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are up 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Gartner a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Gartner as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IT go as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 21.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.7%. 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.
  • 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 IT Services industry and the overall market, GARTNER INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $122.85 million or 20.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GARTNER INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -70.20%.
  • GARTNER INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, GARTNER INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.92 versus $1.73 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.32 versus $1.92).
  • The gross profit margin for GARTNER INC is rather high; currently it is at 60.07%. Regardless of IT's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, IT's net profit margin of 7.18% is significantly lower than the industry average.

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

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At the close, LookSmart ( LOOK) was down $0.02 (2.7%) to $0.72 on light volume. Throughout the day, 880 shares of LookSmart exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.70-$0.72 after having opened the day at $0.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.74.

LookSmart, Ltd. provides search and display advertising network solutions in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. LookSmart has a market cap of $4.6 million and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are up 3.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LOOK go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Internet Software & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 36.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.95 million to -$1.30 million.
  • 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 Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, LOOKSMART LTD's return on equity significantly trails 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 66.81%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 27.77% compared to the year-earlier 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.
  • LOOKSMART LTD's earnings per share declined by 27.8% 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, LOOKSMART LTD continued to lose money by earning -$0.93 versus -$1.92 in the prior year.
  • LOOK, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 20.1%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: LookSmart 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.

BluePhoenix Solutions ( BPHX) was another company that pushed the Technology sector lower today. BluePhoenix Solutions was down $0.07 (2.3%) to $2.96 on light volume. Throughout the day, 500 shares of BluePhoenix Solutions exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $2.95-$2.96 after having opened the day at $2.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.03.

BluePhoenix Solutions has a market cap of $41.1 million and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are down 11.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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