13 Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2015

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With six months of 2015 down, sell-side analysts have been busy issuing a flurry of research offering investors suggestions on stocks to buy -- or sell -- as the second half of the year gets underway.

Analysts at The Benchmark Co. picked 13 best stock ideas for the second half of 2015 from the more than 100 stocks covered by the investment firm. Stock selection was based on the expectation that the security will outperform its peers within the industries covered by Benchmark analysts. The picks mainly centered on technology, but also health care and media.

Here's Benchmark's list, paired with ratings from TheStreet Ratings for comparison.

TheStreet Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool, projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

Note: Year-to-date returns are based on July 8, 2015 closing prices.

 

IRBT Chart IRBT data by YCharts

1. iRobot Corp. (IRBT)
Sector: Consumer Goods & Services/Household Appliances
Market Cap: $934 million
Year-to-date return: -9.6%

iRobot Corporation designs, builds, and markets robots for the consumer, defense and security, telemedicine, and mobile video collaboration markets worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Home Robots, and Defense and Security Robots.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $40 PT
TheStreet Rating: Buy, B-
TheStreet said:
"We rate IROBOT CORP (IRBT) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.3%. 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.
  • IRBT 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 this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.35, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 48.55% is the gross profit margin for IROBOT CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.03% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 199.47% to $7.72 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, IROBOT CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -42.89%.
  • IROBOT CORP's earnings per share declined by 11.1% 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, IROBOT CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.25 versus $0.94 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.29 versus $1.25).

 

 

OSIS Chart OSIS data by YCharts

2. OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS)
Sector: Technology/Electronic Equipment & Instruments
Market Cap: $1.4 billion
Year-to-date return: -0.92%

OSI Systems, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs and manufactures specialized electronic systems and components worldwide.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $82 PT
TheStreet Rating: Buy, B
TheStreet said:
"We rate OSI SYSTEMS INC (OSIS) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • OSIS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • OSI SYSTEMS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, OSI SYSTEMS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.32 versus $2.15 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.25 versus $2.32).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry. The net income increased by 175.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.80 million to $13.23 million.
  • OSIS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.03 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.75 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that OSIS's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.

 

PRGS Chart PRGS data by YCharts

3. Progress Software Corp. (PRGS)
Sector: Technology/Systems Software
Market Cap: $1.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 11%

Progress Software Corporation provides software solutions for various industries worldwide. Further, the company provides application development, consulting, training, and customer support services. It sells its products directly to end-users, as well as indirectly to application partners, original equipment manufacturers, and system integrators. The company was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $33 PT
TheStreet Rating: Buy, B
TheStreet said: "We rate PROGRESS SOFTWARE CORP (PRGS) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.9%. 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 PRGS's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28 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 1.30, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $20.79 million or 21.47% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -15.93%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • PROGRESS SOFTWARE CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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, PROGRESS SOFTWARE CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.96 versus $0.73 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.42 versus $0.96).

 

 

CSII Chart CSII data by YCharts

4. CardioVascular Systems Inc. (CSII)
Sector: Health Care/Health Care Equipment
Market Cap: $881 million
Year-to-date return: -7.6%

Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., a medical device company, focuses on developing and commercializing minimally invasive treatment solutions for vascular diseases.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $49 PT
TheStreet Rating: Sell, D
TheStreet said:
"We rate CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS INC (CSII) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Health Care Equipment & Supplies industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 9.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$9.71 million to -$10.66 million.
  • 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 Health Care Equipment & Supplies industry and the overall market, CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, CSII has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 19.24% 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.
  • CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS INC's earnings per share declined by 6.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS INC reported poor results of -$1.24 versus -$1.11 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$1.07 versus -$1.24).
  • The gross profit margin for CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS INC is currently very high, coming in at 79.13%. 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 -22.67% is in-line with the industry average.

 

 

BEAT Chart BEAT data by YCharts

5. BioTelemetry Inc. (BEAT)
Sector: Health Care/Health Care Services
Market Cap: $242 million
Year-to-date return: -10.9%

BioTelemetry, Inc. provides cardiac monitoring, cardiac monitoring device manufacturing, and centralized cardiac core laboratory services. It operates in three segments: Patient Services, Product, and Research Service.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $18 PT
TheStreet Rating: Buy, B-
TheStreet said:
"We rate BIOTELEMETRY INC (BEAT) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. 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, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • BEAT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 12.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.39, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.36, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 100.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 26.30% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, BEAT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income increased by 98.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$4.12 million to -$0.07 million.
  • BIOTELEMETRY INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, BIOTELEMETRY INC reported poor results of -$0.37 versus -$0.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.38 versus -$0.37).

 

PERI Chart PERI data by YCharts

6. Perion Networks Ltd. (PERI)
Sector: Technology/ Internet Software & Services
Market Cap: $176.5 million
Year-to-date return: -42%

Perion Network Ltd., a performance-based media and Internet company, provides search-based monetization solutions in North America, Europe, and other countries.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $7 PT
TheStreet Rating: Hold, C
TheStreet said:
"We rate PERION NETWORK LTD (PERI) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Although PERI's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. To add to this, PERI has a quick ratio of 2.36, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for PERION NETWORK LTD is currently very high, coming in at 98.88%. 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 20.59% trails the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income has decreased by 22.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $13.82 million to $10.74 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $10.15 million or 26.79% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

 

NXST Chart NXST data by YCharts

7. Nexstar Broadcasting Group (NXST)
Sector: Consumer Goods & Services/Broadcasting
Market Cap: $1.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 0.41%

Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. operates as a television broadcasting and digital media company in the United States. It focuses on the acquisition, development, and operation of television stations and interactive community Websites in medium-sized markets.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $66 PT
TheStreet Rating: Buy, B
TheStreet said: "We rate NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP (NXST) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • NXST's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 52.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP turned its bottom line around by earning $2.01 versus -$0.08 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.47 versus $2.01).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income increased by 75.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $7.35 million to $12.91 million.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

 

CEVA Chart CEVA data by YCharts

8. Ceva Inc. (CEVA)
Sector: Technology/Semiconductors
Market Cap: $373 million
Year-to-date return: -0.22%

CEVA, Inc. licenses cellular, multimedia, and connectivity technologies to semiconductor companies and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) serving the mobile, consumer, automotive, and Internet-of Things markets worldwide.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $16 PT
TheStreet Rating: Hold, C
TheStreet said:
"We rate CEVA INC (CEVA) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, CEVA's share price has jumped by 25.27%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Although CEVA had significant growth over the past year, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock at the current time.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.2%. 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 gross profit margin for CEVA INC is currently very high, coming in at 93.28%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, CEVA's net profit margin of 3.51% significantly trails 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, CEVA 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 -$0.67 million or 114.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

 

 

MXL Chart MXL data by YCharts

9. MaxLinear Inc. (MXL)
Sector: Technology/Semiconductors
Market Cap: $680 million
Year-to-date return: 56.3%

MaxLinear, Inc. provides integrated, radio-frequency (RF) and mixed-signal circuits for broadband communication and data center, metro, and long-haul transport network applications worldwide.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $13 PT
TheStreet Rating: Hold, C
TheStreet said: "We rate MAXLINEAR INC (MXL) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, 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 unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • MXL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.9%. 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.
  • MXL 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. To add to this, MXL has a quick ratio of 2.15, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 447.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.86 million to -$4.72 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $3.77 million or 7.89% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

 

TTWO ChartTTWO data by YCharts

10. Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO)
Sector: Technology/Home Entertainment Software
Market Cap: $2.3 billion
Year-to-date return: -2.9%

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. develops, publishes, and markets interactive entertainment for consumers worldwide. The company offers its products under the Rockstar Games and 2K label.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $33.88 PT
TheStreet Rating: Hold, C
TheStreet said:
"We rate TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SFTWR (TTWO) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • TTWO's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 53.7%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 598.79% to $152.29 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SFTWR has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -15.93%.
  • TTWO's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85 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. Despite the fact that TTWO's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.54 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • 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 Software industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 688.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$30.79 million to -$242.79 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 Software industry and the overall market, TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SFTWR's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

ATVI ChartATVI data by YCharts

11. Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI)
Sector: Technology/Home Entertainment Software
Market Cap: $18 billion
Year-to-date return: 23%

Activision Blizzard, Inc. develops and publishes online, personal computer (PC), video game console, handheld, mobile, and tablet games worldwide.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $26.74 PT
TheStreet Rating: Buy, A
TheStreet said:
"We rate ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC (ATVI) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. 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 the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC has improved earnings per share by 32.5% 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, ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.14 versus $0.95 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.24 versus $1.14).
  • 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 34.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $293.00 million to $394.00 million.

 

ACLS Chart ACLS data by YCharts

12. Axcelis Technologies Inc. (ACLS)
Sector: Technology/Semiconductor Equipment
Market Cap: $322 million
Year-to-date return: 11%

Axcelis Technologies, Inc. designs, manufactures, and services ion implantation and other processing equipment used in the fabrication of semiconductor chips worldwide. It provides offers a line of high energy, high current, and medium current implanters for all application requirements.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $4.50 PT
TheStreet Rating: Hold, C+
TheStreet said:
"We rate AXCELIS TECHNOLOGIES INC (ACLS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • ACLS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.28 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, ACLS has a quick ratio of 2.33, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, AXCELIS TECHNOLOGIES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AXCELIS TECHNOLOGIES INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.46%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 2.54% significantly trails the industry average.

 

 

 

IPGP Chart IPGP data by YCharts

13. IPG Photonics Corp. (IPGP)
Sector: Technology/Electronic Manufacturing Services
Market Cap: $4.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 8.6%

IPG Photonics Corporation develops and manufactures a range of high-performance fiber lasers, fiber amplifiers, and diode lasers used in various applications, primarily in materials processing worldwide.

Benchmark Rating: Buy, $111 PT
TheStreet Rating: Buy, A
TheStreet said:
"We rate IPG PHOTONICS CORP (IPGP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • IPGP's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.03 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.61, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry and the overall market, IPG PHOTONICS CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for IPG PHOTONICS CORP is rather high; currently it is at 59.09%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 28.82% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $52.01 million or 19.85% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -29.50%.

 

 

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