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It is important to remember that stocks represent ownership shares of real companies being run by real management teams. How well a company is run has direct implications to its success and its stock performance.

One way to check this is by looking at the strength of a company’s corporate governance policies, such as its board composition and shareholder rights.

RiskMetrics Group gives ratings for four areas of corporate governance, on risks related to the board, the audit committee, the compensation committee, and shareholder rights.

We ran a screen on tech stocks trading below $5 for those that have received “low risk” ratings in at least three of the four corporate governance areas covered by RiskMetrics.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. (To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.)

Do you think these companies are being run well? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by RiskMetrics ratings.

1. Amkor Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMKR): Semiconductor Circuits Industry. Market cap of $797.62M. Price at $4.01. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.45). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 11.96% (equivalent to 5.47 days of average volume). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 29.91%.

2. Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE:LVLT): Diversified Communication Services Industry. Market cap of $3.07B. Price at $1.74. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.47% over the last week.

3. ADPT Corp (OTC:ADPT-OLD): Computer Based Systems Industry. Market cap of $336.87M. Price at $2.80. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories except for "medium risk" in compensation. The stock has lost 1.75% over the last year.

4. Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE:CBB): Telecom Services Industry. Market cap of $644.50M. Price at $3.20. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories except for "medium risk" in compensation. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.93% (equivalent to 12.12 days of average volume). The stock has gained 30.65% over the last year.

5. Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ:HLIT): Communication Equipment Industry. Market cap of $575.03M. Price at $4.76. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories except for "medium risk" in compensation. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 8.13% over the last week.

6. Quantum Corporation (NYSE:QTM): Data Storage Devices Industry. Market cap of $431.33M. Price at $1.84. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories except for "medium risk" in compensation. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.22). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.71% over the last week.

7. Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S): Wireless Communications Industry. Market cap of $10.75B. Price at $3.55. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories except for "medium risk" in compensation. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 30.29%.

RiskMetrics ratings sourced from Yahoo Finance; all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: Buying Management: 7 Cheap Tech Stocks With Strong Corporate Governance