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Analyst ratings can be a helpful guide to what the market is thinking about a company’s outlook, but finding groups of analysts that have a history of predicting stock performance is also important. When those analysts become more optimistic about a company, it’s a signal to take a second look.

Using analyst ratings from Reuters that are presented on a linear scale (with 1 = "Strong Buy" and 5 = "Strong Sell"), we sliced the ratings data of stocks of the tech sector into three monthly time periods, and identified the groups of analysts that have shown predictive value over two consecutive time periods.

We further narrowed down the list by only focusing on those stocks that have seen bullish trends in recent analyst opinion.

Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, the recent accuracy of these analyst ratings suggests their opinions may be a helpful starting-off point for your own analysis.

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 analysts are calling it right? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by market cap.

1. NetAppc. (NASDAQ:NTAP): Engages in the design, manufacturing, marketing, and technical support of networked storage solutions. Market cap of $12.39B. Mean average rating changed from 2.07 to 2.08 between 07/05/11 and 08/04/11 (bearish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of -15.7%. Analysts also got it right between 08/04/11 and 09/03/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.08 to 2.03 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 1.04% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expect the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.03 to 1.95 between 09/03/11 and 10/03/11 (i.e. bullish change). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.06% over the last week.

2. Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR): Designs, develops, and sells products and services that provide network infrastructure to create environments for the deployment of services and applications over a single network. Market cap of $9.10B. Mean average rating changed from 2.16 to 2.33 between 07/05/11 and 08/04/11 (bearish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of -6.94%. Analysts also got it right between 08/04/11 and 09/03/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.33 to 2.38 (bearish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of -8.81% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expect the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.38 to 2.31 between 09/03/11 and 10/03/11 (i.e. bullish change). Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.94, and P/FCF ratio at 10.81. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 10.58% over the last week.

3. LinkedIn Corporation Class A Co (NYSE:LNKD): Operates an online professional network. Market cap of $7.28B. Mean average rating changed from 2.33 to 2.88 between 07/05/11 and 08/04/11 (bearish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of -14.25%. Analysts also got it right between 08/04/11 and 09/03/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.88 to 2.86 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 1.2% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expect the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.86 to 2.8 between 09/03/11 and 10/03/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 10.44% below its SMA20, 14.34% below its SMA50, and 14.76% below its SMA200.

4. Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ:SWKS): Offers analog and mixed signal semiconductors worldwide. Market cap of $3.16B. Mean average rating changed from 1.95 to 2.05 between 07/05/11 and 08/04/11 (bearish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of -10.55%. Analysts also got it right between 08/04/11 and 09/03/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.05 to 2.1 (bearish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of -6.46% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expect the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.1 to 2.05 between 09/03/11 and 10/03/11 (i.e. bullish change). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 17.55% over the last week.

5. Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRCY): Designs, manufactures, and markets high-performance embedded, real-time digital signal and image processing systems and software for embedded, and other specialized commercial and defense computing markets. Market cap of $346.86M. Mean average rating changed from 1.6 to 1.8 between 07/05/11 and 08/04/11 (bearish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of -19.43%. Analysts also got it right between 08/04/11 and 09/03/11, with the mean rating changing from 1.8 to 2 (bearish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of -6.15% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expect the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2 to 1.78 between 09/03/11 and 10/03/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 17.99%.

6. Move, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE): Operates an online network of Web sites for real estate search, finance, and moving and home enthusiasts in North America. Market cap of $216.20M. Mean average rating changed from 2 to 1.75 between 07/05/11 and 08/04/11 (bullish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of 3.46%. Analysts also got it right between 08/04/11 and 09/03/11, with the mean rating changing from 1.75 to 2.25 (bearish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of -18.92% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expect the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.25 to 2 between 09/03/11 and 10/03/11 (i.e. bullish change). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 16.15% over the last week.

7. DemandTec, Inc. (NASDAQ:DMAN): Provides collaborative optimization network of software services connecting retailers and consumer products (NYSE:CP) companies. Market cap of $204.09M. Mean average rating changed from 2.43 to 2.5 between 07/05/11 and 08/04/11 (bearish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of -9.63%. Analysts also got it right between 08/04/11 and 09/03/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.5 to 2.44 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 11.4% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expect the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.44 to 2.33 between 09/03/11 and 10/03/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 7.21% (equivalent to 7.56 days of average volume). The stock has lost 41.13% over the last year.

*Analyst ratings sourced from Reuters, price data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 7 Tech Stocks Predictive Analysts Expect To Outperform