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We’re now in the middle of Q3 earnings season, with over 1,000 companies reporting their earnings next week. How do you know which ones to watch?

For ideas, we ran a screen on next week’s reporting companies from the tech sector for those that have seen significant net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter.

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.


Do you think institutional investors’ optimism is well founded for these names? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.‬

List sorted by net institutional purchases as a percent of share float.

1. Merge Healthcare Incorporated. (NASDAQ:MRGE): Provides health information technology interoperability solutions. Market cap of $623.07M. Earnings to be released on 11/01. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.9M, which is 23.33% of the company's 21.00M share float. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 8.64% above its SMA20, 11.68% above its SMA50, and 31.57% above its SMA200. The stock has gained 116.51% over the last year.

2. NetSuite Inc. (NYSE:N): Provides an on-demand integrated business management application suite to businesses and divisions of companies worldwide. Market cap of $2.35B. Earnings to be released on 11/03. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.1M, which is 16.84% of the company's 24.35M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 12.82% (equivalent to 5.99 days of average volume). Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 19.58% above its SMA20, 19.52% above its SMA50, and 15.27% above its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 21.05%.

3. Kenexa Corp. (KNXA): Provides software, proprietary content, and services that enable organizations to recruit and retain employees. Market cap of $568.59M. Earnings to be released on 11/01. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.7M, which is 16.07% of the company's 23.02M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.66). The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 17.69% above its SMA20 and 14.88% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades 10.39% below its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 30.56%.

4. Silicon Motion Technology Corp. (NASDAQ:SIMO): Operates as a fabless semiconductor company. Market cap of $494.88M. Earnings to be released on 11/01. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.2M, which is 11.79% of the company's 27.15M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.01). Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 24.63% above its SMA20, 38.6% above its SMA50, and 67.91% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 8.47% over the last week.

5. Convergys Corporation (NYSE:CVG): Provides relationship management solutions worldwide. Market cap of $1.23B. Earnings to be released on 11/01. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 11.9M, which is 11.41% of the company's 104.33M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.99% (equivalent to 6.34 days of average volume). The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 6.53% above its SMA20 and 5.53% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades 18.09% below its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 10.98%.

6. AsiaInfo-Linkage,Inc. (NASDAQ:ASIA): Provides telecommunications software solutions and information technology (NYSE:IT) products and services to telecommunications carriers and other enterprises in the People's Republic of China. Market cap of $754.55M. Earnings to be released on 10/31. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.8M, which is 11.0% of the company's 43.62M share float. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.81, and P/FCF ratio at 14.3. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 25.68% (equivalent to 10.44 days of average volume). The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 21.38% above its SMA20 and 13.85% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades -31.9% below its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.59% over the last week.

7. Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNCR): Provides on-demand transaction, content, and connectivity management platforms that enable communications service providers, cable operators/multi-services operators, original equipment manufacturers, and e-Tailers/retailers with embedded connectivity primarily in North America. Market cap of $1.07B. Earnings to be released on 11/01. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 2.6M, which is 10.83% of the company's 24.01M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 14.28% (equivalent to 11.45 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 17.3%.

8. Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE:CBB): Provides data and voice communications services over wireline and wireless networks, as well as offers data center operations, related management services, and equipment in the United States. Market cap of $616.65M. Earnings to be released on 11/03. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 17.2M, which is 9.85% of the company's 174.61M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.94% (equivalent to 11.93 days of average volume). The stock has gained 23.02% over the last year.

9. Universal Display Corp. (PANL): Engages in the research, development, and commercialization of organic light emitting diode ((NASDAQ:OLED)) technologies and materials for use in flat panel display, solid-state lighting, and other product applications. Market cap of $2.20B. Earnings to be released on 10/31. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 2.7M, which is 8.49% of the company's 31.82M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.9% over the last week.

10. MedAssets, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDAS): Provides technology enabled products and services for hospitals, health systems, and other non-acute healthcare providers in the United States. Market cap of $555.73M. Earnings to be released on 11/03. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.7M, which is 8.26% of the company's 44.82M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 7.97% (equivalent to 6.72 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.45% over the last week.

11. Affymetrix Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX): Engages in the development, manufacture, sale, and servicing of consumables and systems for genetic analysis in the life sciences and clinical healthcare markets. Market cap of $368.74M. Earnings to be released on 11/02. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.7M, which is 8.12% of the company's 57.87M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.04). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 12.59% (equivalent to 6.08 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 12.93%.

12. AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL): Operates as a Web services company that offers a suite of brands and offerings for the worldwide audience. Market cap of $1.55B. Earnings to be released on 11/02. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 7.9M, which is 7.51% of the company's 105.22M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 15.58% (equivalent to 5.43 days of average volume). The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 13.33% above its SMA20 and 10.24% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades 19.4% below its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 29.07%.

13. Changyou.com Limited (NASDAQ:CYOU): Develops and operates online games in the People's Republic of China. Market cap of $1.45B. Earnings to be released on 10/31. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 619.9K, which is 6.18% of the company's 10.03M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 22.46% (equivalent to 5.35 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.52% over the last week.

14. Sapient Corp. (NASDAQ:SAPE): Offers integrated marketing and creative services. Market cap of $1.55B. Earnings to be released on 11/03. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 6.4M, which is 5.82% of the company's 110.05M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.77% (equivalent to 5.32 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 12.05%.

15. Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:CALP): Develops and sells life sciences products and services primarily to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and diagnostics companies, and government and other not-for-profit research institutions in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Market cap of $571.37M. Earnings to be released on 11/03. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 2.5M, which is 5.78% of the company's 43.24M share float. The stock has gained 155.61% over the last year.

*Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 15 Smart Money Tech Picks Releasing Earnings Next Week