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Analyst ratings are a great starting point for finding companies with favorable prospects, but using ratings from groups of analysts with a history of predicting stock performance is even better.

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 US-traded stocks from 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.

(Click chart for more detail)



Do you think these analysts have called it right again? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by market cap.

1. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO): Designs, manufactures and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. Market cap of $96.73B. Mean average rating changed from 2.49 to 2.38 between 08/06/11 and 09/05/11 (bullish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of 7.58%. Analysts also got it right between 09/05/11 and 10/05/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.38 to 2.33 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 2.03% relative to the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expects the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.33 to 2.27 between 10/05/11 and 11/04/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock has lost 24.84% over the last year.

2. SanDisk Corp. (NASDAQ:SNDK): Designs, develops, manufactures and markets NAND-based flash data storage card products that are used in various consumer electronics products. Market cap of $12.27B. Mean average rating changed from 1.86 to 1.83 between 08/06/11 and 09/05/11 (bullish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of 22.12%. Analysts also got it right between 09/05/11 and 10/05/11, with the mean rating changing from 1.83 to 1.75 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 10.37% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expects the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 1.75 to 1.71 between 10/05/11 and 11/04/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock has had a good month, gaining 17.55%.

3. Vivo Participacoes S.A. (NYSE:VIV): Wireless Communications Industry. Market cap of $11.18B. Mean average rating changed from 2.64 to 2.7 between 08/06/11 and 09/05/11 (bearish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of -12.32%. Analysts also got it right between 09/05/11 and 10/05/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.7 to 2.4 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 0.66% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expects the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.4 to 2.3 between 10/05/11 and 11/04/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock has had a good month, gaining 10.2%.

4. NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA): Provides visual computing, high performance computing, and mobile computing solutions that generate interactive graphics on various devices ranging from tablets and smart phones to notebooks and workstations. Market cap of $8.95B. Mean average rating changed from 2.58 to 2.51 between 08/06/11 and 09/05/11 (bullish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of 3.19%. Analysts also got it right between 09/05/11 and 10/05/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.51 to 2.47 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 1.38% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expects the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.47 to 2.46 between 10/05/11 and 11/04/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock has gained 17.53% over the last year.

5. Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX): Engages in designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing semiconductor processing equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits. Market cap of $5.38B. Mean average rating changed from 2.4 to 2.33 between 08/06/11 and 09/05/11 (bullish 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 09/05/11 and 10/05/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.33 to 2.28 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 0.11% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expects the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.28 to 2.22 between 10/05/11 and 11/04/11 (i.e. bullish change). Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.91, and P/FCF ratio at 9.14. The stock has lost 7.98% over the last year.

6. Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE:P): Operates as an Internet radio company in the United States. Market cap of $2.45B. Mean average rating changed from 2.5 to 2.27 between 08/06/11 and 09/05/11 (bullish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of 2.07%. Analysts also got it right between 09/05/11 and 10/05/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.27 to 2.25 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 15.72% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expects the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.25 to 2.14 between 10/05/11 and 11/04/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.04% (equivalent to 10.68 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 15.48%.

7. Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ:SYNA): Develops and supplies custom-designed human interface solutions that enable people to interact with various mobile computing, communications, entertainment and other electronic devices. Market cap of $1.11B. Mean average rating changed from 2.78 to 2.75 between 08/06/11 and 09/05/11 (bullish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of 11.68%. Analysts also got it right between 09/05/11 and 10/05/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.75 to 2.73 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 25.61% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expects the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.73 to 2.41 between 10/05/11 and 11/04/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 18.57% (equivalent to 10.08 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 31.36%.

8. Power Integrations Inc. (NASDAQ:POWI): Designs, develops, manufactures and markets proprietary, high-voltage, analog, and mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $1.07B. Mean average rating changed from 2.25 to 2 between 08/06/11 and 09/05/11 (bullish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of 10.41%. Analysts also got it right between 09/05/11 and 10/05/11, with the mean rating changing from 2 to 1.91 (bullish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of 3.3% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expects the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 1.91 to 1.9 between 10/05/11 and 11/04/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 13.99% (equivalent to 12.72 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 14.32%.

9. Rubicon Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RBCN): Develops, manufactures and sells monocrystalline sapphire and other crystalline products for light-emitting diodes (LED), radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), blue laser diodes, optoelectronics, and other optical applications. Market cap of $271.87M. Mean average rating changed from 2.46 to 2.64 between 08/06/11 and 09/05/11 (bearish change). Analysts correctly predicted the direction of the stock over the next month, with the stock generating an alpha of -7.84%. Analysts also got it right between 09/05/11 and 10/05/11, with the mean rating changing from 2.64 to 2.8 (bearish change). Over the following month, the stock generated an alpha of -3.52% relative to the S&P 500 index, as predicted by the analysts. This same group of analysts now expects the stock to outperform in the future, with the mean rating changing from 2.8 to 2.73 between 10/05/11 and 11/04/11 (i.e. bullish change). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 24.5% (equivalent to 11.01 days of average volume). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 9.16% over the last week.

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

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 9 Tech Stocks Predictive Analysts Expect To Outperform