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Fusion-io, Inc. (NYSE:FIO) is one of the more heavily researched stocks on the web. Its high trading volumes and sky-high valuations demonstrate how many investors are excited about this company. Should internet investors focus their research on a glamor stock like FIO?

No. As simple as it sounds, you are better off shopping around than focusing on popular stocks. As compelling as FIO's data decentralization products might sound, there are many other companies with products that are just as promising. Moreover, many of them are not trading at fantastic price multiples.

In the end, investment returns are ultimately dictated by financial performance, not fame. Regardless of trading volume and web searches, FIO's earnings and future cash flows will determine its value. The future financial potential of a stock can be gauged by using financial metrics to determine how cheaply a stock is priced, its ability to weather hardship, and its growth potential.

As alternatives to FIO, consider the following stocks with strong track-records and solid credit scores:

Ticker

Company

Industry

10-Year Average ROE

Altman Z-score

(NASDAQ:ASYS)

Amtech Systems Inc.

Semiconductor Equipment & Materials

2.3%

3.17

(NASDAQ:CMTL)

Comtech Telecommunications

Communication Equipment

13.9%

3.76

(NYSE:CRR)

CARBO Ceramics Inc.

Oil & Gas Equipment & Services

17.2%

16.10

(NASDAQ:FELE)

Franklin Electric Co. Inc.

Industrial Electrical Equipment

15.6%

4.27

(OYOG)

OYO Geospace Corp.

Scientific & Technical Instruments

9.0%

23.74

These alternative stocks are all categorized as "safe" according to the Altman Z-score,* indicating that they are not considered bankruptcy risks. Moreover, the average 10-year return on equity demonstrates that Amtech (ASYS), Comtech (CMTL), CARBO (CRR), Franklin Electric (FELE), and OYO (OYOG) have grown shareholder wealth at a respectable annual rate. It is clear from these two metrics that each of these five alternative stocks is a "high" quality stock capable of weathering bad times and delivering positive long-term results.

What's more, these stocks are cheaper and have better growth prospects than FIO:

Ticker

P/E

P/S

P/B

EPS Growth Next 5 Years

ASYS

3.85

0.35

0.73

35.0%

CMTL

17.45

1.22

1.27

35.0%

CRR

16.25

3.38

3.33

35.1%

FELE

21.08

1.53

2.71

40.0%

OYOG

22.47

3.91

3.65

37.0%

FIO

146.7

7.23

4.77

34.0%

Based on lower price-to-earnings ratios, price-to-sales ratios, and price-to-book ratios, these stocks are cheaper than FIO at current market prices. Better yet, they have better growth prospects, according to analyst projections. Rather than restrict yourself to concentrated investments in one notable stock like FIO, consider a diversified mix of these five securities as a more attractive alternative.

*Please read the article disclaimer.

Source: 5 Stocks Finer Than Fusion-io