Chris Lau

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  • 3D Systems - No Longer Printing Gains for Investors

    By Chris Lau - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, XONE, SSYS

    After increasing the authorized number of shares by nearly double in May, 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) continued to exhibit growth by acquisition. Most recently, the company reported tepid quarterly earnings, leading to disappointment for investors. Despite the setback, there are still positives that warrant a closer look at the stock.

    Facts to cause worry

    The sustainability of growth for 3D Systems is worrying, considering the price/sales ratio is over more »

  • This Cloud Hosting Stock is a Buy From Here

    By Chris Lau - August 11, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, RAX

    Things are looking good again for cloud computing services provider Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX). After reporting a bad quarter in May, shareholders recouped most of their paper losses last week when Rackspace beat analyst estimates. It might be time to be interested in the company again.

    Earnings Recap

    Revenue grew for many core segments as the company boosted headcount, increased research and development spending, and increased sales and marketing expenses more »

  • This Network Company Is a Buy From Here

    By Chris Lau - August 8, 2013 | Tickers: CSCO, MSFT, RVBD

    After Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) reported quarterly earnings that included a less optimistic outlook than consensus, investors sold off shares in the company. The Wide Area Network (“WAN”) optimization solutions provider suffered a weak quarter for two reasons: (1) its expensive OPNET acquisition and (2) its reliance on government spending. With shareholders now holding losses, it is time to reset expectations and to consider accumulating Riverbed shares.

    What happened

    Riverbed reported more »

  • A Sharp Drop Is a Buying Opportunity for This OLED Supplier

    By Chris Lau - August 4, 2013 | Tickers: ARMH, QCOM, OLED

    When a stock falls sharply in a short amount of time, it can sometimes spell opportunity. Universal Display (NASDAQ: OLED) dropped nearly 10% in a single day, on top of a 6.74% decline in the quarter. This happened because rumors circulated that Samsung would buy Novaled AG, a German company that is a supplier for screens used in televisions and handsets. The misunderstanding of Samsung’s intent sets up more »

  • Sell This Game Maker, Buy These Two Instead

    By Chris Lau - August 1, 2013 | Tickers: ATVI, EA, TTWO

    A few quarters ago, I owned Activision (NASDAQ: ATVI) shares, but sold them because it did not look like the market would ever appreciate its value. At the time, investors worried about the overhang of Vivendi owning a large percentage of the company. Today, Activision is now up 74% this year. Is it time to sell?

    The catalyst

    Vivendi said it would sell $5.8 billion worth of its Activision more »

  • Sell These Storage Makers, Buy This One

    By Chris Lau - July 31, 2013 | Tickers: SNDK, STX, WDC

    Storage makers hit a wall of worry in the last few days, driven by weak quarterly results, a tepid outlook, and weaker profits. It is no secret that hard drive manufacturing is a mature market, but investors need to ask just one question: are storage devices just commodities set on a path of a permanent decline?

    Profit margins slip

    Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) reported a 5.6% decline in gross margin more »

  • 2 Reasons to Avoid Zynga, 2 Companies to Buy

    By Chris Lau - July 9, 2013 | Tickers: GLUU, TTWO, ZNGA

    The bounce in shares of Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) might be over. After paying an outrageous amount of money for a Microsoft executive and getting surpassed as the biggest game developer on Facebook by King.com, it appears that investors might want to take profit in Zynga. 

    Zynga is up 45% in 2013: 

    <img alt="" src="http://media.ycharts.com/charts/0f989c835e5cfcb1ffd3563c983393e1.png" />

    ZNGA data by YCharts

    Investor sentiment about Zynga switched to bullish when the company said it hired Don more »

  • How Sustainable is Solar Energy’s Rally?

    By Chris Lau - July 2, 2013 | Tickers: CSIQ, JASO, TSL, YGE

    The rise and swoons in solar energy stocks over the last few years suggest the sector is purely speculative. Excess capacity undermines the fundamentals for firms, supporting the case that gains made in 2013 are short-lived. The timing is right to ask if the solar energy has its mojo back, rewarding patient investors with more gains.

    Solar Sector’s Background in a Nutshelff

    Shortly after the financial crisis, governments encouraged more »

  • These Chip Makers Have Upside Despite Double-Digit PC Slump

    By Chris Lau - July 1, 2013 | Tickers: AMD, INTC, MU, NVDA

    International Data Corporation (IDC) provided another somber outlook for the personal-computing market. IDC forecast quarterly shipments to drop 11.7% starting from May. The net growth for 2013 will be 7.8%. With such a negative outlook, are any PC suppliers and builders a good investment? Thankfully, a number of chip suppliers lowered their reliance on the PC market for sales, unlike PC makers such as Dell or HP. There more »

  • Avoid this Supplier as Apple Sales Decline

    By Chris Lau - June 26, 2013 | Tickers: CRUS, NXPI, OVTI, SWKS

    Bearishness in Apple is creating an opportunity for investors interested in the company's component suppliers. When Apple traded below $400 intraday, the decline was based on worries from an analyst that the company had high iPhone channel inventories. Wal-Mart and AT&T also said they would cut the price of the iPhone 5 to $129 on a 2 year contract. Apple, along with suppliers, sold off in recent sessions more »

  • Why These 3 Game Stocks Are Set to Drop

    By Chris Lau - June 17, 2013 | Tickers: ATVI, EA, TTWO

    In the wake of the video game industry's recent E3 conference, and the announcement of next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft, excited investors have bid video game stocks higher. But their euphoria now could lead to downside ahead.

    These companies risk disappointing the market, because it could take several quarters for game publishers to grow sales after the newest generation of consoles is released. Investors in these game makers more »

  • Watch Out for These Red Flags at Zynga

    By Chris Lau - June 11, 2013 | Tickers: ATVI, EA, FB, ZNGA

    The market's euphoria for social networking companies is not completely over. Investors took new interest in Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) when the company showed promise for growth from gambling and demonstrated strong performance in mobile titles. The general rise in stock markets helped, too. Then, reality set in, when the company cut OMGPOP loose. The announced cost cuts at Zynga would be more substantial than anyone thought. Now that the more »

  • An Obesity Drug Stock to Fatten your Portfolio?

    By Chris Lau - June 10, 2013 | Tickers: ARNA, VVUS

    Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA) shares fell after the company announced the June 11 U.S. release of its obesity drug BELVIQ -- but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Over the previous week, investors had bid the drugmaker's shares above $9 in anticipation of the news; when it came, they sold. But with BELVIQ headed to shelves soon, there are a number of reasons why investors still expect good more »

  • 3 Stocks That Could Suffer a Speculative Sector Sell-Off

    By Chris Lau - June 6, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, FSLR, JASO, SNE, TSL

    Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have declined sharply in recent trading, an acutely worrisome trend for sectors that previously rose faster than the general market. This is not to say that the higher stocks rise, the harder they fall -- just that sectors that rose due to speculation risk falling heavily in the weeks and months ahead. Three of the most speculative sectors that could face a decline more »

  • This Stock Plunged, But Expect a Rebound Soon

    By Chris Lau - June 3, 2013 | Tickers: CRUS, NUAN, OVTI

    Ever since Barclays presented Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ: CRUS) in negative light at its TMT (technology, media, and telecommunications) conference, shares have dropped back to the teens. Barclays said that it expects lower average selling prices would hurt sales this year. Concern was high that that its largest customer represented 85% of revenue in the fourth quarter.

    Reliance on one customer

    Cirrus relies on Apple for more than half of its more »

  • Buy This Hidden Gem

    By Chris Lau - May 31, 2013 | Tickers: CSC, HPQ, XRX

    When Computer Sciences (NYSE: CSC) reported quarterly earnings, the company beat consensus estimates by $0.29 per share, earning $1.27 per share. Instead of bidding shares higher, investors took profits. One reason is that Computer Sciences touched a 52-week high of around $50 on several occasions. By the middle of May, when shares were bid to the $50 level, it sold off.

    Computer Sciences Corporation is an information technology more »

  • 3 Tech Stocks for Bottom Fishers

    By Chris Lau - May 29, 2013 | Tickers: ARUN, FIO, RAX

    The divergence of a poor-performing stock is most evident when the stock indices keep rising. So when a company vastly underperforms a rising stock market, investors should take notice. Take, for instance, the Nasdaq 100 index. In a one-year period, the index is up 22%, while Aruba (NASDAQ: ARUN), Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX), and Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO) are all down. In the last month, Aruba dropped 40%, trading at around more »

  • When Will Gold Miners Be Safe Buys?

    By Chris Lau - May 24, 2013 | Tickers: ANV, ABX, GG

    The bounce from the bottom for gold stocks is proving to be temporary. After gold sold off steeply, as illustrated by the Gold SPDR ETF (GLD) trading at $130 in April, the ETF rallied past $140 at the beginning of May, 2013, only to retest lows in recent trading sessions. At a macroeconomic level, the view that gold has a store of value is diminishing. Government monetary authorities around the more »

  • Why Autodesk Plunged

    By Chris Lau - May 24, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, ADBE, ADSK

    Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) dropped 7% after reporting quarterly results that missed consensus estimates. The software maker earned $0.42 per share on sales of $570 million. The results missed consensus by $0.03 per share, while revenue trailed by $13.4 million. The company forecasts second quarter revenue will be $550 million - $570 million, while earnings per share will be $0.39 - $0.44, well below the $0.51 per more »

  • What To Buy as These 3 Companies Surge

    By Chris Lau - May 17, 2013 | Tickers: SODA, SCTY, TSLA

    When a stock surges to impossible heights in a short amount of time, investors get excited, and rightfully so. What investor would not want to hold stocks that doubled, the way Netflix did went it rose 223% in a one year period? Three companies that rose sharply in May are SodaStream, Tesla, and SolarCity. Their recent rise is illustrated in the chart below:

    <img alt="" src="http://media.ycharts.com/charts/1cda4114352f101e592805eb9c979cec.png" />

    SODA data by YCharts

    Home-made soft drinks more »

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