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Moves in Smaller Tech Stocks (BV, FARO, HURC, UPIP)

January 12, 2013 11:51 am
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Some smaller tech companies saw unusual movement in their stocks on Friday. And not just in Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV), FARO Technologies (NASDAQ: FARO), Hurco Companies (NASDAQ: HURC) and Unwired Planet (NASDAQ: UPIP), which are discussed below. But also radio frequency (RF) technologies company Parkervision (NASDAQ: PRKR), which rose about 13 percent on strong volume, and India-based Sify Technologies (NASDAQ: SIFY), an Internet service provider, which climbed more than 11 percent and is expected to post a year-over-year jump in quarterly revenue when it reports later this month.

Larger tech players Infosys (NYSE: INFY) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) also surged more than 13 percent on Friday with high volume.


Shares of this application software provider fell more than 11 percent to a new 52-week low the day after the Department of Justice announced an antitrust suit against the company. The Austin, Texas-based company now sports a market capitalization near $460 million. Its long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth forecast is about 30 percent, but the return on equity and the return on investment are in negative territory. Short interest is about 10 percent of the float. Yet, six of eight analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call who follow the stock recommend buying shares. The upside potential, based on the analysts’ mean price target, is now more than 59 percent, a level it has not seen since August. But shares were already trading near a 52-week low even before Friday’s pull back. Shares are down about 60 percent in the past year. So no surprise that the stock has underperformed the Nasdaq over the past six months.

FARO Technologies

This Florida-based maker of imaging systems just filed a notice with the SEC about the termination of a senior vice president. The company has a market cap of about $540 million, and the long-term EPS growth forecast is about 20 percent. The price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is in line with the industry average. The short interest is more than five percent of the float. Two of the five analysts surveyed recommend buying shares. And the mean price target, or where analysts expect the share price to go, is now more than 15 percent higher than the current share price, though that is well less than the 52-week high. Shares are now trading about 39 percent south of where they were a year ago, not far above the 52-week low. Over the past six months, the stock has underperformed the Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Hurco Companies

Friday, this manufacturer of computerized machine tools reported strong fourth-quarter and full-year results, due in part to record sales in North America. The stock ended the day more than 11 percent higher on more than twice the average daily volume. The company is headquartered in Indianapolis and has a market cap near $173 million. The long-term EPS growth forecast is about 15 percent and the operating margin is greater than the industry average. Shares sold short represent more than three percent of the float. The only analyst polled rates the shares at Strong Buy and believes the stock still has plenty room to grow, as the price target is more than 40 percent higher than the current share price. The share price had faced resistance around $24 before Friday’s surge, and it is now up more than 27 percent in the past six months. The stock has outperformed the broader markets in that time.

Unwired Planet

Shares of this company, which helps mobile devices connect to the Internet, surged almost 43 percent Friday on upgrades and the announcement of the acquisition of patents from Ericsson. The $168 million market cap company is headquartered in Reno, Nevada. Its long-term EPS growth forecast is about 27 percent, but the return on equity and the return on investment are in the red. A net loss is expected in the current quarter. But short interest is less than three percent of the float. Both analysts surveyed recommend holding shares. The mean price target indicates potential upside of more than six percent but is less than the 52-week high set last spring. Before this jump, shares had been trading near a 52-week low. Still, over the past six months, the stock has underperformed the broader markets.

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