Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015

This year marked a raucous end to one of the greatest economic booms in the last 100 years.

It happened in June, when more than 1 million protesters took to the streets in one of their country’s largest cities.

At the time, they raised ire about steep increases in crime, inflation, and political corruption. They stomped the pavement over ill-gotten decisions to spend taxpayer money on posh football stadiums for the World Cup instead of schools, hospitals, and much-needed infrastructure.

This was the loudest uproar over the country’s stumbling economy.

As consumption slows, consumer prices increase, and taxpayers continue to protest, we see an important lesson unfold from this country about how to invest in emerging markets.

In fact, it highlights the one simple strategy that can make you a lot of money…

Investing in Emerging Markets: Brazil’s Rise and Fall

The protest I described took place in Brazil, which for nearly two decades enjoyed an economy that was nothing short of miraculous.

Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015: Mitek Systems Inc (MITK)

Mitek Systems, Inc. (Mitek), incorporated in 1986, is engaged in the development, sale and service of software solutions related to mobile imaging applications and intelligent recognition software. Mitek is applying its technology and in image correction, optical character recognition and intelligent data extraction to mobile devices. Using Mitek Mobile Apps, camera-equipped smartphone users can deposit checks, pay bills, save receipts and fax documents. Users simply take a picture of the document and its products corrects image distortion, extracting relevant data, routing images to their desired location, and processing transactions through users’ financial institutions. It has developed and deployed Mobile Deposit, a software application that allows users to deposit a check using their smartphone camera. It has developed and deployed Mobile Receipt, a receipt archival and expense report application, and Mobile Phax, a mobile document faxing application. Its Mobile Pho to Bill Pay, a mobile bill paying application that allows users to pay their bills using their smartphone camera. During fiscal year ended September 30, 2010 (fiscal 2010), it had one operating segment based on its product and service offerings.

IMagePROVE Technology Products

Using IMagePROVE, the Company has a suite of business productivity applications for camera-equipped smartphones, including the iPhone and selected BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile handsets. It has four products that use its IMagePROVE technology Mobile Deposit, Mobile Receipt, Mobile Phax and Mobile Photo Bill Pay. Its products are used in the financial services industry. It has secured sales partnerships with system integrators for the financial services industry, including Fiserv, FIS, NCR, Jack Henry, Wausau, BankServ, RDM, J&B Software and Bluepoint Solutions.

The Company’s Mobile Deposit is the smartphone application allows banks to accept check deposi ts through photos of checks taken with camera-equipped smart! phones. Mobile Deposit allows users to make deposits by photographing the front and back of a check and submitting the item electronically to their bank from their smartphone. Its Mobile Receipt is designed to convert the photo of a receipt taken with a smartphone into an image and with a single touch, converts the data into a professional looking expense report. Mobile Phax allows user to take a photo of any letter sized document or page and send it as a portable document format (PDF) file to any e-mail address or fax machine.

The Company’s Mobile Photo Bill Pay allows users to take pictures of their bills with their smartphone cameras and its Mobile Photo Bill Pay product correct image distortion, reading relevant data and processing the transactions through the users’ banks. The payment is made electronically by debiting the users checking account and using existing online bill pay systems. With Mobile Photo Bill Pay, users can submit electronic payments from their smartphones without having to write checks, lick stamps, visit a payment location or even use their personal computers.

ImageNet Intelligent Character Recognition Toolkits

The Company’s ImageNet products are designed to provide remittance processing, proof of deposit and lock box processing applications. Its products are used to reduce manual labor by automatically extracting amounts and routing information from checks and distinguishing between common document types, such as personal and business checks, substitute checks, pre-authorized drafts and other document types specified by customers. It sells ImageNet suite of products to its channel partners, who resell them as integrated components of their solutions and services. Its ImageNet suite of products includes ImageNet Prep & ID, ImageNet Payments, ImageNet Data Capture and ImageNet Signatures.

ImageNet Prep & ID is a software toolkit that is designed to provide automa tic form information document (ID), form registration and fo! rm/templa! te removal. Image Net Prep & ID reduces the image size by removing information, such as pre-printed text, lines, and boxes; leaving only the filled-in data. ImageNet Payments allows for the automatic reading of machine and hand print information found on scanned documents and forms from any structured form, as well as bank documents, such as checks, deposit slips, and remittance coupons. ImageNet Payments integrates technology components from the CheckReader product that it licenses from a vendor that is designed to read rates of the currency and legal amounts of checks drawn on the United States and Canadian financial institutions.

ImageNet Data Capture is a software toolkit that captures data from types of unstructured business documents. ImageNet Data Capture is used in data capture applications where data must be found and extracted from documents that have no pre-determined format or layout, but share common data elements. ImageNet Data Capture is designed to locate this data on documents using contextual, positional, format and keyword specific information. It has supplied ImageNet Data Capture as a stand alone application programming interface (API) to several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the document processing field. ImageNet Signatures is a software toolkit that locates, extracts and verifies signatures in any document. It encodes each signature and compares it with encoded reference examples rather than comparing actual images. Its image analytics encode 60 characteristics of each signature, which allows for accurate signature fraud detection.

FraudProtect Systems

The Company’s FraudProtect System is an automated software application designed to allow banks to detect check fraud from forged signatures and counterfeit checks, as well as the detection of pre-authorized drafts and payee name alterations. Its FraudProtect suite of products includes FraudProtect SDK, PADsafe and Payee Find. Its FraudProtect SDK is a toolkit designed to detect c! heck frau! d and forgery using image analytics to uncover inconsistencies and alterations in checks as they are processed by banks. These products are sold to OEMs and system integrators and can detect forged or illegally modified checks. Its PADsafe product detects fraudulent preauthorized drafts (PADs). PADsafe automatically identifies PADs from checks, and then notifies the user of fraudulent transactions, reducing and preventing the unauthorized withdrawal of funds. Its PayeeFind product is designed to prevent payee-altered checks from clearing.

ImageScore

ImageScore is the Company’s Check 21 readiness solution for any financial institution that truncates or uses check images in an accounts receivables conversion environment. Integrated solution providers for financial institutions can also buy ImageScore to enhance their products. ImageScore is designed to analyze check images to provide the usability and information needed to help financial institution s act in accordance with regulatory and industry mandates.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Anybody who was lucky enough to get into a Recon Technology, Ltd. (NASDAQ:RCON) position before October 7th, then congratulations – you’re up big-time. Now get out. Instead, a better use of that capital is Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MITK). While RCON is overbought and ripe for a pullback, MITK is itching to stage a breakout.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Mitek Systems (NASDAQ: MITK  ) is hoping to widen its capital base. The company announced it is floating nearly 2.86 million shares of its common stock in an underwritten public flotation, at a price of $5.25 per share. Additionally, the company’s underwriters have been granted a 30-day option to purchase up to 428,571 shares to cover overallotments, if any.

Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015: Synaptics Inc (SYNA)

Synaptics Incorporated is a developer and supplier of custom-designed human interface solutions that enable people to interact with a range of mobile computing, communications, entertainment, and other electronic devices. The Company focuses on the personal computer ( PC) market, primarily notebook computers, including ultrabooks, the markets for digital lifestyle products, including mobile smartphones and feature phones, the tablet market, and other select electronic device markets with its customized human interface solutions. The Company generally supplies its human interface solutions to its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers through their contract manufacturers, which take delivery of its products and pay the Company directly for them.

The Company provides custom human interface solutions for navigation, cursor control, and multimedia controls for many of the world’s premier PC OEMs. In addition to notebook applications, other PC product ap plications for its technology include peripherals, such as keyboards, mice, and monitors, as well as remote control devices for desktops, PCs, and digital home applications. Its solutions for the PC market include the TouchPad, the ClickPad, the TouchStyk, and dual pointing solutions. The Company’s tablet includes the ClearPad Series 7. In August 2012, it acquired Pacinian and the Video Display Operation of Integrated Device Technology, Inc.

TouchPad

TouchPad provides a method for screen navigation, cursor movement, and gestures and provides a platform for interactive input for both the consumer and corporate markets. TouchPad solutions offer various advanced features, including Scrolling, Customizable tap zones, performance of entertainment, productivity, and media tasks, tapping and dragging of icons, and device Interaction. The Company’s TouchPad solutions are available in a variety of sizes, electrical interfaces, and thicknesses.

ClickPad

The Company’s ClickPad introduces! a clickable mechanical design to the TouchPad application. Its ClickPad is activated by pressing down on the internal tact switch to perform a left- or right-button click and provides feedback similar to pressing a physical button. The latest version of ClickPad features ClickEQ, which is a mechanical solution.

ForcePad

The Company’s ForcePad is a thinner version of the Company’s ClickPad, which introduces a new dimension in control through the addition of variable force sensitivity. ForcePad is designed to provide consistent performance across OEM models through its design intelligence and self-calibration features.

Dual Pointing Solutions

The dual pointing solutions offer a TouchPad with a pointing stick in a single notebook computer. Its dual pointing solutions also provide the end user the ability to use both interfaces interchangeably. The Company has developed two solutions for use in the dual pointing market. Its first solution i ntegrates all the electronics for controlling a third-party resistive strain gauge pointing stick onto its TouchPad PCB. Its second dual pointing solution uses its TouchStyk and offers the OEM integration. The second solution is a completely modular design, allowing OEMs to offer TouchPad-only, TouchStyk-only, or dual pointing solutions on a build-to-order basis.

TouchStyk

The Company’s TouchStyk is a pointing stick interface solution for PC notebooks. TouchStyk is an integrated module that uses capacitive technology similar to that of its TouchPad. TouchStyk is enabled with press-to-select and tap-to-click capabilities and can be integrated into multiple computing and communications devices.

NavPoint

The Company’s NavPoint solution offers TouchPad functionality for small form factor devices in accessing and managing content in handheld devices through navigation controls. It also includes short- and long-distance scrol ling features, tapping, and mouse-like cursor navigation.

ClearPad

The Company’s ClearPad touchscreen solutions consist of a transparent, thin capacitive sensor, which is a discrete sensor, that can be placed over any display, such as an liquid crystal display (LCD) or organic light-emitting diode (OLED). Its ClearPad Series 3 can provide full-time tracking of ten or more fingers simultaneously and features stylus support and support for various sensor configurations, including discrete sensors, sensor-on-lens, which includes sensor electrodes patterned on the bottom of the glass cover lens; on-cell, which includes sensor electrodes patterned on the display glass, and in-cell, which includes sensor electrodes patterned inside the LCD glass.

The Company’s ClearPad Series 4 products combines its capacitive multi-touch technology with a device’s display driver in a single-chip solution delivering advanced display noise management and capacitive sensing performance. Its ClearPad Series 7 products are d esigned for large touchscreen market for products more closely related to clamshell notebooks, slates, tablets, and similar devices. The Company’s ClearPad Series 7 products include single-chip touchscreen solutions and multi-chip touchscreen solutions designed for devices, such as gaming applications.

FlexPad

This capacitive sensing interface is mounted beneath a mechanical keypad, and allows the keypad surface to be used for advanced scrolling and navigation features, character entry, and advanced gesture input on handheld devices. With navigation functionality similar to a touch pad, FlexPad offers interface and industrial design differentiation.

ClearButtons

The Company’s ClearButtons product is an extension of its core capacitive sensing technology that has been used in TouchPad solutions for notebook PCs, mobile smartphones, and feature phones. ClearButtons is a sensor that can be mounted under plastic, providing OEMs with integration and design options for scrolling and b! uttons.

TouchButtons

The Company’s TouchButtons product provides capacitive button and scrolling controls for an interface solution designed to replace mechanical buttons. Button arrays and ScrollStrips can be programmed to perform various functions, such as controls for multimedia, display and device settings in notebook PCs, multimedia keyboards, MP3 players, digital photo frames, monitors, and other digital lifestyle products. TouchButton interfaces are designed for integration under the plastic face of a device, allowing for a sealed, durable, and thin design, which can be coupled with light emitting diode (LED) animation.

ThinTouchTM

The Company’s ThinTouch, is a design technology that delivers a full keyboard solution that is 40% thinner than traditional keyboard solutions. ThinTouch provides design architecture that facilitates backlighting.

Proximity Sensing

The Company’s proximity sensing tec hnology enables users to interact with consumer electronics without touch. With this technology, sensors in a device, such as a notebook PC, mobile phone, peripheral, or digital photo frame, sense the presence of a user’s hand to activate a function, such as illuminating LEDs for discoverable buttons or waking devices from power-saving mode.

Dual Mode

The Company’s Dual Mode-enabled TouchPad interface allows a user to switch between cursor control and icon-based control on the TouchPad surface. In default mode, a Dual Mode-enabled TouchPad provides the same cursor control for on-screen navigation as a standard TouchPad. When the user taps on a launch icon located on the TouchPad surface, control icons illuminate on the TouchPad surface.

ChiralMotion Gesture

The Company’s ChiralMotion Gesture technology can be applied for continuous circular motion to initiate precise and fine-tuned scrolling on any two-dimensional input surf ace, such as its TouchPad and ClearPad solutions. ChiralMoti! on Gestur! e technology is suited for small handheld products, such as feature-rich mobile handsets, personal navigation systems, and personal media players that require easy access for entertainment, music, and other digital files.

Synaptics Gesture Suite

The Company’s Synaptics Gesture Suite (SGSTM) provides users with an intuitive way to interact with their notebook computers. SGS was developed by analyzing the most common workflows from entertainment activities, such as viewing photos and listening to music, to productivity activities, such as accessing e-mails and presentations. SGS represents a portfolio of gestures available on its interface solutions. These gestures are compatible with a range of Microsoft Windows and Linux applications. Gestures in the market include Pinch, Rotate, ChiralMotion Scrolling, Two-Finger Scrolling, Three-Finger Flick, Three-Finger Down, and Four-Finger Flick.

Enhanced Gesture Recognition

Synapti cs’s Enhanced Gesture Recognition is a suite of ClearPad gestures included in its firmware. Customers can easily enable SingleTouch gestures, such as Tap, Double Tap, Press, and Flick; DualTouch gestures, such as Pinch and Pivot Rotate, and multi-finger gestures for ClearPad directly from its touch module firmware. No additional ssoftware is required on the host processor to implement these gestures.

Dual Mode for TouchPad

The Company’s Dual Mode-enabled TouchPad interface allows a user to switch between cursor control and icon-based controls on the TouchPad surface. In default mode, a Dual Mode-enabled TouchPad provides the same cursor control for on-screen navigation as a standard TouchPad.

The Company competes with Alps Electric, Elan Microelectronics, Atmel, Cypress and Melfas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ryan Sullivan]

    The Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) -branded, LG-manufactured Nexus 5 is the first high-definition smartphone to use Synaptics’  (NASDAQ: SYNA  ) ClearPad 3350 In-cell touchscreen technology. This new technology equips the Nexus 5 with a single-chip touch controller integrated into the display. The product offers increased touchscreen sensitivity with a 10-finger multi-touch display and 120 Hz refresh rate.

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    What: Shares of Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA  ) have popped by as much as 18% today after the company posted solid quarterly earnings and provided upbeat guidance thanks to design wins at Samsung.

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    You got me there
    In these specific use cases, Apple simply can’t compete. Short of calling up Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA  ) and incorporating the company’s ClearPad technology and its 3D-Touch capabilities, the iPhone will never know when you’re about to touch it. Apple used to tap Synaptics for iPod click-wheel sensors, but that was a long time ago. The Samsung design win has given Synaptics a nice pop, since the GS4 is bound to bring in abundant unit volumes.

Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015: Logitech international SA (LOGI)

Logitech International S.A. (Logitech) is a holding company. Logitech develops and markets hardware and software products for digital navigation, music and video entertainment, gaming, social networking, audio and video communication over the Internet, video security and home-entertainment control. Logitech operates in two segments: peripherals and video conferencing. The Company’s peripherals segment includes design, manufacturing and marketing of peripherals for personal computers (PCs) and other digital platforms. Its products for the PC include mice, trackballs, keyboards, interactive gaming controllers, multimedia speakers, headsets, webcams, and lapdesks. Logitech’s Internet communications products include webcams, headsets, video communications services, and digital video security systems for a home or small business. Its digital music products include speakers, earphones, and custom in-ear monitors. On July 6, 2010, Logitech acquired all of the assets of Paradi al AS. On March 31, 2011, the Company sold its equity interest in certain 3Dconnexion subsidiaries.

3Dconnexion subsidiaries are the providers of the Company’s 3D controllers, and its intellectual property rights related to the manufacture and sale of certain 3Dconnexion products. Paradial AS provides firewall and network address translation (NAT) traversal solutions for video communications. For home entertainment systems, Logitech offers the Harmony line of advanced remote controls, Squeezebox wireless music solutions and, in the United States, a line of Logitech products for the Google TV platform. For gaming consoles, the Company offers a range of gaming controllers and microphones, as well as other accessories. Logitech’s sells its peripheral products to a network of distributors and resellers and to other equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Company’s worldwide retail network includes wholesale distributors, consumer electronics retailers, mass mercha ndisers, specialty electronics stores, computer and telecomm! unications stores, resellers and online merchants.

The Company’s video conferencing segment includes design, manufacturing and marketing of LifeSize video conferencing products, infrastructure and services for the enterprise, public sector and other business markets. LifeSize products include high-definition (HD) video communication endpoints, HD video conferencing systems with integrated monitors, video bridges and other infrastructure software and hardware to support large scale video deployments, and services to support these products. Logitech sells its LifeSize products and services to distributors, resellers, OEMs and direct enterprise customers. Logitech conducts its business through subsidiaries in the Americas, including North and South America; Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific, including, among other countries, China, Taiwan, Japan, India and Australia.

Pointing Devices

Logitech offers a range of computer mice, sold through retail and OEM channels. Its mice products include M215, M310 and M305 wireless mice with advanced 2.4 gigahertz wireless connection and cordless universal serial bus (USB) plug-and-forget nano-receiver; Performance Mouse MX and Anywhere Mouse MX with Logitech Darkfield Laser Tracking; Marathon Mouse 750, and Wireless Trackball M570. Logitech’s mice products also include a line of gaming mice, including the Wireless Gaming Mouse G700, with 13 precisely placed, programmable controls to perform single actions and complex macros, full-speed gaming-grade wireless, and a quick-connect charging cable. In addition, the Company sells both corded and cordless mice designed specifically for OEM customers.

Keyboards and Desktops

Logitech offers a range of corded and cordless keyboards and desktops (keyboard-and-mouse combinations). The Company’s keyboards and desktops include Wireless Solar Keyboard K750; K800 Illuminated Wireless Keybo ard; The diNovo Edge keyboard; Wireless Desktop MK320, and G! 19 Keyboa! rd for Gaming.

Audio

Logitech designs and manufactures a range of multimedia speakers, including Wireless Speaker Z515, The Laptop Z305 speaker, and The S-series line of portable iPod/MP3 docks, including the Rechargeable Speaker S715i and the Portable Speaker S135i. It also designs and manufactures The Z-623 2.1 THX certified speakers, the Z-506 5.1 Speakers, and the Z-906 5.1 Surround Sound speakers. Logitech offers a portfolio of network music systems. The Squeezebox Touch, with its 4.3-inch color touch screen, connects to existing stereo system and speakers and supports sampling rates of up to 24 bits at 96 kilohertz. The Squeezebox Radio is a compact network music player and alarm that allows to connect to home network, and access Internet radio, personal music collection or subscription services.

The Ultimate Ears product line offers a range of in-ear consumer or fit earphones for portable music enthusiasts, as well as custom stag e earphones for musicians and sound engineers. Its line of earphones include Ultimate Ears 100 and 200 value-priced earphones, with silicone ear cushions in a durable sweat-resistant design; Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 with triple armature speakers, and The Ultimate Ears 600 featuring single armature speakers, the Ultimate Ears 600vi, and the Ultimate Ears 700 featuring dual armature speakers. Its line of Ultimate Ears Custom Stage Earphones include Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors co-designed with Capitol Studios for professional studio engineers and producers for use during recording, mixing and mastering original music content, the UE-18 Pro featuring a six-speaker design, the UE-7 Pro for live performance and stage use, and the UE-4 Pro featuring a dual speaker design for artists and audiophiles.

Logitech offers headsets and microphones designed for applications, such as PC voice communications, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) applications and onlin e gaming. Its products in this category include the ClearCha! t PC Wire! less headset, the Wireless Headset H760, the USB Headset H530, the G35 Surround Sound Headset for gaming, the Wireless Gaming Headset G930, the USB Desktop Microphone, and the OCS certified Logitech B-530 USB Headset.

Video

Logitech’s webcam offerings include Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910, Logitech Webcam Pro 9000, Logitech HD Webcam C510 and Logitech TV Cam for use with Logitech Revue. Logitech’s webcams works with video messaging applications, and provides up to HD 720p video calling in Skype, Windows Live Messenger and Logitech Vid HD. The Logitech Alert digital video security system is a complete home or small business video security system, with software that provides motion alerts and a live view from an Internet-connected computer, smartphone, tablet or Google TV system, including Logitech Revue.

Gaming

Logitech offers a range of game controllers for PC gamers, including joysticks, steering wheels, gamepads, mice a nd keyboards, and headsets, as well as gaming products for console platforms, such as PlayStation2, PlayStation3, PSP (PlayStation Portable), Xbox, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. The Company’s gaming products include Logitech G700 Wireless Gaming Mouse; Logitech G13 advanced gameboard with a built-in LCD screen, 25 programmable keys and onboard memory; Logitech G27 Racing Wheel and Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset.

Digital Home

The Company’s line of remotes includes Harmony One remote, Harmony 900 remote and Harmony 650. In October 2010, Logitech introduced its line of products for Google TV in the United States, including Logitech Revue and the Logitech Keyboard Controller; Logitech TV Cam and Vid HD service, and Logitech Mini Controller.

LifeSize Video Conferencing

LifeSize division offers HD video communication solutions, including HD video conferencing products, audio conference telephones, hardware infrastructure so lutions, video management software, and services to support ! video and! audio communications and help users connect to any network securely and with ease. The LifeSize product line includes Passport, LifeSize Video Center, Express Series, Team Series, Room Series and LifeSize Bridge.

The Company competes with Microsoft Corporation, Plantronics, Inc., Altec Lansing LLC, Creative Labs, Inc., Bose Corporation, Sony Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics NV, Hewlett-Packard, Intec, Razer USA Ltd., Performance Designed Products, LLC (Pelican Accessories), Mad Catz Interactive, Inc., Universal Remote Control, Inc., Universal Electronics Inc., RCA, Apple Inc., Roku, Inc., Cisco, Radvision Ltd., Vidyo, Inc. and Polycom.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Louis Navellier]

    Logitech International (LOGI) is a Swiss company that designs, manufactures, and markets hardware and software products that enable digital navigation, music and video entertainment, gaming, social networking, audio and video communication over the Internet, video security, and home-entertainment control.

  • [By Brian O’Connell and Brian O’Connell]

    You can’t be a video gamer, a PC user, or even a home entertainment watcher without using one of Logitech’s (NASDAQ: LOGI) products.

    The company develops and markets hardware and software products that enable or enhance digital navigation, music and video entertainment, gaming, social networking, and audio and video communication over the Internet.

    The company’s stock has risen by 16 percent so far this year. In January, Logitech announced “better than expected” sales of $628 million for the third quarter, up 2 percent on a year-over-year basis. Cash flow was way up, and earnings per share of $0.30 was up compared to a loss one year earlier.

    The retail numbers tell the real story, with the company’s combined retail growth categories up 62 percent, year-over-year. Tablet peripheral salaries were up 95 percent; audio wearables and wireless sales were up 79 percent; and video gaming sales rose by 25 percent in the same time period.

    Thos e are numbers that are manna from heaven for a company that really needed them, after a 30-month period of mediocre performance from 2010-to-mid-2013 that saw LOGU’s share price fall stagnate in the $8-$10-per-share range.

    “We’re pleased by our solid Q3 performance, with both sales and profit growth,” notes Bracken P. Darrell, Logitech’s chief executive officer. “We’re encouraged by the robust sales in our growth categories, as well as the success of our ongoing initiatives to improve profitability.”

    “We still have more work ahead, but our turnaround is on track as we continue to build a faster and more profitable Logitech,” he adds.

    Going forward, Logitech has upped its yearly outlook, calling for sales of $2.1 billion, up from $2 billion in its last outlook. Non-GAAP operating income should rise to $125 million, up from $100 million previously.

    Why the continued optimism over Logitech, after two-and-half years of tepid pe rformance?

    Fir

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading UP
    Logitech International SA (NASDAQ: LOGI) shot up 16.94 percent to $15.46 after the company reported strong FQ3 results and lifted its full-rear guidance.

Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015: Makism 3D Corp (MDDD)

Makism 3D Corp., incorporated on May 4 2010, is a three dimensional (3D) printer manufacturing company. The Company produces consumer and professional grade 3D printers. The Company’s flagship product, branded as the Wideboy family of printers, offers packaging designed to fit any office or professional space.

Its 3D printers utilize British and German engineered components. Its printers are assembled in Cambridge (United Kingdom).

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    We are two trading weeks into the new year and the 3D printing sector along with 3D printer stocks like ExOne Co (NASDAQ: XONE), Stratasys, Ltd (NASDAQ: SSYS), 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE: DDD) and Makism 3D Corp (OTCBB: MDDD) have been printing their share of red ink for investors – despite the fact that 3D printing got  plenty of attention at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas while the broader stock market rally has largely held up. With that in mind, here is the latest 3D printer stock or sector news you need to be aware of:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    They say the great ones withstand the test of time. If that’s true of stocks (and it is), then it’s becoming increasingly safer to say Makism 3D Corp. (OTCMKTS:MDDD) is one of the great ones within the 3D printing world. No, it’s neither as big nor as prolific as 3D printer names like 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) or Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS). Then again, everything is relative; MDDD may well be packing more of a punch for its investors than SSYS or DDD have in a long time.

Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015: Nyxio Technologies Corp (NYXO)

Nyxio Technologies Corporation, incorporated on June 08, 2006, through its wholly owned subsidiary Nyxio Technologies Inc. (Nyxio), develop and provide technology for the entertainment and commercial markets within the consumer electronic industry. The Company’s product includes VioSphere Smart television (TV), a flat screen TV with a fully integrated personal computer.

The Realm is an all in one personal computer (PC)/ TV, combining the latest in PC technology with high definition (HD) TV. The Realm Pro, which is all in One PC/TV geared for commercial and digital signage markets. Venture MMV, which is a mobile media viewer is a new class of video eyewear offering designer styling in a sleek ergonomic design with features and performance. The Vuzion is a TV with Android operating system (OS) built in enabling 400,000 Android applications on a TV.

The Company competes with Sony, Samsung, LG, Vizio, Apple, Dell, and HP.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Nyxio Technologies Corp (OTCMKTS: NYXO), COREwafer Industries Inc (OTCMKTS: WAFR) and NanoTech Entertainment, Inc (OTCMKTS: NTEK) are three small cap stocks in some very diverse industries. In fact, one of these stocks just bought a 3D ice sculpture business. So will investors see their investment melt with that small cap stock along with the other two? Here is a closer look to help you decide for yourself:  

Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015: Altec Holdings SA (AXY)

Altec Holdings SA the parent company of Altec Group, is a Greece-based company engaged in the information technology and telecommunications fields. The Company’s range of activities includes the manufacture, import, export, trade, distribution, leasing and support of computers and telecommunication materials, as well as the design, production, development, import, export, leasing and trading of software for computers and electronic cash registers. Its hardware products include a range of personal computers, servers and related equipment. Its software products include systems for enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, accounting, human resource management, payroll and data warehousing, insurance brokerage software and equipment for call centers. It operates a retail network under the brand Microland. The Company has established subsidiaries in Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Yesterday, small cap geothermal stock U.S. Geothermal Inc (NYSEMKT: HTM) produced a geyser of a return when it surged 26.79%, meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock verses the performance of other geothermal stocks like small cap Ormat Technologies, Inc (NYSE: ORA) and mid cap Calpine Corporation (NYSE: CPN). First of all, I should mention there are some other geothermal stocks out there like Alterra Power Corp (CVE: AXY) and Ram Power Corp (TSE: RPG) who have their primary listing on Canadian exchanges with secondary ones on the OTC – meaning they may not be a good deal for American investors or easy to invest in. Second, U.S. Geothermal Inc itself is a good geothermal proxy as its focused on developing, owning, and operating clean, sustainable electric power from geothermal energy resources and its operating geothermal power projects at Neal Hot Springs, Oregon; San Emidio, Nevada; and Raft River, Idaho plus El Ceibillo, an advanced stage, geothermal p rospect located within a 24,710 acre energy rights concession area near Guatemala City, the largest city in Central America.

Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015: Steel Excel Inc (SXCL)

Steel Excel Inc., formerly ADPT Corp., incorporated in 1981, is primarily focused on capital redeployment and identification of new business operations. The identification of new business operations includes, but is not limited to, the oilfield servicing, sports, training, education, entertainment and lifestyle businesses. The Company operates in two segments: oilfield servicing and sports-related segment. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired two sports-related businesses and one oilfield servicing business. On June 27, 2011, the Company acquired Baseball Heaven LLC and Baseball Cafe, Inc. On August 15, 2011, the Company acquired The Show, LLC. On December 7, 2011, the Company acquired Rogue Pressure Services, LLC. On February 9, 2012, the Company acquired Eagle Well Services, Inc. In May 2012, the Company acquired Sun Well Service, Inc. Effective December 16, 2013, Steel Excel Inc acquired Black Hawk Energy Services Inc, a provider of oil and gas field services.

The Company’s oilfield servicing segment provides services in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Services include snubbing services (controlled installation and removal of all tubulars – drill strings and production strings) in and out of the wellbore with the well under full pressure, flowtesting, and hydraulic work over/simultaneous operations (allows customers to perform multiple tasks on multiple wells on one pad at the same time). The Company’s sports-related services segment provides services related to marketing and providing baseball facility services, including training camps, summer camps, leagues and tournaments, concession and catering events and other events and related Websites. In addition, the Company outfit little league baseball and softball players and coaches in official major league baseball uniforms.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Geoff Gannon]

    1. Steel Excel (SXCL)
    2. FormFactor (FORM)
    3. Imation (IMN)
    4. Tuesday Morning (TUES)
    5. Pacific Biosciences (PACB)
    6. Maxygen (MAXY)
    7. Westell (WSTL)
    8. Volt Information Sciences (VISI)
    9. Yasheng Group (YHGG)

Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015: Imation Corp (IMN)

Imation Corp. (Imation) is a global scalable storage and data security company. The Company’s portfolio includes tiered storage and security offerings for business and products designed to manage audio and video information in the home. The Company’s global brand portfolio includes the Imation brand, the Memorex brand, the XtremeMac and MXI Security brands. Imation is also the exclusive licensee of the TDK Life on Record brand. Its three product categories include traditional storage, secure and scalable storage, and audio and video information. It operates in four geographic segments: Americas, Europe, North Asia and South Asia. On February 28, 2011, it acquired all of the assets of Encryptx Corporation. On June 4, 2011, it acquired the assets of MXI Security, from Memory Experts International Inc. On October 4, 2011 it acquired the secure data storage hardware assets of IronKey Systems Inc. In December 2011, it acquired the data deduplication technology from Nine Tec hnology.

The Americas segment includes North America, Central America and South America. The Europe segment includes Europe and parts of Africa. North Asia segment includes Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan. The South Asia segment includes Australia, Singapore, India, the Middle East and parts of Africa.

Imation brand products include magnetic tape media, recordable compact discs (CDs), digital versatile Discs (DVDs) and Blu-ray discs, flash products and hard disk drives. The Imation brand includes the DataGuard Data Protection Appliances, InfiniVault Storage appliances and removable disk technology (RDX) removable hard disk storage systems. Imation Defender products include secure storage flash drives and external hard drives. Imation brand products are sold throughout the worldwide and target the commercial user and individual consumer. Imation Defender products include secure storage flash drives and external hard drives. TDK Life on Reco rd brand products include recordable CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray d! iscs, flash drives, tape cartridges, headphones and computer speakers which are sold to commercial customers and individual consumers. TDK Life on Record brand products is sold throughout the world.

XtremeMac brand products include cases, chargers and audio solutions to protect, power and play Apple iPad, iPod, iPhone and other devices. XtremeMac products are developed for Apple enthusiasts and are available worldwide. Its MXI Security brand includes secure storage flash drives and external hard drives, as well as software solutions to help manage portable security devices on the network.

Traditional Storage

The Company’s optical media products consist of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray recordable media. It sells Blu-ray discs, which are used primarily for recording high-definition video content. Its recordable optical media products are sold through a variety of retail and commercial distribution channels and sourced from manufacturers primari ly in Taiwan and India. Optical storage capacities range from 650 megabyte CD-R (recordable) and CD-RW (rewritable) optical discs to 9.4 gigabyte double-sided DVD optical discs and Blu-ray discs with 25 gigabyte to 100 gigabyte of capacity. Its optical media is sold throughout the world under brands it owns or controls, including Imation, Memorex and TDK Life on Record and under a distribution agreement for the Hewlett Packard brand.

The Company’s magnetic tape media products are used for back-up, business and operational continuity planning, disaster recovery, near-line data storage and retrieval and for mass and archival storage. Other traditional storage products include primarily optical drives and audio and video tape media.

Secure and Scalable Storage

Secure storage products and software include universal serial bus (USB) flash drives and external hard drives designed to meet the security standards to protect data at rest with F ederal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) validation, pa! ssword an! d biometric authentication, including biometric USB drives, encrypted and biometric hard disk drives, secure portable desktop solutions and software solutions. It also sells standard USB flash drives and external hard disk drives throughout the world under its Imation, Memorex and TDK Life on Record brands. It sources these products from manufacturers primarily in Asia and the United States and sell them through a variety of retail and commercial distribution channels around the world. Scalable storage products include data protection appliances, such as DataGuard network attached storage backup appliances and InfiniVault active archive appliances.

Audio and Video Information

The Company’s audio and video information products include Apple iPad, iPod and iPhone accessories, headphones, CD players, alarm clocks, portable boom boxes, moving picture experts group layer-3 audio (MP3) players, and speakers sold under the Memorex, TDK Life on Record and XtremeMac brands. It designs products to meet user needs and source these products from manufacturers throughout Asia.

The Company competes with Maxell, JVC, Sony, Verbatim, Fuji, HP, SanDisk, Lexar, PNY and Kingston.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Geoff Gannon] g>4. Tuesday Morning (TUES)
    5. Pacific Biosciences (PACB)
    6. Maxygen (MAXY)
    7. Westell (WSTL)
    8. Volt Information Sciences (VISI)
    9. Yasheng Group (YHGG)

    I don’t love that list. I like the 14 past picks in the Ben Graham Net-Net Newsletter’s model portfolio much better. The newsletter only owns 1 of those 9 net-nets. Remember, we have 9 net-nets out of the 14 picked for the newsletter that are trading below where we picked them. So, obviously I like those 9 net-nets a lot better than these 9 net-nets.

    Like I said, I wouldn’t encourage you to buy those nine net-nets shown here — even if you’re looking to put a lot of money into net-nets. Instead you should look at your favorite net-nets — or the net-nets in the Ben Graham: Net-Net Newsletter — and use them as a buy list you are constantly placing orders from month after month.

    Building a diversified collection of net-net through many months of purchasing is a better way to invest a lot of money in net-nets than trying to focus on the biggest net-nets.

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Best Computer Hardware Companies For 2015: Lenovo Group Ltd (LNVGF.PK)

Lenovo Group Limited is principally engaged in investment holding. It is a personal technology company serving customers in more than 160 countries. The Company is a personal computer (PC) vendor. The Company develops, manufactures and markets technology products and services. Its product lines include Think-branded commercial PCs and Idea branded consumer PCs, as well as servers, workstations, and a family of mobile Internet devices, including tablets and smart phones. It offers a range of commercial desktops and notebooks to businesses of all sizes that feature cutting-edge technology, customer-centric innovation and productivity features. It operates in three segments: China, Emerging Markets (excluding China) and Mature Markets. Lenovo has research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina, the United States. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Investometrica]

    x86: With regards to the specific x86 server business, it seems that IBM is considering the possibility of fully divesting it. According to Morgan Stanley, the server business generated about $4.9 billion of the company’s $15.4 billion in server sales last year. This enormous volume is due to the fact that IBM may be producing the overall market’s highest volumes, at the lowest profit level; which suggests this segment is doomed. Finally, IBM has a history of aggressive shifts to areas with better growth prospects and margins. For example, the company agreed to sell off the PC business to Lenovo (LNVGF.PK) at a moment where the PC still seemed attractive.