Best High Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Here at The Motley Fool, I’ve long cautioned investors to keep a close eye on inventory levels. It’s a part of my standard diligence when searching for the market’s best stocks. I think a quarterly checkup can help you spot potential problems. For many companies, products that sit on the shelves too long can become big trouble. Stale inventory may be sold for lower prices, hurting profitability. In extreme cases, it may be written off completely and sent to the shredder.

Basic guidelines
In this series, I examine inventory using a simple rule of thumb: Inventory increases ought to roughly parallel revenue increases. If inventory bloats more quickly than sales grow, this might be a sign that expected sales haven’t materialized. Is the current inventory situation at Kimball International (Nasdaq: KBAL.B  ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company’s inventory growth to sales growth. How is Kimball International doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, pretty well. Trailing-12-month revenue increased 3.5%, and inventory increased 0.9%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks decent. Revenue increased 6.0%, and inventory grew 0.9%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks healthy. Revenue grew 2.2%, and inventory dropped 6.6%.

Best High Tech Stocks To Invest In R ight Now: Mitel Networks Corporation(MITL)

Mitel Networks Corporation provides integrated communications solutions to the small-to-medium sized enterprise market in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific. It offers Internet protocol (IP) telephony platforms, including IP telephony software that performs various functions comprising multi-media call control and communications, which allow business users to reach each other, share information, and collaborate; appliances; and desktop devices, such as IP and digital phones, specialty desktop devices, and peripherals. The company also provides a suite of UCC applications, which consist unified communicator advanced, mobility, customer interaction solution, unified messaging, speech auto attendant, telecollaboration solution, teleworker solution, and business dashboard, as well as audio, video, and Web conferencing for integrating voice, video, and data communications with business applications. In addi tion, it offers network services that include local access services; long distance services; mobile voice and data services; data services, such as Internet access and private networking services; hosted offerings, which comprise network monitoring and management, audio conferencing, Web conferencing, hosted secure Internet access, and Web hosting; and hosted IP telephony services. Further, the company provides managed services, including project management, installation, training, maintenance, professional, consulting, business requirements review, and disaster recovery planning services; support services; and financing of its solutions. It serves education, government, healthcare, hospitality, and retail markets through wholesale distributors, solution providers, system integrators, authorized channel partners, and other technology providers. The company is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Michael Robinson]

    Mitel Networks (MITL)

    Small-cap Mitel is known for its advanced contact center platform that includes mobile chat and also helps mid-market firms generate sales leads while lowering expenses.

  • [By MONEYMORNING.COM]

    Mitel Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: MITL) is a small-cap communication and collaboration software company that caters to small and medium-sized businesses.

  • [By Richard Lomas]

    How much impact there will be on the profit margin will depend on the royalty rate set. Virnetx has an established royalty rate structure both published and through agreements with other licensees. Virnetx’s published royalty rate is between 1 and 2 percent for customers in good standing. This royalty rate has been validated through licenses with 4 different companies, Siemens (SI), NEC, Mitel (MITL), and Aastra (AATSF.PK). The average rate agreed to by these companies through negotiations is 1.52%, right in the middle of the 1 to 2 percent published rate. Whatever rate is set will further reduce Apple’s profit margin.

Best High Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Spherix Inc (SPEX)

Spherix Incorporated (Spherix), incorporated on May 1, 1992, is a scientific research company. The Company is engaged in developing biopharmaceutical products and providing technical and regulatory consulting services to food, consumer products and pharmaceutical companies. The Company operates in two segments: Biospherics Incorporated (Biospherics), the Company’s biotechnology research and development business, and Health Sciences, a technical and regulatory consulting business. The Company has created two wholly owned subsidiaries, Biospherics Incorporated and Spherix Consulting, Inc. (Spherix Consulting), for its two operating segments. The Company’s Health Sciences contracts are in the name of Spherix Consulting, and the Company’s patents are in the name of Biospherics Incorporated. Spherix provides management, strategic guidance, business development, marketing and other services to its subsidiaries. In September 2013, Spherix Incorporated closed on the acquisition of North South Holdings Inc.

Biospherics

The Company focuses its studies on treating high triglycerides and other dyslipidemias with a combination of D-tagatose and SPX-106, a licensed drug compound, which combination is referred to as SPX-106T. Spherix Consulting provides scientific and strategic support for suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers of conventional foods, biotechnology-derived foods, medical foods, infant formulas, food ingredients, dietary supplements, food contact substances, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer products, and industrial chemicals and pesticides. Biospherics has also completed a global Phase III clinical trial investigating the use of D-Tagatose, a stereoisomer of fructose, as a treatment for glycemic control in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Health Sciences

The Company’s Health Sciences business provides technical and regulatory consulting services to biotechnology and ph armaceutical companies, as well as providing technical suppo! rt for its research and development activities. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Health Sciences provided services to 20 companies. The projects range from safety analyses of food ingredients to safety analyses of pharmaceutical manufacturing and dispensing equipment. Health Sciences is also monitoring and directing the clinical trials for Biospherics.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]

    Spherix Inc.(SPEX) on Thursday said that it is suing Cisco Inc.(CSCO) (CSCO), a leging that $43 billion in Cisco sales infringed on Spherix patents. Spherix–which described itself as an “intellectual property development company committed to the fostering and monetization of intellectual property”—said Cisco infringes on 11 patents it acquired in December. Spherix shares rose 4.9% to $4.70 premarket.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) bounced lower today, down 1.19% to $22.06 in a 52-week range of $19.98 to $26.49. Share volume was about equal to the daily average of around 42.7 million shares traded. The networking giant was hit with a lawsuit charging that Cisco violates 11 patents owned by Spherix Inc. (NASDAQ: SPEX) and that virtually all of Cisco’s revenues from switches and routers since 2008 were generated from the patent infringements.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap patent stocks Spherix Inc (NASDAQ: SPEX), PDL BioPharma Inc (NASDAQ: PDLI) and Endeavor IP Inc (OTCBB: ENIP) are among the growing number of publicly traded US entities focused on collecting and making money from various types of patents. After all, monetizing patents can lead to incredible returns. For example: Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund wrote in a research note back in November that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is generating $2 billion per year in revenue from Android patent royalties and he estimates that this revenue has a 95% margin. However, there are risks associated with investing in stocks that invest in patents because a bi-partisan bill called the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) is working its way through Congress to try and reign in the activities of so-called “patent trolls” or rather companies that buy or license patents from others.

Best High Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: QR Energy LP(QRE)

QR Energy, LP, through its subsidiary, QRE Operating, LLC, engages in the acquisition, production, and development of onshore crude oil and natural gas properties in the United States. As of March 31, 2011, its properties consisted of working interests in 2,140 gross producing wells located in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. QRE GP, LLC operates as the general partner of the company. QR Energy, LP was founded in 2006 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    While I still think LRE units are undervalued, BreitBurn Energy Partners probably presents a more compelling case at present.

    QR Energy (NYSE: QRE) reported a solid third quarter, with earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) up 13 percent to $69 million. Production was up 5 percent despite a disruption at some of it operations.

    Distributable cash flow for the quarter was up 26 percent to $35 million, or $0.54 per unit, adequately covering its current distribution of $0.4875. (The partnership will convert to monthly distributions in 2014.) Based on Friday’s close, this translates into an annualized yield of 11.8 percent. Given that QRE’s solid performance came despite temporary production issues, it looks like a decent bet in the upstream MLP space for 2014.

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    3. QR Energy (NYSE: QRE  ) — 11.7% yield
    QR Energy is an exploration and production MLP, focused on developing mature assets in five different oil- and gas-producing regions stretching from the Permian Basin up to central Michigan. It’s a small operation, with reserves of 99.1 million barrels of oil equivalent to its name.

Best High Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Norfolk Souther Corporation(NSC)

Norfolk Southern Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods primarily in the United States. The company transports coal products, such as coal, coke, and iron ore; automotive products, including finished vehicles and auto parts; chemicals products consisting of sulfur and related chemicals, petroleum products, chlorine and bleaching compounds, plastics, rubber, industrial chemicals, chemical wastes, and municipal wastes; metals and construction products comprising steel, aluminum products, machinery, scrap metals, cement, aggregates, bricks, and minerals; and paper, clay, and forest products, including lumber and wood products, pulp board and paper products, wood fibers, wood pulp, scrap paper, and clay. It also transports agriculture, consumer, and government products, such as soybeans, wheat, corn, fertilizer, animal and poultry feed, food oils, flour, beverages, canned goods, swee teners, consumer products, ethanol, and items for the military. In addition, it engages in the intermodal operations that include moving of shipments in trailers, the United States and international containers, and roadrailer equipment. Further, the company transports overseas freight through various Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, as well as provides a range of logistics services; and operates passenger and commuter trains. Additionally, it involves in the acquisition, leasing, and management of coal, oil, gas, and minerals; the development of commercial real estate; telecommunications; and the leasing or sale of rail property and equipment. As of December 31, 2010, the company operated approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia. The company was founded in 1883 and is based in Norfolk, Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mani]

    Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) is well positioned for a pickup in truckload rates, and an improvement in truckload rates should be positive for intermodal pricing.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Railroad operator Norfolk Southern (NSC) raised its quarterly dividend 3.8% to 54 cents per share, payable on Mar. 10 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 7.
    NSC Dividend Yield: 2.37%

Best High Tech Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Sociedad Quimica y Minera S.A.(SQM)

Chemical and Mining Company of Chile Inc. engages in the production and sale of fertilizers and specialty chemicals in Chile and internationally. The company?s specialty plant nutrients include potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate, sodium potassium nitrate, and specialty blends for crops, such as vegetables, fruits, flowers, potatoes, and cotton, as well as Ultrasol for application via fertigation; Qrop for field application; Speedfol for foliar application; Allganic for organic farming; and Nutrilake for aquaculture. It also produces iodine and iodine derivatives, which are used in a range of medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and industrial applications, including X-ray contrast media, polarizing films for liquid crystal displays (LCDs), antiseptics, biocides, and disinfectants; and in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, herbicides, electronics, pigments, dye components, and heat stabilizers. In addition, the company provides lithium carbonate for use in various applicat ions comprising batteries, frits for the ceramic and enamel industries, heat-resistant glass, primary aluminum, lithium bromine for use in air conditioner equipment, and continuous casting powder for steel extrusion, pharmaceuticals, and lithium derivatives; and lithium hydroxide, which is used as a raw material in the lubricating grease industry. Further, it offers various industrial chemicals, such as sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate, and boric acid; and potassium chloride and potassium sulfate. The company was founded in 1968 and is based in Santiago, Chile.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    His choice for the 2014 Top Stock Pick to watch out for in the coming year, is the Chemical and Mining Company of Chile (SQM).

    This company’s stock plunged 59% in 2013 due to weak fertilizer and phosphate prices. However, both Conrad and Jubak feel it is beginning to bounce back this year, due to a return to normalized pricing and earnings.

  • [By Carlton Delfeld]

    Chemical and Mining Company of Chile (SQM) has long been a darling of global investors looking for plays for more productive farmland. However, the stock has plunged 59% in 2013, due to weak fertilizer and phosphate prices.

  • [By Dan Newman]

    Resilient resources
    While weakness in fertilizer markets hurt Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE: SQM  ) this year, higher sales volume and margins in other businesses helped the company grow earnings 19% over 2012. Sociedad has a hand in many industrial resources, from iodine to lithium, and it boasts healthy double-digit profit margins. It is also expanding its production capacity to keep up with a world hungry for more fertilizer-based food and lithium-based batteries. Still, the company failed to meet recent expectations and has missed the market rally this year. If markets get spooked and head downward, investors could find peace of mind in the intrinsic value of Sociedad’s physical resources, as well as its 2.6% dividend yield.