Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now

Yesterday, we asked if cold-weather demand for Ugg boots would boost Deckers Outdoor (DECK) financial results during the fourth quarter. We asked the wrong question.


Deckers fourth-quarter results were warm and fuzzy. The footwear company said it earned $4.04 a share, beating the Street’s consensus for $3.80. The guidance for 2014 was well below analyst forecasts, however, so down goes the stock.

Canaccord Genuity’s Camilo Lyon and Patrick O’Brien call the guidance “highly conservative.” They explain:

2014 guidance underwhelmed (implied EPS of $4.54 vs. our/consensus estimates of $5.22/$4.70), leaving us (and others) speculating about the level of conservatism embedded in it. Most notably, backlogs are up 24% at Dec. 31 (consistent with our channel/industry checks), yet it is less than 50% complete. Given that all retailers had a solid season with UGG, we have no reason to believe the remaining orders will change dramatically from those already in the book; thus making the 10% sales growth guide (and implied 4% wholesale growth), highly conservative we believe.

Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: FuelCell Energy Inc.(FCEL)

FuelCell Energy, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, manufacturing, and sale of high temperature fuel cells for clean electric power generation primarily in South Korea, the United States, Germany, Canada, and Japan. The company offers proprietary carbonate Direct FuelCell Power Plants that electrochemically produce electricity from hydrocarbon fuels, such as natural gas and biogas. Its fuel cells operate on a range of hydrocarbon fuels, including natural gas, renewable biogas, propane, methanol, coal gas, and coal mine methane. The company also develops carbonate fuel cells, planar solid oxide fuel cell technology, and other fuel cell technologies. It provides its products to universities; manufacturers; mission critical institutions, such as correction facilities and government installations; hotels; and natural gas letdown stations, as well as to customers who use renewable biogas for fuel, including municipal water treatment facilities, br eweries, and food processors. The company was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of FuelCell Energy (FCEL) have dropped nearly 6% today after releasing disappointing financial results. But were the numbers as bad as they looked?

    FuellCell Energy

    FuelCell Energy reported a profit of three-cents a share, meeting analysts forecasts, on sales of $43.2 million, below the Street consensus for $53.6 billion.

    Cowen’s Jeffrey Osborne and Thomas Boyes don’t think FuelCell Energy’s results were that bad:

    Product sales levels proved disappointing, at $43.2 million, a 20% reduction from the same quarter in 2013. Short-term cash and cash equivalent, however, totaled $113 million, approximately 16% of market cap.

    Total backlog marginally increased to $350.2 million from $342.8 million as of the end of last quarter, resulting from a sequential increase in utility service contracts. Gross margin of 9.2% is a notable year-over-year increase from 8.4%. Management will likely highlight the recent investment from NRG, with an equity stake and $40 million of committed capital for project financing, as well as its $350.2 million total backlog, which represents about 50% of the company’s current market capitalization.

    Shares of FuelCell Energy have fallen 5,6% to $2.52 at 12:48 p.m., while Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) has dropped 2.8% to $3.46 and Plug Power (PLUG) has declined 3.5% to $5.28.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    FuelCell Energy’s (FCEL) rally is running out of fuel.

    Shares of FuelCell Energy have dropped 7.8% to $2.59 today, a sizable dip even for a stock that has gained 84% so far this year.

    FuelCell has been hit by a double-whammy of Jim Cramer, TheStreetSweeper and Toyota Motors (TM) today. The Street’s Andrew Meola has the details:

    TheStreet’s Jim Cramer said on CNBC’s Mad Money that he would stay away from the stock. “These are just total rank speculation stories. I can’t go there,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of solid companies that have really good fundamentals that are inexpensive. I’m not going FuelCell.”

    TheStreetSweeper also wrote an article on Wednesday to call FuelCell overvalued.

    Toyota Senior VP of North America Bob Carter spoke at the JP Morgan Auto Conference and said filling up a tank of vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells could be rather expensive. He put a full tank of the clean-burning fuel at approximately $50, though he said the cost would eventually drop to $30, the approximate cost to fill up many high-mileage compact cars.

    Here’s what had to say about FuelCell:

    Indeed, this is a company that is:

    Poised to lose its biggest customer. Riding high on a misconceived notion. Selling stock. And we wouldn’t be surprised to see more. Can’t seem to scale. Losing money faster than you can say, “Fool cells.” Sporting a completely unjustified market cap.

    We see stubborn challenges for the Danbury, Conn.-based company that makes and sells fuel cells that generate electricity.

    Other fuel-cell companies are also feeling the pain today. Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) has dropped 1.5% to $3.86, while Plug Power (PLUG) has declined 0.9% to $5.80. Toyota Motor’s ADRs (TM) have fallen 1.2% to $115.61.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Cowen’s Jeffrey Osborne and Thomas Boyes are impressed with Plug Power’s (PLUG) financial results, which are helping to boost Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) and FuelCell Energy (FCEL), as well:

Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: Texas Instruments Incorporated(TXN)

Texas Instruments Incorporated engages in the design and sale of semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers worldwide. The company?s Analog segment offers high-performance analog products comprising standard analog semiconductors, such as amplifiers, data converters, and interface semiconductors; high-volume analog and logic products; and power management semiconductors and line-powered systems. Its Embedded Processing segment includes DSPs that perform mathematical computations to process and enhance digital data; and microcontrollers, which are designed to control a set of specific tasks for electronic equipment. The company?s Wireless segment designs, manufactures, and sells application processors and connectivity products. Its Other segment offers smaller semiconductor products, which include DLP products that are primarily used in projectors to create high-definition images; and application-specific integrated circuits. This segment also provides handhe ld graphing and scientific calculators, as well as licenses technologies to other electronic companies. The company serves the communications, computing, industrial, consumer electronics, automotive, and education sectors. Texas Instruments Incorporated sells its products through a direct sales force, distributors, and third-party sales representatives. It has collaboration agreements with PLX Technology Inc.; Neonode, Inc.; and Ubiquisys Ltd. The company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ovenerio]

    Those markets are attractive because these are not commodity products. The company faces strong competition because there are thousands of designs and many suppliers, but Texas Instruments (TXN) is still a more diversified rival.

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    A: The stock market is a market of individual stocks that represent fractional ownership interests in real businesses. The key to investment success is first and foremost to identify individual, highly durable businesses and then have the discipline to buy them when prices are attractive and the risk/reward trade-off is compelling. We invest in what we understand, continuing to pour over the universe of businesses within our many circles of competence that meet our management, capital allocation, business model, and valuation criteria. Some areas that we believe offer the greatest opportunity in terms of prospective returns include:

    Global market leaders such as Nike (NKE), Colgate-Palmolive (CL) and Philip Morris International (PM) that are beneficiaries of a growing global middle class and consumer culture. The global wealth effect, particularly in developing economies, is a real and very powerful force that should serve as a tailwind for these types of global brands over the long term. Well-managed financial services companies with true franchise value due to the success of their particular products or brand that have the ability and management prowess to build market share over time in a highly fragmented marketplace. Wells Fargo and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) are representative examples in this category. The depth of the recent financial crisis is well known. What is less understood is that certain market leaders used the downturn to dramatically strengthen their capital base and significantly grow their market share at the expense of weaker competitors. Certain health care-related businesses such as UnitedHealth Group and Laboratory Corporation of America that stand to benefit from growing health care spending by aging populations around the world. Workhorse technology companies such as Texas Instruments (TXN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google that are market leaders with durable competitive moats and that also offer an attractive risk/reward proposition at


    XSD holds such big-cap names as Texas Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: TXN) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). It also owns Atmel Corp. (Nasdaq: ATML), which has a market cap of less than $4 billion, and Silicon Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: SLAB), with a market cap of $2 billion.

  • [By The Wall Street Journal]

    The Dallas-based company (TXN) , whose chips are used for many kinds of devices purchased by consumers and businesses, has shifted its strategy to grapple with broad changes in the semiconductor market.

Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: Petroquest Energy Inc(PQ)

PetroQuest Energy, Inc. operates as an independent oil and gas company. It engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and operation of oil and gas properties in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas, as well as onshore and in the shallow waters offshore the Gulf Coast Basin. As of December 31, 2009, the company had estimated proved reserves of 1,931 thousand barrels of oil and 167,361 million cubic feet equivalent of natural gas. It owned working interests in 9 net producing oil wells and 277 net producing gas wells. PetroQuest Energy was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    PetroQuest Energy Inc. (NYSE: PQ) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P. Morgan.

    Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RBCN) was downgraded to Underperform from Perform at Oppenheimer.

Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: Hot Topic Inc.(HOTT)

Hot Topic, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a mall- and Web-based specialty retailer in the United States. The company operates Hot Topic and Torrid store concepts, as well as an e-space music discovery concept, ShockHound. Its Hot Topic stores sell music/pop culture-licensed merchandise, including tee shirts, hats, posters, stickers, patches, postcards, books, novelty accessories, CDs, and DVDs; and music/pop culture-influenced merchandise comprising women?s and men?s apparel and accessories, such as woven and knit tops, skirts, pants, shorts, jackets, shoes, costume jewelry, body jewelry, sunglasses, cosmetics, leather accessories, and gift items for young men and women primarily between the ages of 12 and 22. The company?s Torrid stores sells casual and dressy jeans and pants, fashion and novelty tops, sweaters, skirts, jackets, dresses, hosiery, shoes, intimate apparel, and fashion accessories for various lifestyles for plus-size females primarily betw een the ages of 15 and 29. As of July 30, 2011, it operated 636 Hot Topic stores in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada; 145 Torrid stores; and Internet stores, and The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in City of Industry, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marshall Hargrave]

    In May True Religion (TRGL) announced a buyout offer from TowerBrook Capital for $826 million. Also in May, Rue21 decided to sell itself to Apax Partners for $2.2 billion. Before that, in March, Hot Topic (HOTT) announced that Sycamore Partners was buying out it out for $600 million.

Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: bebe stores inc.(BEBE)

bebe stores, inc. engages in the design, development, and production of women?s apparel and accessories. Its products include a range of separates, tops, dresses, active wear, and accessories in career, evening, casual, and active lifestyle categories. The company markets its products under the bebe, BEBE SPORT, bbsp, and 2b bebe brand names targeting 21 to 34-year-old woman. As of July 2, 2011, it operated 252 retail stores, and an online store at in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Japan, and Canada, as well as 60 international licensee operated stores in south east Asia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Russia, Mexico, and Turkey. The company was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Brisbane, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Bebe Stores (NASDAQ: BEBE) is estimated to post a Q4 loss at $0.17 per share on revenue of $104.79 million.

    UTi Worldwide (NASDAQ: UTIW) is expected to report its Q2 earnings at $0.01 per share on revenue of $1.14 billion.

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Bebe Stores Inc.(BEBE) is exiting its value-oriented 2b concept and is cutting jobs as part of a cost-reduction program. The women’s apparel and accessories retailer said Friday that a workforce reduction affected about 9% of its nonstore employees, excluding the distribution center, and less than 1% of its store operations team.

  • [By Maria Armental and Anna Prior]

    Bebe Stores Inc.(BEBE) said Chief Executive Steve Birkhold resigned and the board named Jim Wiggett, who has been advising the struggling retailer, as interim CEO. The women’s apparel and accessories retailer plans to begin the search for a permanent successor.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Bebe Stores (NASDAQ: BEBE) shares declined 10.40% to $5.77 after the company reported a 5.7% drop in its Q3 same-store sales and issued a downbeat Q3 outlook.

Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: ATA Inc.(ATAI)

ATA Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides computer-based testing services in the People?s Republic of China. It offers services for the creation and delivery of computer-based tests utilizing its test delivery platform, proprietary testing technologies, and testing services; and provides logistical support services relating to test administration. The company?s computer-based testing services are used for professional licensure and certification tests in various industries, including information technology (IT) services, banking, securities, teaching, and insurance. Its e-testing platform integrates various aspects of the test delivery process for computer-based tests ranging from test form compilation to test scoring, and results analysis. ATA also provides career-oriented educational services, such as single course programs, degree major course programs, and pre-occupational training programs focusing on preparing students to pass IT and other vocational certification tests; test preparation and training programs and services to test candidates preparing to take professional certification tests in securities, futures, banking, insurance and teaching industries; online test preparation and training platform for the securities and banking industries; and test preparation software for the teaching industry. In addition, the company offers HR select employee assessment solution, an online system that utilizes its proprietary software and an inventory of test titles to help employers improve the efficiency and accuracy of their employee recruitment process. As of March 31, 2010, it had contractual relationships with 1,988 ATA authorized test centers. The company serves Chinese governmental agencies, professional associations, IT vendors, and Chinese educational institutions, as well as individual test preparation services. ATA Inc. was founded in 1999 and is based in Beijing, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Leading and Lagging Sectors
    Industrials stocks gained Friday, with ATA (NASDAQ: ATAI) leading advancers. Meanwhile, gainers in the sector included Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG), with shares up 22 percent, and Korn/Ferry International (KFY), with shares up 12 percent. In trading on Friday, basic materials shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.36 percent.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Leading and Lagging Sectors
    Industrials stocks gained Friday, with ATA (NASDAQ: ATAI) leading advancers. Meanwhile, gainers in the sector included Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG), with shares up 22 percent, and Korn/Ferry International (KFY), with shares up 12 percent. In trading on Friday, basic materials shares were relative laggards, down on the day by about 1.36 percent.

Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: InterDigital Inc.(IDCC)

Interdigital, Inc. engages in the design and development of digital wireless technology solutions. The company offers technology solutions for use in digital cellular and wireless products and networks, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and IEEE 802-related products and networks. It holds patents related to the fundamental technologies that enable wireless communications. The company licenses its patents to equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular and IEEE 802-related products; and licenses or sells mobile broadband modem solutions, including modem IP, know-how, and reference platforms to mobile device manufacturers, semiconductor companies, and other equipment producers that manufacture, use, and sell digital cellular products. InterDigital?s solutions are incorporated in various products comprising mobile devices, such as cellular phones, tablets, notebook computers, and wireless personal digital assistants; wireless infrastructure equipment, such as base stations; and components, dongles, and modules for wireless devices. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Advisors’ Opinion:


    In addition to Microsoft, tech companies that China has targeted include San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), and Delaware-based InterDigital Inc. (Nasdaq: IDCC).

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Friday gave stock market investors some respite from losses earlier in the week, as major-market benchmarks managed to recover by around a quarter of a percent. Merger and acquisition activity helped bolster stocks in many different parts of the market, but concerns about the sustainability of the economic recovery held others back. Finisar (NASDAQ: FNSR  ) , InterDigital (NASDAQ: IDCC  ) , and GNC Holdings (NYSE: GNC  ) were among the worst performers of the day.

Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: EZchip Semiconductor Limited(EZCH)

EZchip, a fabless semiconductor company, engages in the development and marketing of Ethernet network processors for networking equipment. Its products include network processor chips, evaluation boards and network-processor based systems, and development software toolkits. The company offers network processors for use in forming the silicon core of networking equipment, such as switches and routers; and for voice, video and data integration in various applications. Its network processors are single-chip solutions, which enable its customers to design multi-port line cards, such as processing and classification engines, traffic managers, media access controllers, as well as a range of specialized hardware blocks that accelerate various functions. The company offers Evaluation systems which enable customers to test NPU-based systems; and toolkits that assist customers in creating, verifying, and implementing solutions based on its network processors. It provides a library f eaturing data plane code for a range of applications, which include Metro Ethernet protocols, Multi-Protocol Label Switching, IPv4 and IPv6 routing, Access Control Lists, GPON/EPON OLT functionality, Network Address Translation, and Server Load Balancing. The company sells its products directly, and through contract manufacturers and distributors to network equipment vendors. It markets its products in Israel, China, Hong Kong, the Far East, Canada, the United States, and Europe. The company was formerly known as LanOptics Ltd. and changed its name to EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. in July 2008. EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. was founded in 1989 and is based in Yokneam, Israel.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    EZchip Semiconductor (NASDAQ: EZCH) surged 9.38% to $26.13. The volume of EZchip Semiconductor shares traded 407% higher than normal. EZchip Semiconductor reported better-than-expected Q1 results.

  • [By Evan Niu, CFA]

    What: Shares of EZchip (NASDAQ: EZCH  ) have jumped today by as much as 13% after the company reported first-quarter earnings.

    So what: Revenue in the first quarter totaled $15.3 million, topping the Street’s forecast of $15.1 million. Non-GAAP net income per share came in at $0.23, which was right on target with expectations.

Hot Small Cap Companies To Own In Right Now: Panera Bread Company(PNRA)

Panera Bread Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the United States and Canada. Its bakery-cafes offer fresh baked goods, sandwiches, soups, salads, custom roasted coffees, and other complementary products, as well as provide catering services. The company also manufactures and supplies dough and other products to company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafes. As of March 29, 2011, it owned and franchised 1,467 bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co., and Paradise Bakery & Cafe names. The company was founded in 1981 and is based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Advisors’ Opinion:


    Michael Neelon(misc)/Alamy If you like to start your day with a cup of a coffee and like the idea of free, McDonald’s (MCD) has a deal for you. From Sept. 16 through Sept. 29, the fast food giant is giving customers a free small coffee during its breakfast hours. At participating restaurants only, of course. McDonald’s announced earlier this year that it was going to put more effort into growing its coffee business. Even though its brand is hardly built on coffee, the chain has become the top seller of coffee in the country. But there’s stiff competition out there, with the likes of Starbucks (SBUX) and Dunkin’ Donuts (DNKN) enjoying fierce brand loyalty — and far stronger associations with java. But free is free, and the idea is to see if any of those who usually head to the other places for their morning Joe could be convinced to give McDonald’s brew a try. Even when it’s not free, coffee at McDonald’s is often a much better deal than its competitors’ cups. Many McDonald’s outlets offer any size coffee for $1. Those who drink large coffees can expect to pay twice that at Dunkin’ Donuts and even more at Starbucks. But if you value caffeine in your coffee, particularly to get you going in the morning, be aware that McDonald’s coffee typically doesn’t pack the punch of what Starbucks, Panera Bread Co. (PNRA) and Dunkin’ are offering. Starbucks coffee has been measured as having more than twice the caffeine of McDonald’s coffee, while most of the others were at least 20 percent more potent. Of course, not everyone requires the same amount of jolt. And free is free, even if it’s only for two weeks. Freebies First, In Supermarkets Later McDonald’s tried to amp up its coffee game in 2009, when is launched its McCafe concept. Now, the company is saying it expects to get into the grocery coffee wars, too, with its branded bagged coffee and single-serve K-cups arriving in stores early next year. This is the second time McDonald’s has used a “Free Coffee Event”

  • [By Quantum Research]

    The fast food giant has 35,000 outlets across the globe and most have been facing flat sales since last year. The young customers are preferring healthy options with customizable menu provided by Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) and Panera Bread Co. (PNRA). These companies offer organic foods rather than frozen ones.

  • [By Andrew Marder]

    It seems like the best kind of problem to have, but Panera Bread  (NASDAQ: PNRA  ) is still concerned that it may have gotten too popular. The company feels like it’s gotten to a point where its in-store ordering can feel a bit like a fight for survival. Customers have to line up and pick up food in a handful of different places, checking slips of paper to make sure they get the right orders, and picking those orders up while rubbing elbows with their fellow diners.