Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014

This series, brought to you by Yahoo! Finance, looks at which upgrades and downgrades make sense, and which ones investors should act on. Today, as earnings season gets under way in earnest, analysts are busy tweaking their price targets to track changes in earnings and guidance. We’ll be taking a look at three such tweaks today, for popular stocks: SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK  ) , Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  ) , and HollyFrontier (NYSE: HFC  ) .

Good news first
Let’s take these in order, beginning with SanDisk, which is up more than 2% today after reporting $1.06 per share in profits on $1.5 billion in revenues — beating analyst estimates on both counts. Speaking of counts, the number of analysts upping their price targets on the stock had reached five at last count, with Needham & Co. leading the pack with a projection of $80 a share.

That target is close to $20 above where the shares now trade, suggesting a potential 31% profit in the stock. But can investors realistically hope to capture those profits?

Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: 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:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Although Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG  ) and Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA  ) have become shorthand for fast casual dining, and are seen as the reason fast food restaurants are fast losing sales, there may be a different culprit at work — one that, until now, has been surreptitiously siphoning off sales.

  • [By Adrian Campos]

    The attractive combination of high margins and aggressive revenue expansion has caused Starbucks’ value to increase enormously. How did Starbucks manage to create a strong coffee empire despite increasing competition from traditional players such as Dunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ: DNKN  ) , and the emergence of challengers like Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA  ) ? More importantly, how long will Starbucks’ dominance in the coffee world last?

Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: OmniVision Technologies Inc.(OVTI)

OmniVision Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, and markets semiconductor image-sensor devices. The company offers CameraChip image sensors, which are single-chip solutions that integrate various functions, such as image capture, image processing, color processing, signal conversion, and output of a processed image or video stream for use in various consumer and commercial mass-market applications; and CameraCube imaging devices that are image sensors with integrated wafer-level optics. It also provides companion chips used to connect its image sensors to various interfaces, including the universal serial bus and other industry standard interfaces; and companion digital signal processors that perform compression in standardized still photo and digital video formats. In addition, the company designs and develops software drivers for Linux, Mac OS, and Microsoft Windows, as well as for embedded operating systems, such as Blackberry OS, Palm OS, Symbian, Windows CE, Windows Embedded, and Windows Mobile. Its products are used in mobile phones, notebooks, Webcams, digital still and video cameras, commercial and security and surveillance, and automotive and medical applications, as well as in entertainment devices. The company sells its products directly to original equipment manufacturers and value added resellers, as well as indirectly through distributors worldwide. OmniVision Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1995 and is based in Santa Clara, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell]

    OmniVision Technologies Inc.’s(OVTI) fiscal third-quarter profit rose 43%, boosted by a one-time benefit related to the initial public offering of the company’s equity investee China WLCSP Ltd. Shares rose 15% to $18.60 premarket.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Shares of OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI) got a boost, shooting up 7.22 percent to $17.38 after the company posted better-than-expected Q3 results.

Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: China Metro-Rural Holdings Limited(CNR)

China Metro-Rural Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, primarily engages in the development and operation of agricultural logistics and trade centers in northeast China. It also involves in purchasing, processing, assembling, merchandising, and distributing pearls and jewelry products. The company markets its pearls and jewelry products to wholesale distributors and mass merchandisers in Europe, the United States, Hong Kong, and other parts of Asia. In addition, it develops, sells, and leases residential and commercial properties in Hong Kong and the People?s Republic of China. The company is based in Tsimshatsui, Hong Kong.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Katie Brennan]

    Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR) added 0.9 percent to C$104.93 and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. rose 1.7 percent to C$131.73.

    Niko Resources surged 3.4 percent to $8.64 after the company entered an agreement for a $60 million loan that will be funded by a group of institutional investors. Net proceeds from the loan will be used to fund working capital requirements.

Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: 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 Chuck Saletta]

    Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN  ) is a selection for the real-money Inflation-Protected Income Growth portfolio. In this brief video, portfolio manager Chuck Saletta offers two-and-a-half reasons he’s holding on to Texas Instruments’ stock despite its substantial rise since he bought those shares a little more than a year ago.

  • [By Victor Selva]

    Several tech vendors like Intel (INTC), IBM (IBM), Texas Instruments (TXN) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) have announced job cuts for 2014. These reductions will take effect in the near future while management will continue to explore additional opportunities to improve profitability. 

Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: 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 bebe.com 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 Rich Smith]

    This series, brought to you by Yahoo! Finance, looks at which upgrades and downgrades make sense and which ones investors should act on. Today, our headlines include upgrades for both industrialist Aixtron (NASDAQ: AIXG  ) and fashionista bebe stores (NASDAQ: BEBE  ) . But the news isn’t all good, so let’s start off with a few words on…

  • [By Jeremy Bowman]

    What: Shares of Bebe Stores (NASDAQ: BEBE  ) were back in style today, gaining as much as 11% after receiving an upgrade from Janney Capital from Neutral to Buy.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    bebe stores (NASDAQ: BEBE  ) continues to outfit its shareholders in cash by maintaining its dividend policy. The company has declared a fresh quarterly distribution of $0.025 per share of its stock, payable on June 20 to shareholders of record as of June 6. That amount matches the company’s preceding disbursement, which was handed out in mid-March.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Women’s fashion leader bebe (NASDAQ: BEBE  ) has a new face on its board of directors. The specialty retailer announced Monday it has named Narry Singh to join the board, noting his contributions in the world of digital entertainment.

Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: 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 Richard Stavros]

    I was so scarred by their subsequent crash that when I heard a portfolio manager rhapsodizing about the recent performance of Plug Power Inc (NSDQ: PLUG), Fuelcell Energy Inc (NSDQ: FCEL) and Capstone Turbine Corp (NSDQ: CPST), I could scarcely believe it. These were names that I had not heard in years, names that many investors would like to forget. Indeed, even with the recent run-up in their share prices, the value of these firms today is just a small fraction of what it was back then.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The news also lifted shares of FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) and Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDP) by about 28% and 18%, respectively. But none of the three stocks hit a new 52-week high. That happened two weeks before when Plug Power announced a sale of 1,700 fuel cell-forklifts to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    As a result, Plug Power’s shares are tumbling. They’ve dropped 19% to $6.87 at 2:20 p.m. today–and Plug Power’s plunge has dragged FuelCell Energy (FCEL) down 15% to $2.48 and  Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) down 19% to $4.38.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Since the beginning of the year, fuel cell makers Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) and FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) have posted share price gains of around 289% and 76%, respectively, with most of the spike coming since the middle of February. A year ago, Plug Power stock was trading at $0.25 on its way down to $0.15. The stock closed Monday night at $5.69, after peaking at $11.72 on March 10.

Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: OCZ Technology Group Inc(OCZ)

OCZ Technology Group, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes computer components for computing devices and systems worldwide. It primarily offers solid state drives, flash memory storage, memory modules, thermal management solutions, AC/DC switching power supply units, and computer gaming solutions. The company?s products are used in industrial equipment and computer systems; computer and computer gaming solutions; mission critical servers and high end workstations; personal computer (PC) upgrades to extend the useable life of existing PCs; high performance computing and scientific computing; video and music editing; home theatre PCs and digital home convergence products; and digital photography and digital image manipulation computers. OCZ Technology Group, Inc. offers its products to retailers, on-line retailers, original equipment manufacturers, systems integrators, and distributors. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in San Jose, Califo rnia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    The not-so-great and wonderful OCZ
    There was no company-specific news that caused solid-state-drive maker OCZ Technology (NASDAQ: OCZ  ) to fall almost 8% Wednesday. But an article that appeared on Seeking Alpha  questioning whether the company had six months or less to live before it filed for bankruptcy seemed to coincide with its fall.

Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: 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:

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    The most disappointing investment in the portfolio for 2013 was InterDigital (IDCC). This stock declined approximately 28% during the year, despite posting roughly 25% operating margins. Our thesis on IDCC is that the company should benefit from its wireless technology patents as more smartphones and mobile tablets are connected to the in ternet. IDCC creates wireless technology, applies for patents for the technology it creates, and then licenses its technology to manufacturers who produce the aforementioned products. In the past, Nokia, Samsung, Apple, LG, and many other manufacturers hav e licensed the company’s technology to use in their products and paid IDCC royalties.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Endeavor IP isn’t the only publicly-traded intellectual property enforcement company out there. It is, however, the only one to focus on quality over quantity. Whereas other players like patent portfolio names like InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC) and Vringo, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNG) will literally buy patents by the hundreds – perhaps sometimes without even knowing what some of those patents even cover – in an effort to arm itself with any and every possible patent for any and every contingency. Most are likely worthless, which means companies like InterDigital or Vringo may have wasted shareholder money by buying IP that isn’t capable of bearing revenue.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    When traders think of an IP (intellectual property) company, they tend to conjure up names like InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC), VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSEMKT:VHC), or of course, the well-known Vringo, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNG). And, investors see these patent-enforcement names as such for good reason…. between VRNG, IDCC, and VHC, the three organizations own well over 20,000 technology patents, and their efforts to enforce them have been well-documented, and well publicized. Thing is, as the patent-protection industry matures, companies like Vringo, InterDigital, or VirnetX Holding may well find that it’s the quality of the patent portfolio rather than the quantity of patents that makes an IP owner a potent investment. Enter Endeavor IP Inc. (OTCBB:ENIP).

Top Small Cap Companies To Own For 2014: Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ACHN)

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of treatments for infectious diseases. The company focuses on the development of antivirals for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C; and the development of antibacterials for the treatment of resistant bacterial infections. Its drug candidates for the treatment of chronic HCV include ACH-1625, a protease inhibitor, which is in phase IIa clinical trial for the treatment of chronic HCV; ACH-2684, a pangenotypic protease inhibitor, which is in phase I clinical trial for the treatment of chronic HCV infection; and NS5A inhibitors for the treatment of chronic HCV infection, including ACH-2928, which is to enter a phase I clinical trial, as well as various additional NS5A inhibitors in preclinical development. Its pipeline of product candidates also includes ACH-702 and ACH-2881 for drug resistant bacterial infections; elvucitabine for HIV infection; and AC H-1095 for HCV infection. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in New Haven, Connecticut.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    An under-$10 biotechnology player that’s starting to trend within range of triggering a big breakout trade is Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), discovers, develops and commercializes anti-infective drug therapies in the U.S. and internationally. This stock has been destroyed by the sellers so far in 2013, with shares down big by 66%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Achillion Pharmaceuticals, you’ll notice that this stock has been trending sideways for the last month and change, with shares moving between $2.26 on the downside and $2.98 on the upside. This sideways trading pattern is occurring after shares of ACHN gapped down sharply in late September from $7.50 to under $3 with heavy downside volume. Shares of ACHN are now starting to trend higher and move within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its sideways trading chart pattern.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACHN if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.85 to $2.98 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 2.76 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ACHN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its gap down day high from September at $3.62 a share. Any high-volume move above that level will then give ACHN a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone that started at $7.50 a share.

    Traders can look to buy ACHN off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $2.44 to $2.26 a share. One can also buy ACHN off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

  • [By David Williamson]

    In this video, David Williamson describes how Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN  ) may challenge Gilead’s (NASDAQ: GILD  ) dominance in the Hepatitis C drug market. Achillion is concluding phase 2 clinical trials of its oral interferon medication, and so far, things are looking good. If successful in phase 3 trials, Achillion could directly challenge Gilead’s interferon medication. For investors, the success of Achillion’s drug is attractive, but the potential for Achillion to be a takeover target is even more enticing. The company has a market cap of around $575 million and could easily be bought out by the likes of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    In terms of clinical updates, hepatitis-C-focused biotech Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN  ) announced updated midstage results for its lead compound, ACH-3102, on Tuesday. In trials of genotype-1b treatment naive patients, ACH-3102 plus a ribavirin delivered a 75% success rate in end-of-treatment virologic response. The problem with these results is that not only is Achillion far behind its all-oral peers in terms of development, but its 75% success rate trailed that of Gilead Sciences’ Sofosbuvir, which delivered 100% success rates in some of its late-stage trials featuring genotype-1 patients.