Top Small Cap Companies To Watch For 2014

In the following video, Fool contributor Matt Thalman discusses three stocks he has on his watchlist, as well as a different metric for each one that he believes will tell him whether it’s time to buy, sell, or continue to hold. With Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) Matt believes investors should be watching the dollar value and per-plane number of sales and compare the results against Airbus and smaller aircraft manufacturers. When it comes to Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) , he says, investors need to watch how much content is being sold on a per-hour price and how much comes from Netflix. Lastly, with home Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) , Matt says we should watch the number of underwater homes in the United States.

Check out the video for more details.

The Motley Fool’s chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for this year. Find out which stock it is in the special free report: “The Motley Fool’s Top Stock for 2013.” Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Top Small Cap Companies To Watch For 2014: 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, hottopic.com and torrid.com. 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.

Top Small Cap Companies To Watch For 2014: 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 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.

  • [By Paul McWilliams]

    Paul McWilliams: Oh, absolutely. Another company that most investors probably have never heard of is a tiny little Israeli semiconductor company named EZChip (EZCH).

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    EZchip Semiconductor (NASDAQ: EZCH) was also up, gaining 7.16 percent to $24.11 after a Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced a new product that would not threaten the company as previously thought. Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ: CY) were down 16.05 percent to $9.91 after the company lowered its Q3 forecast.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    EZchip Semiconductor (NASDAQ: EZCH) shares climbed 5.80% to $23.53. The volume of EZchip Semiconductor shares traded was 635% higher than normal. EZchip Semiconductor’s PEG ratio is 1.57.

Top Small Cap Companies To Watch 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.

Top Small Cap Companies To Watch For 2014: 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.

Top Small Cap Companies To Watch For 2014: Sky-mobi Limited(MOBI)

Sky-mobi Limited engages in the operation of a mobile application store in the People?s Republic of China. It works with handset companies to pre-install its Maopao mobile application store on handsets and with content developers to provide users with applications and content titles. The users of its Maopao store could browse, download, and purchase a range of applications and content, such as single-player games, mobile music, and books. The company?s Maopao store enables mobile applications and content to be downloaded and run on various mobile handsets with hardware and operating system configurations. It also operates a mobile social network community, the Maopao Community, where it offers localized mobile social games, as well as applications and content with social network functions to its registered members. The company owns proprietary mobile application technology in the cloud computing, the MRP format, and SDK development environment. As of March 31, 2011, it had entered into cooperation agreements with approximately 523 handset companies to pre-install Maopao. The company was formerly known as Profit Star Limited and changed its name to Sky-Mobi Limited in October 2010. Sky-mobi Limited was incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in Hangzhou, China.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Another stock that’s starting to move within range of triggering a big breakout trade is Sky-mobi (MOBI), which, through its subsidiaries, engages in the operation of a mobile application platform embedded on mobile phones to provide mobile application store and services in the People’s Republic of China. This stock has been red hot so far in 2013, with shares up a whopping 88%.

    If you look at the chart for Sky-mobi, you’ll notice that this stock recently formed a triple bottom chart pattern at $3.31, $3.28 and $3.40 a share. That bottoming pattern occurred over the last two months. Shares of MOBI have now started to uptrend and flirt with its 50-day moving average of $3.76 a share. That move is quickly pushing MOBI within range of triggering a big breakout trade.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MOBI if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $3.71 to $3.83 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 145,934 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MOBI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $4.96 a share. Any high-volume move above that level will then give MOBI a chance to tag its next major overhead resistance levels at $5.55 to $6.13 a share.

    Traders can look to buy MOBI off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $3.40 to $3.28 a share. One can also buy MOBI off strength once it takes out that breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

Top Small Cap Companies To Watch 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 Monica Gerson]

    FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL) tumbled 4.99% to $2.51 after falling 4.00% on Wednesday.

    Posted-In: market losersNews Movers & Shakers Intraday Update Markets

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Tesla have gained 0.8% to $232.83 at 12:18 p.m. That’s not bad considering that Plug Power (PLUG) is unchanged at $6.71, Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) has dropped 2.8% to $5.53 and FuelCell Energy (FCEL) has fallen 4.3% to $2.89.

Top Small Cap Companies To Watch 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.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Shares of OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI) got a boost, shooting up 8.27 percent to $17.54 after the company posted better-than-expected Q3 results.

Top Small Cap Companies To Watch 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 Watch 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?

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Panera Bread Co. (PNRA)  shares fell 3.3% to $157.10 after the bakery-cafe chain cut its outlook after reporting third-quarter earnings.

  • [By Steve Symington]

    Even so, investors have remained frustrated by Chipotle’s refusal to either open stores at a faster pace or raise prices to improve tepid same-store sales growth, which came in at just 3.8% last quarter. That’s shy of competing healthy eateries, including Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA  ) which recently said its same-store growth came in at an impressive 5.1% last quarter. Even still, by not immediately raising prices, Chipotle is intelligently building customer goodwill, and remains open to the possibility of raising prices as economic conditions improve.

Top Small Cap Companies To Watch For 2014: 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.