Top Small Cap Stocks For 2014

Last year, FedEx (NYSE: FDX  ) unveiled a plan to boost profitability by better aligning its cost structure with global demand, which has remained subdued ever since the Great Recession. The restructuring entailed three main programs: rationalizing the FedEx Express network by eliminating unprofitable capacity; reducing staffing costs through a voluntary buyout program; and replacing outdated aircraft with newer, more efficient models.

Removing old aircraft from the FedEx Express fleet offers the prospect of significant long-term cost savings for the company. Like most cargo companies, FedEx uses planes that are older (on average) than a typical passenger airline’s fleet. However, that means it still operates many outdated, gas-guzzling aircraft like the Airbus A300, Airbus A310, Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) 727, and MD-10. These aircraft also have higher maintenance costs than their modern equivalents, due to their age.

This week, FedEx decided that in order to save fuel, it needed to step on the gas by accelerating its fleet restructuring program. FedEx recently retired 10 older aircraft (A310s and MD-10s) earlier than scheduled, and the company will move up the retirement dates for 76 more planes of those two types. By removing these older aircraft from the fleet earlier than scheduled, FedEx will save hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel and maintenance costs. This is a big positive for shareholders.

Top Small Cap Stocks 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 Stocks For 2014: Rackspace Hosting Inc(RAX)

Rackspace Hosting, Inc. operates in the hosting and cloud computing industry. It provides information technology (IT) as a service, managing Web-based IT systems for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large enterprises worldwide. The company?s service suite includes dedicated hosting comprising customer management portal and other management tools that manage data center, network, hardware devices, and operating system software; and cloud computing that enables customers to provide and manage a pool of computing resources, as well as delivery of computing resources to business when they need them. It offers cloud servers, cloud files, and cloud sites, as well as cloud applications, such as email, collaboration, and file back-ups; and hybrid hosting that provides a combination of dedicated hosting and cloud computing services. The company also offers customer support services. It sells its service suite through direct sales teams, third-party channel partners, an d online ordering. The company was formerly known as Rackspace.com, Inc. and changed its name to Rackspace Hosting, Inc. in June 2008. Rackspace Hosting, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX) was down, falling 17.02 percent to $33.40 after the company reported a drop in its fourth-quarter net income and announced the retirement of its Chief Executive Lanham Napier.

  • [By Myra P. Saefong]

    Rackspace Hosting Inc.’s stock (RAX)  sank 14% in the after-hours session. The company reported earnings of 14 cents a share for its fourth quarter, matching the market’s estimate, according to an estimate from FactSet. Revenue reached $408 million, above analysts’ forecast for $404.7 million.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Rackspace Hosting Inc. (NYSE: RAX) was supposed to have its earnings report out after the close of trading on Monday. The big news is not that Rackspace managed to beat revenue expectations – Rackspace also announced that Lanham Napier has retired from the company as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors.

Top Small Cap Stocks 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 Stocks 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).

Top Small Cap Stocks 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 Stocks 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 Stocks 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.

Top Small Cap Stocks 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 Stocks 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.

Top Small Cap Stocks 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 Paul Ausick]

    The most heavily traded Nasdaq stocks today are Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) and FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL). The difference today is that the stock prices are tumbling, with Plug Power down 38.89% at $6.30 in a 52-week range of $0.15 to $11.70 (a new 52-week high today). The company’s stock is worth $0.50 a share according to an analyst at Citron Research, who recently had some very harsh things to say about 3D Systems Inc. (NYSE: DDD) as well. Plug Power’s share volume was nearly 8-times the daily average of around 31 million shares traded.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Fuel-cell stocks have run out of juice today after Citron Research panned Plug Power (PLUG) in a note today and FuelCell Energy (FCEL) reported earnings.