Tech Stocks on the Move: Apple Falls, Facebook Plummets, and Rambus Soars

Among the major indexes, the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC  ) saw the biggest swoon today, falling .60%. The biggest blame for the indexes’ fall was Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , which fell 1.33% after "disappointing" opening weekend iPhone sales. The company sold 5 million iPhone 5s since the phone went on sale in nine countries Friday, but optimistic Wall Street estimates had hoped for up to 8 million sales.

If you’re disappointed by the results, don’t be. While Wall Street was hoping for more iPhone sales, the opening weekend shipments of iPhones were largely sold out, and the larger issue appears to be on the supply side. There have been widespread reports that new display technologies have slowed the rapid build needed to meet pre-order demands.

However, while concerns about the iPhone’s launch weekend may have been exaggerated today, that’s not uncommon in the technology space. Plenty of companies see outsized pops and drops as news trickles out and investors overreact. Let’s look at a couple of tech companies in the news today, and see whether their pops and drops make sense.

Soaring: Rambus a legal victor?
Rambus
(Nasdaq: RMBS  ) shares were up 18% today following a ruling in its continuing case against SK Hynix. That rise could be puzzling, because the company was also found to have destroyed documents. However, with Rambus now only worth about $640 million after today’s jump, any positives can move the share price higher. So, even with the court case seemingly split between Hynix and Rambus, the possibility that Hynix will now have to pay Rambus licensing fees is a positive for a stock that has little in the way of positive outcomes baked into it.

Dropping: Facebook swoons
Facebook
(Nasdaq: FB  ) was down was down 9.1% today on seemingly no news. What gives? Blame an article from Barron’s over the weekend. The cover story was titled "Still Too Pricey," and posited that Facebook’s fair value might be worth as little as $15 per share.

Is the sell-off deserved? From the perspective of the article, I’d say the answer is a definite "no." The Barron’s article says Facebook shares are worth "perhaps only $15." That’s hardly a concrete number, and one that comes with little justification aside from that being the lowest price target on Wall Street.

One reason that the article could be having such an outsized reaction is it correctly cites Facebook’s market capitalization at $61 billion, more than the $45 billion figure quoted on most financial sites. The discrepancy in valuation comes because sites are incorrectly counting Facebook’s diluted share count from its vast option grants. With many investors having an incorrect gauge of just how much they’re paying for Facebook, it looks even more expensive when factoring in its correct share count.

While I don’t feel that the article offers a compelling enough bear call on Facebook to move the shares, there is little doubt the company remains expensive. With continuing lock-ups on Facebook shares expiring in coming months, and its growth decelerating, I’ll be staying away from the company at today’s prices.

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Eric Bleeker owns shares of no companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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