Why Rubicon Technology, Inc. Soared Today

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Brian D. Pacampara, CFA
Brian D. Pacampara, CFA
Apr 1, 2014 at 12:30PM
Technology and Telecom

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Rubicon Technology (NASDAQ:RBCN) soared 12% after JPMorgan upgraded the electronic materials company from neutral to overweight.

So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Paul Coster boosted his price target to $14 from $12, representing about 24% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while momentum traders might be attracted the Rubicon's sharp pullback in recent weeks, Coster's call could reflect a growing sense on Wall Street that its turnaround potential is too cheap to pass up.

Now what: Acording to JPMorgan, Rubicon's risk/reward trade-off is rather attractive at this point. "Ramping demand for LEDs and sapphire covers used in smartphones and wearable CE devices should drive strong sales of sapphire cores, wafers, and specialized optical components for the industrial sapphire market and for Rubicon," said Coster, "leading to a recovery in gross margins and a return to net profit in late 2014, followed by a strong earnings recovery in 2015." More importantly, with Rubicon boasting a rock-solid balance sheet and trading at a forward P/E discount to its peers, the downside seems limited enough to bet on that turnaround talk.