Best (And Worst) Tech Vendor Stocks Of 2011

Best (And Worst) Technology Stocks of 2011

One group that may have been excited to see the calendar turn to 2012 is technology stock investors. It was a tough 12 months in 2011 for technology stocks. Two-thirds of the 35 companies tracked by CRN saw their share prices fall year-over-year, including seven that saw their stock valuation plummet by more than 30 percent. While the channel companies fared a bit better, the vendors are probably hoping to put last year behind them. Here's a look at the big winners and losers from 2011.

35. Juniper Networks

Dec. 30, 2011: $20.41
Dec. 31, 2010: $36.92
Change: -44.7%

A lot of companies saw their stocks go down during a big sell off in August, including Juniper when its stock fell almost $8 per share, but Juniper also saw its stock fall almost $5 in May and early June after CEO Kevin Johnson offered a cautious outlook at an investors conference. In October, the company met Wall Street expectations, but Johnson's view of a "cautious posture" was evident that all was still not well in the Juniverse.

34. Panasonic

Dec. 30, 2011: $8.39
Dec. 31, 2010: $14.10
Change: -40.5%

Panasonic's stock decline in 2011 was a slow, steady demise. Its shares fell below $14 in January, below $12 in July, below $10 in October, and hit its 52-week low on Dec. 28. Even the introduction of Johnson's new rugged Toughpad tablets in November wasn't enough to win investor confidence.

33. Hewlett-Packard

Dec. 30, 2011: $25.76
Dec. 31, 2010: $42.10
Change: -38.8%

Where to begin with the year that HP had in 2011? The ouster of CEO Leo Apotheker and naming of Meg Whitman as his successor? The potential sale and then no sale of the Personal Systems Group? The HP Touchpad debacle? The Itanium spat with Oracle? All that and more may have had an impact on investor's confidence in the company last year, as shares fell almost 40 percent year-over-year.

32. Quantum

Dec. 30, 2011: $2.40
Dec. 31, 2010: $3.72
Change: -35.5%

Quantum was one of the hardest-hit stocks during the big August sell off, as shares fell 43 percent from July 21 to August 8. The company's shares gained another 63 cents before the end of the year, but the damage was done.

31. NetApp

Dec. 30, 2011: $36.27
Dec. 31, 2010: $54.96
Change: -34.0%

NetApp shares closed as high as $60.60 in February and were even trading at more than $42 as recently as Nov. 14. But two days later the company said direct account weakness trumped channel growth in its second quarter financials.

30. Advanced Micro Devices

Dec. 30, 2011: $5.40
Dec. 31, 2010: $8.18
Change: -34.0%

AMD's internal struggles in 2011, including the layoff of 10 percent of its workforce, spilled over onto Wall Street, where the company's shares fell by more than a third over the course of the year.

29. Xerox

Dec. 30, 2011: $7.96
Dec. 31, 2010: $11.52
Change: -30.9%

Xerox made a big channel splash this spring with its first partner conference in years and a big push into managed print services, but the company's stock fell precipitously over the summer closing as low as $6.68 in October before gaining some momentum back toward the end of the year.


Dec. 30, 2011: $101.46
Dec. 31, 2010: $132.00
Change: -23.1%

CEO Marc Benioff made a lot of headlines in 2011 for criticizing the competition, but it fell on deaf ears on Wall Street, as the company's shares fell by more than 20 percent.

27. FalconStor

Dec. 30, 2011: $2.58
Dec. 31, 2010: $3.35
Change: -23.0%

FalconStor is another company that got burned bad by the August selloff and never recovered. While shares had traded as high as $4.55 in July, they haven't been above $3 since November. In August, FalconStor also unveiled a unified release all of its key storage virtualization and data protection software applications.

26. Oracle

Dec. 30, 2011: $25.65
Dec. 31, 2010: $31.30
Change: -18.1%

Oracle was another busy company in 2011. On the channel side, the company sought to delineate clear boundaries for direct and indirect sales, developed a new value proposition and distribution strategy for the channel, and boosted operational support for partners. On Wall Street, it was a different matter. The company's shares closed as high as $31.69 as late as Dec. 9, but fell significantly in the last three weeks of the year.

25. CA Technologies

Dec. 30, 2011: $20.22
Dec. 31, 2010: $24.44
Change: -17.3%

Shares of CA fell more than $2 per share on May 13 after the company offered a soft forecast. It remained in the $20-$22 range for most of the fourth quarter, sliding toward the lower figure in December, a month in which the company added a per-terabyte pricing option along with new remote monitoring and management capabilities to its CA ARCserve data protection MSP licensing program.

24. QLogic

Dec. 30, 2011: $15.00
Dec. 31, 2010: $17.02
Change: -11.9%

QLogic shares closed as low as $12.19 on Oct. 3 but hit the $15 mark again in late December. It’s a bit of a recovery after QLogic was one of the big losers in August.

23. Citrix Systems

Dec. 30, 2011: $60.72
Dec. 31, 2010: $68.41
Change: -11.2%

Citrix's stock went on a rollercoaster ride for much of the year, but particularly in the fourth quarter when shares fluctuated from $53 up to $75, down to $58 before ending the year at almost $61. Late in the year, Citrix said it planned to make changes to its Americas Advisor Rewards Program for enterprise accounts that could impact their businesses.

22. Cisco Systems

Dec. 30, 2011: $18.08
Dec. 31, 2010: $20.23
Change: -10.6%

Cisco was a much leaner company at the end of 2011, having shed more than 13,000 employees and restructured and streamlined its sales and engineering units. Shareholders weren't impressed early in the year but shares gained more than $3 in the fourth quarter to almost eliminate its earlier fall.

21. Red Hat

Dec. 30, 2011: $41.29
Dec. 31, 2010: $45.65
Change: -9.6%

Red Hat is another company to have a rollercoaster year, especially in the fourth quarter when shares went from $40 to $53 and back down to $40. In early October, the company said it planned to buy Gluster for $136 million in cash.

20. Western Digital

Dec. 30, 2011: $30.95
Dec. 31, 2010: $33.90
Change: -8.7%

Western Digital was one of a number of tech vendors impacted by the devastating floods in Thailand last year, where many manufacturers have plants. The company's stock jumped more than $2 per share in early December after Western Digital announced it planned to restart production in that country earlier than expected.

19. Websense

Dec. 30, 2011: $18.73
Dec. 31, 2010: $20.25
Change: -8.7%

Websense shares fell below the $20 mark in August, after hitting almost $28 in July, and have traded in the $18-$19 range since. Earlier in the year, Websense partnered with an investment bank to seek potential buyers, but nothing resolute happened the rest of the year.

18. Microsoft

Dec. 30, 2011: $25.96
Dec. 31, 2010: $27.91
Change: -7.0%

Microsoft's stock was about as consistently flat as a stock can be during 2011. Even during the August sell off it only dipped below $24 per share briefly and its 52-week high was below $30. Expect more interest in the company in 2012 when Windows 8 is finally unveiled.

17. Symantec

Dec. 30, 2011: $15.65
Dec. 31, 2010: $16.74
Change: -6.5%

Symantec had nearly reached its pre-selloff mark of $19 per share in October, but slid back in the fourth quarter to close more than $1 off its end of 2010 price. In December, the company sought to drum up interest by shipping a beta release of its upcoming Backup Exec 2012 data protection software.

16. VMware

Dec. 30, 2011: $83.19
Dec. 31, 2010: $88.19
Change: -6.4%

VMware shares fell almost $9 per share on Dec. 21 after a brief bout of tech spending concerns spread among investors. The company also stumbled a bit after announcing big changes to its vSphere licensing.

15. EMC

Dec. 30, 2011: $21.54
Dec. 31, 2010: $22.90
Change: -5.9%

EMC kicked off 2011 with a major product launch and introduced its new VNX/VNXe family of SMB storage appliances. Its stock even rose nearly $4 per share early in the year, but that was all erased by the end of the summer. Shares rebounded in October to nearly $25 per share but settled back down to close the year down 6 percent.

14. Lexmark International

Dec. 30, 2011: $33.07
Dec. 31, 2010: $34.82
Change: -5.0%

Lexmark investors apparently like cold weather. Shares were regularly above $35 until March, when the weather started to warm and approached that mark again in December as winter settled in. Meanwhile, Lexmark continues to transform, with a focus on software integration, enterprise content management and business process management, according to the company.

13. Brocade Communications

Dec. 30, 2011: $5.19
Dec. 31, 2010: $5.29
Change: -1.9%

While many stocks were impacted by the August selloff, none were more so than Brocade, which saw shares fall 45 percent from July 21 to Aug. 8. Luckily for the company, investor confidence returned and shares nearly returned to their end-of-2010 price.

12. Netgear

Dec. 30, 2011: $33.57
Dec. 31, 2010: $33.68
Change: -0.3%

Netgear's nadir wasn't in August along with everyone else but in early October when shares traded as low as $23.45. A few weeks later the stock was back above $30 per share where it has remained ever since. In August, Netgear debuted a new 10-gigabit switch intended for midmarket companies.

11. Lenovo Group

Dec. 30, 2011: $13.15
Dec. 31, 2010: $12.70
Change: 3.5%

Lenovo becomes the first company on the list to post a share price gain during 2011, a modest 3.5 percent increase. Late last year, the company unveiled a new "ruggedized" notebook for the K-12 education market.

10. SAP

Dec. 30, 2011: $52.95
Dec. 31, 2010: $50.61
Change: 4.6%

SAP cracks the top 10 despite losing almost $7 per share in the last month of 2011, a loss that would have moved the company much higher up on the list. During the year, SAP struck a deal to acquire SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion.

9. Dell

Dec. 30, 2011: $14.63
Dec. 31, 2010: $13.55
Change: 8.0%

Dell shares surpassed the $17 mark this summer, but investors can't be too disappointed after an 8-percent return for 2011. Dell stepped up its channel efforts last year and actively pursued HP VARs when the latter company was unsure of its Personal Systems Group future.

8. Seagate Technology

Dec. 30, 2011: $16.40
Dec. 31, 2010: $15.03
Change: 9.1%

Seagate's manufacturing schedule was also impacted by the massive flooding in Taiwan, but the company saw shares increase more than $3 on Oct. 21 after analysts reported Seagate was not as adversely affected as rival Western Digital.

7. Check Point Software Technologies

Dec. 30, 2011: $52.54
Dec. 31, 2010: $46.26
Change: 13.6%

Check Point shares increased a solid 13.6 percent in 2011 and could have been even higher if it had been able to maintain momentum that saw its stock price reach almost $59 in mid-November. In October, Check Point said it had developed an effective technology against botnets its new Anti-Bot Software Blade, slated to be released this quarter.

6. Intel

Dec. 30, 2011: $24.25
Dec. 31, 2010: $21.03
Change: 15.3%

Intel spent much of 2011 planting the seeds for its upcoming Sky Bridge processors and ultrabook technology for notebooks. In preparation, Intel launched a new Mobile Communications Group in late December to focus on phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

5. Motorola Solutions

Dec. 30, 2011: $46.29
Dec. 31, 2010: $39.77
Change: 16.4%

Motorola shares gained nearly $4 per share in the first week of October and added a couple more dollars before the end of the year to close 2011 up more than 16 percent. In October, the company made several changes to its channel executive ranks and appointed a new global channel chief, Juliann Larimer.

4. IBM

Dec. 30, 2011: $183.88
Dec. 31, 2010: $146.76
Change: 25.3%

IBM, long one of the tech industry's bellwethers, enjoyed another fine year on Wall Street with a stock price gain of more than 25 percent. Just a few weeks ago, the tech giant made its annual predictions of technology innovations, this time including a link between the brain and a computer or smartphone.

3. Apple

Dec. 30, 2011: $405.00
Dec. 31, 2010: $322.56
Change: 25.6%

Apple suffered its greatest loss last year when co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs died of cancer. The company's stock lost almost $25 per share immediately and has yet to make it all back. Despite that setback, shares closed 2011 up more than 25 percent.

2. CommVault Systems

Dec. 30, 2011: $42.72
Dec. 31, 2010: $28.62
Change: 49.3%

CommVault shares passed the $40 mark in October and the $50 mark, briefly, in early December. The company had a solid fourth quarter after shares fell more than 16 percent in the third quarter.

1. NetSuite

Dec. 30, 2011: $40.55
Dec. 31, 2010: $25.00
Change: 62.2%

October was a very good month for NetSuite investors, when shares increased from $26 to $38 over the 31-day period. Shares reached as high as $47 in early December before settling back a bit. Still, it was more than enough to make NetSuite the highest-growing tech stock for 2011. In early November, the company reported solid growth and expanding channel sales.