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HMS Holdings Corporation (HMSY): Today's Featured Services Loser

HMS Holdings Corporation ( HMSY) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, HMS Holdings Corporation fell 34 cents (-1%) to $32.98 on light volume. Throughout the day, 712,108 shares of HMS Holdings Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $32.94-$33.51 after having opened the day at $33.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.32. Other company's within the Services sector that declined today were: Bridgepoint Education ( BPI), down 24.7%, Box Ships ( TEU), down 18%, Scientific Learning Corporation ( SCIL), down 14.4%, and SUPERVALU ( SVU), down 13.8%.

HMS Holdings Corp. provides cost containment services to government and private healthcare payers and sponsors. The company's services include coordination of benefits and program integrity services. HMS Holdings Corporation has a market cap of $2.87 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 64.2, equal to the average diversified services industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate HMS Holdings Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HMS Holdings Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Willdan Group ( WLDN), up 26.9%, New York & Company ( NWY), up 18.9%, China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), up 13.2%, and China Metro-Rural Holdings ( CNR), up 13.1%, were all gainers within the services sector with Walgreen Company ( WAG) being today's featured services sector winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

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