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Ann Inc. (ANN): Today's Featured Services Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Ann (ANN) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.2%. By the end of trading, Ann rose 57 cents (1.9%) to $31.44 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of Ann exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $30.65-$31.73 after having opened the day at $30.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.87. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: VirtualScopics (VSCP), up 15.3%, Taomee Holdings (TAOM), up 12.6%, General Employment (JOB), up 12.2%, and Caesars Entertainment (CZR), up 11.5%.

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ANN Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer of women's apparel, shoes, and accessories in the United States. The company offers a range of career and casual separates, dresses, tops, weekend wear, shoes, and accessories under the Ann Taylor and LOFT brands. Ann has a market cap of $1.49 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 8.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Ann a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ann as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, Inuvo (INUV), down 17.4%, ChinaNet Online Holdings (CNET), down 16.8%, SED International Holdings (SED), down 13.9%, and McGraw-Hill Companies Incorporated (MHP), down 13.8%, were all laggards within the services sector with Lowe's Companies (LOW) being today's services sector laggard.

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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