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Apollo Group Inc (APOL): Today's Featured Diversified Services Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Apollo Group (APOL) pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today making it today's featured Diversified Services laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Apollo Group fell $0.36 (-1.8%) to $19.19 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,958,485 shares of Apollo Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,851,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $19.01-$19.64 after having opened the day at $19.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.55. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that declined today were: Lime Energy (LIME), down 10.8%, VirtualScopics (VSCP), down 9.6%, Compx International (CIX), down 8.6% and Planet Payment (PLPM), down 8.6%.

Apollo Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides online and on-campus educational programs and services at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels. Apollo Group has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Apollo Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, National Technical Systems (NTSC), up 38.1%, DLH Holdings (DLHC), up 8.0%, WidePoint Corporation (WYY), up 7.5% and Food Technology Service (VIFL), up 6.6% , were all gainers within the diversified services industry with Alliance Data Systems Corporation (ADS) being today's featured diversified services industry leader.

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

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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