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3 Stocks Pushing The Services Sector Lower

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.

The Services sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Laggards within the Services sector included Birks Group ( BGI), down 4.9%, Bowl America ( BWL.A), down 1.9%, Spar Group ( SGRP), down 2.6%, General Employment ( JOB), down 6.1% and Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO), down 3.8%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

Maximus ( MMS) is one of the companies that pushed the Services sector lower today. Maximus was down $2.37 (5.1%) to $43.71 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 751,887 shares of Maximus exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 379,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $42.47-$45.13 after having opened the day at $44.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.08.

MAXIMUS, Inc. provides business process services to government health and human services agencies in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia. The company operates in two segments, Health Services and Human Services. Maximus has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 4.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Maximus a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Maximus 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on MMS go as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 41.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MMS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, MMS has a quick ratio of 1.85, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • MAXIMUS INC has improved earnings per share by 29.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MAXIMUS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.68 versus $1.10 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.05 versus $1.68).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the IT Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 30.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $31.69 million to $41.21 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Maximus Ratings Report

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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