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3 Stocks Pushing The Diversified Services Industry 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 Diversified Services industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.1%. Laggards within the Diversified Services industry included General Employment ( JOB), down 7.7%, Onvia ( ONVI), down 2.2%, VirtualScopics ( VSCP), down 5.0%, EnviroStar ( EVI), down 2.8% and AeroCentury ( ACY), down 2.4%.

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

TAL Education Group ( XRS) is one of the companies that pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today. TAL Education Group was down $0.95 (3.4%) to $26.79 on average volume. Throughout the day, 418,588 shares of TAL Education Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 549,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $26.74-$28.25 after having opened the day at $27.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.74.

TAL Education Group, together with its subsidiaries, provides K-12 after-school tutoring services under the Xueersi brand name in China. TAL Education Group has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 26.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate TAL Education Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates TAL Education Group 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on XRS go as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 45.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • XRS has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. To add to this, XRS has a quick ratio of 1.70, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Diversified Consumer Services industry and the overall market, TAL EDUCATION GROUP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for TAL EDUCATION GROUP is rather high; currently it is at 53.14%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 19.20% is above that of the industry average.
  • TAL EDUCATION GROUP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, TAL EDUCATION GROUP increased its bottom line by earning $0.75 versus $0.43 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.03 versus $0.75).

You can view the full analysis from the report here: TAL Education Group 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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