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The Services sector as a whole closed the day up 1.7% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.8%. Laggards within the Services sector included

Wilhelmina International

(

WHLM

), down 1.8%,

SmartPros

(

SPRO

), down 6.0%,

Taitron Components

(

TAIT

), down 3.9%,

Acorn International

(

ATV

), down 2.0% and

Learning Tree International

(

LTRE

), down 7.7%.

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

Learning Tree International

(

LTRE

) is one of the companies that pushed the Services sector lower today. Learning Tree International was down $0.15 (7.7%) to $1.81 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,080 shares of Learning Tree International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.81-$1.95 after having opened the day at $1.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.96.

Learning Tree International, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, develops, markets, and delivers a library of instructor-led classroom courses for professional development needs of information technology (IT) professionals and managers worldwide. Learning Tree International has a market cap of $26.0 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 12.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates

Learning Tree International

as a

sell

. The area that we feel has been the company's primary weakness has been its disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LTRE go as follows:

  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Consumer Services industry and the overall market, LEARNING TREE INTL INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was trading one year ago, LTRE is down 49.85% to its most recent closing price of 1.59. Looking ahead, our view is that this stock still does not have good upside potential and may even suffer further declines.
  • LEARNING TREE INTL INC 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. During the past fiscal year, LEARNING TREE INTL INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.00 versus -$0.66 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Consumer Services industry. The net income increased by 399.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2.21 million to $6.62 million.
  • The gross profit margin for LEARNING TREE INTL INC is rather high; currently it is at 50.64%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.39% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Learning Tree International 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.

At the close,

Acorn International

(

ATV

) was down $0.03 (2.0%) to $1.49 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,100 shares of Acorn International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.42-$1.54 after having opened the day at $1.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.52.

Acorn International, Inc., an integrated multi-platform marketing company, develops, promotes, and sells a portfolio of proprietary-branded products; and third parties products. The company operates two sales platforms, including integrated direct sales and a nationwide distribution network. Acorn International has a market cap of $43.9 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 9.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates

Acorn International

as a

sell

. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been an overall disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ATV go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, ACORN INTERNATIONAL INC -ADR's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 39.76% is the gross profit margin for ACORN INTERNATIONAL INC -ADR which we consider to be strong. Regardless of ATV's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ATV's net profit margin of -28.10% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • ACORN INTERNATIONAL INC -ADR has improved earnings per share by 15.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ACORN INTERNATIONAL INC -ADR reported poor results of -$1.45 versus -$0.59 in the prior year.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 13.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 44.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • ATV's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.08 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, ATV has a quick ratio of 2.00, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Acorn International 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.

Wilhelmina International

(

WHLM

) was another company that pushed the Services sector lower today. Wilhelmina International was down $0.10 (1.8%) to $5.50 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,503 shares of Wilhelmina International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $5.50-$5.60 after having opened the day at $5.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.60.

Wilhelmina International has a market cap of $32.9 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 6.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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