Apollo Group

(

APOL

) pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today making it today's featured Diversified Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Apollo Group fell 52 cents (-1.9%) to $27.51 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.8 million shares of Apollo Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $26.28-$27.65 after having opened the day at $26.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.03. Other company's within the Diversified Services industry that declined today were:

DLH Holdings

(

DLHC

), down 23%,

ITT Educational Services

(

ESI

), down 15.2%,

Strayer Education

(

STRA

), down 12.4%, and

Forrester Research

(

FORR

), down 12.4%.

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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 $3.14 billion and is part of the

services

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.7, equal to the average diversified services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 48% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Apollo Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six 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, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front,

KBR

(

KBR

), up 14%,

Moody's Corporation

(

MCO

), up 11.2%,

Genetic Technologies

(

GENE

), up 8.9%, and

American Reprographics Company

(

ARP

), up 7.8%, were all gainers within the diversified services industry with

MasterCard Incorporated

(

MA

) 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

).

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