Accenture PLC (ACN): Today's Featured Diversified Services Winner

Accenture ( ACN) pushed the Diversified Services industry higher today making it today's featured diversified services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Accenture rose 90 cents (1.6%) to $57.56 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.4 million shares of Accenture exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $56.89-$57.81 after having opened the day at $57.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.66. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that increased today were: Harris Interactive ( HPOL), up 11.9%, ATA ( ATAI), up 10.9%, American Reprographics Company ( ARP), up 10.7%, and General Employment ( JOB), up 10%.

Accenture plc operates as a management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company worldwide. Accenture has a market cap of $38.4 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.8, equal to the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Accenture a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Accenture as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, American Learning ( ALRN), down 22.9%, World Energy Solutions ( XWES), down 11.8%, Fortune Industries ( FFI), down 11.1%, and UTEK ( INV), down 10%, were all losers within the diversified services industry with Ryder System ( R) being today's diversified services industry loser.

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).