Apollo Group Inc (APOL): Today's Featured Diversified Services Winner

Apollo Group ( APOL) pushed the Diversified Services industry higher today making it today's featured diversified services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.9%. By the end of trading, Apollo Group rose 59 cents (1.6%) to $36.55 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.6 million shares of Apollo Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $35.87-$36.67 after having opened the day at $35.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.96. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that increased today were: World Energy Solutions ( XWES), up 11.9%, ENGlobal Corporation ( ENG), up 6.1%, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company ( RRD), up 5.8%, and Career Education Corporation ( CECO), up 5.5%.

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 $4.13 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, 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 32.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 negative front, Ambow Education ( AMBO), down 13.9%, National Technical Systems ( NTSC), down 10.3%, Cambium Learning Group ( ABCD), down 6.7%, and China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), down 6.4%, were all losers within the diversified services industry with United Rentals ( URI) 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).