KBR Inc. (KBR): Today's Featured Diversified Services Laggard

KBR ( KBR) pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today making it today's featured Diversified Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, KBR fell 32 cents (-1.2%) to $27.28 on light volume. Throughout the day, 746,006 shares of KBR exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $26.93-$27.52 after having opened the day at $27.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.60. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that declined today were: China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), down 20.3%, Digital Generation ( DGIT), down 16.8%, Spar Group ( SGRP), down 10.4%, and World Energy Solutions ( XWES), down 9.7%.

KBR, Inc. operates as an engineering, construction, and services company worldwide. KBR has a market cap of $4 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.7, 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 2.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate KBR a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates KBR as a buy. 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, 51job ( JOBS), up 20.3%, WageWorks ( WAGE), up 12.6%, Oxygen Biotherapeutics ( OXBT), up 10%, and Daegis ( DAEG), up 7.9%, were all gainers within the diversified services industry with New Oriental Education & Technology Group I ( EDU) 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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