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

AthenaHealth ( ATHN) pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today making it today's featured Diversified Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, AthenaHealth fell $1.75 (-1.9%) to $89.95 on average volume. Throughout the day, 437,124 shares of AthenaHealth exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 500,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $89.68-$92.23 after having opened the day at $91.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $91.70. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that declined today were: Pointer Telocation ( PNTR), down 13.2%, CACI International ( CACI), down 7.2%, LoJack Corporation ( LOJN), down 6.6%, and Fortune Industries ( FFI), down 6.3%.

athenahealth, Inc., a business services company, provides ongoing billing, clinical-related, and other related services to medical group practices primarily in the United States. The company provides services through the athenaNet, a proprietary Internet-based practice management application. AthenaHealth has a market cap of $3.46 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 194.7, below the average diversified services industry P/E ratio of 200 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 86.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate AthenaHealth a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AthenaHealth as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and premium valuation.

On the positive front, Innovaro ( INV), up 18.9%, Bioanalytical Systems ( BASI), up 15.8%, DLH Holdings ( DLHC), up 13.5%, and ENGlobal Corporation ( ENG), up 12.6%, were all gainers within the diversified services industry with Paychex ( PAYX) 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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