H&R Block Inc (HRB): Today's Featured Diversified Services Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

H&R Block ( HRB) pushed the Diversified Services industry higher today making it today's featured diversified services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, H&R Block rose 48 cents (2.9%) to $16.96 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6.4 million shares of H&R Block exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $16.48-$16.97 after having opened the day at $16.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.48. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that increased today were: Bioanalytical Systems ( BASI), up 25%, American Learning ( ALRN), up 19%, Hudson Technology ( HDSN), up 11.4%, and Spar Group ( SGRP), up 10%.

H&R Block, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the provision of tax preparation and related services to the general public in the United States, Canada, and Australia. H&R Block has a market cap of $4.33 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.2, below the average diversified services industry P/E ratio of 18 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are two analysts that rate H&R Block a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates H&R Block as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Swisher Hygiene ( SWSH), down 18.8%, China Yida ( CNYD), down 11.7%, Essex Rental ( ESSX), down 7.5%, and WageWorks ( WAGE), down 7.4%, were all laggards within the diversified services industry with Alliance Data Systems Corporation ( ADS) being today's diversified services industry laggard.

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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