Marriott International Inc. (MAR): Today's Featured 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.

Marriott International ( MAR) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Marriott International rose 54 cents (1.4%) to $40.10 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4.1 million shares of Marriott International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $39.40-$40.12 after having opened the day at $39.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.56. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: Furiex Pharmaceuticals ( FURX), up 66.4%, Seanergy Maritime Holdings ( SHIP), up 41.2%, FreeSeas ( FREE), up 35.7%, and Shengkai Innovations ( VALV), up 33%.
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Marriott International, Inc. operates, franchises, and licenses hotels and corporate housing properties worldwide. Marriott International has a market cap of $12.3 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 25, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Marriott International a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marriott International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, increase in stock price during the past year 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, Liberty Media Corporation ( LMCA), down 85.3%, Starz ( STRZA), down 85.3%, School Specialty ( SCHS), down 79.9%, and DS Torm ( TRMD), down 17.3%, were all laggards within the services sector with United Continental Holdings ( UAL) being today's services sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

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