Paychex Inc. (PAYX): 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.

Paychex ( PAYX) pushed the Diversified Services industry higher today making it today's featured diversified services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Paychex rose 37 cents (1.1%) to $32.65 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 5.1 million shares of Paychex exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $32.32-$32.69 after having opened the day at $32.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.28. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that increased today were: Education Management Corporation ( EDMC), up 22.7%, Performant Financial ( PFMT), up 15.2%, Lender Processing Services ( LPS), up 7.3%, and Lime Energy ( LIME), up 7.2%.
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Paychex, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small to medium-sized businesses in the United States and Germany. Paychex has a market cap of $11.62 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Paychex a buy, four analysts rate it a sell, and 18 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Paychex as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, School Specialty ( SCHS), down 28.9%, Exponent ( EXPO), down 10.8%, American Learning ( ALRN), down 8.4%, and Innovaro ( INV), down 8.2%, were all laggards within the diversified services industry with AthenaHealth ( ATHN) 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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