5 Stocks Improving Performance Of The Services Sector

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

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 46 points (-0.3%) at 14,513 as of Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,149 issues advancing vs. 1,749 declining with 144 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include SAIC ( SAI), up 4.7%, Amazon.com ( AMZN), up 1.7%, Southwest Airlines ( LUV), up 1.2%, Canadian National Railway ( CNI), up 0.6% and Visa ( V), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Best Buy ( BBY), down 3.7%, Ryanair Holdings ( RYAAY), down 2.6%, eBay ( EBAY), down 1.3%, Las Vegas Sands ( LVS), down 1.1% and Priceline.com ( PCLN), down 0.4%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide ( HOT) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is up $1.58 (2.6%) to $62.54 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.60-$62.74 after having opened the day at $60.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.96.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. operates as a hotel and leisure company worldwide. The company operates luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts, residences, retreats, select-service hotels, and extended stay hotels under the St. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has a market cap of $11.7 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Charter Communications ( CHTR) is up $1.48 (1.4%) to $104.47 on light volume Thus far, 355,196 shares of Charter Communications exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $102.62-$104.68 after having opened the day at $102.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $102.99.

Charter Communications, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides entertainment, information, and communications solutions to residential and commercial customers in the United States. Charter Communications has a market cap of $10.4 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 35.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Charter Communications a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Charter Communications as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Charter Communications Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Kroger ( KR) is up $0.35 (1.1%) to $33.14 on average volume Thus far, 1.7 million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.64-$33.16 after having opened the day at $32.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.79.

The Kroger Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. The company also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. Kroger has a market cap of $16.9 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 26.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Kroger a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kroger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Kroger Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Ross Stores ( ROST) is up $0.83 (1.4%) to $60.26 on light volume Thus far, 955,098 shares of Ross Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $58.83-$60.27 after having opened the day at $58.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.43.

Ross Stores, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores under the Ross Dress for Less and dd's DISCOUNTS brand names in the United States. Ross Stores has a market cap of $13.1 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Ross Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ross Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Ross Stores Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Target ( TGT) is up $0.92 (1.3%) to $69.53 on average volume Thus far, 2.6 million shares of Target exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $68.49-$69.84 after having opened the day at $68.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.61.

Target Corporation operates general merchandise stores in the United States. Target has a market cap of $43.9 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Target a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Target as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Target Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.
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