Today's Top Performers In Services

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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 15 points (0.1%) at 14,565 as of Thursday, April 4, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,512 issues advancing vs. 1,354 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Services sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Liquidity Service ( LQDT), up 12.5%, Panera Bread Company ( PNRA), up 4.0%, Macy's ( M), up 2.8%, Alaska Air Group ( ALK), up 2.5% and Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrances ( ULTA), up 2.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Genesee & Wyoming ( GWR), down 3.0%, AutoNation ( AN), down 2.0%, Norfolk Southern Corporation ( NSC), down 1.8%, Hertz Global Holdings ( HTZ), down 1.7% and CSX ( CSX), down 1.4%.

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

5. Charter Communications ( CHTR) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, Charter Communications is up $1.58 (1.5%) to $103.86 on light volume Thus far, 327,126 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 $101.79-$104.05 after having opened the day at $102.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $102.28.

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 $10.5 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 36.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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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4. As of noon trading, Kroger ( KR) is up $0.36 (1.1%) to $32.40 on light volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.02-$32.53 after having opened the day at $32.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.04.

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 $17.0 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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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3. As of noon trading, Ross Stores ( ROST) is up $0.53 (0.9%) to $59.79 on average volume Thus far, 1.1 million 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 $59.30-$60.31 after having opened the day at $59.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.26.

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 $13.2 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 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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2. As of noon trading, AutoZone ( AZO) is up $6.72 (1.7%) to $400.70 on light volume Thus far, 85,872 shares of AutoZone exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 443,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $394.00-$401.00 after having opened the day at $395.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $393.98.

AutoZone, Inc. engages in retailing and distributing automotive replacement parts and accessories. AutoZone has a market cap of $14.5 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate AutoZone a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AutoZone as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full AutoZone Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Best Buy ( BBY) is up $2.62 (12.1%) to $24.27 on heavy volume Thus far, 29.7 million shares of Best Buy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $21.71-$24.57 after having opened the day at $21.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.65.

Best Buy Co., Inc. operates as a retailer of consumer electronics, computing and mobile phone products, entertainment products, appliances, and related services primarily in the United States, Europe, Canada, and China. Best Buy has a market cap of $7.3 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 82.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Best Buy a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Best Buy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally high debt management risk. Get the full Best Buy Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

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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