Apollo Group Inc (APOL): Today's Featured Services Laggard

Apollo Group ( APOL) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Apollo Group fell $0.41 (-2.3%) to $17.53 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,192,566 shares of Apollo Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,784,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $17.47-$18.17 after having opened the day at $18.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.94. Other companies within the Services sector that declined today were: Taomee Holdings ( TAOM), down 15.7%, Mandalay Digital Group ( MNDLD), down 10.3%, Mandalay Digital Group ( MNDL), down 10.3% and WidePoint Corporation ( WYY), down 10.1%.

Apollo Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides online and on-campus educational programs and services at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels. Apollo Group has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 14.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Apollo Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Luna Innovations ( LUNA), up 40.8%, Era Group ( ERA), up 23.0%, China Jo-Jo Drugstores ( CJJD), up 16.4% and ENGlobal Corporation ( ENG), up 12.6% , were all gainers within the services sector with Home Depot ( HD) being today's featured services sector leader.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.
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