AutoNation Inc (AN): Today's Featured Services Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

AutoNation ( AN) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, AutoNation fell $0.85 (-1.6%) to $52.20 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,378,737 shares of AutoNation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,022,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $52.03-$53.70 after having opened the day at $53.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.05. Other companies within the Services sector that declined today were: Sport Chalet ( SPCHB), down 13.4%, Cambium Learning Group ( ABCD), down 11.1%, Century Casinos ( CNTY), down 10.7% and China Yida ( CNYD), down 9.2%.

AutoNation, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Domestic, Import, and Premium Luxury. AutoNation has a market cap of $6.4 billion and is part of the specialty retail industry. Shares are up 33.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates AutoNation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AutoNation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Point.360 ( PTSX), up 24.2%, Innotrac Corporation ( INOC), up 21.7%, General Employment ( JOB), up 17.7% and Coast Distribution System ( CRV), up 11.7% , were all gainers within the services sector with United Continental Holdings ( UAL) 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).

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