3 Stocks Pushing The Services Sector Lower

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.

The Services sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Laggards within the Services sector included Learning Tree International ( LTRE), down 5.2%, Bowl America ( BWL.A), down 6.4%, General Employment ( JOB), down 5.2%, Nevada Gold & Casinos ( UWN), down 2.9% and Peerless Systems ( PRLS), down 1.6%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

Peerless Systems ( PRLS) is one of the companies that pushed the Services sector lower today. Peerless Systems was down $0.06 (1.6%) to $3.66 on light volume. Throughout the day, 300 shares of Peerless Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $3.65-$3.66 after having opened the day at $3.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.72.

Peerless Systems Corporation develops and licenses software-based digital imaging and networking systems and supporting electronic technologies to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of digital document products located primarily in the United States and Japan. Peerless Systems has a market cap of $10.1 million and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are up 2.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Peerless Systems 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 and expanding profit margins. 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 disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PRLS go as follows:

  • PRLS has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 49.98, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for PEERLESS SYSTEMS CORP is currently very high, coming in at 85.74%. Regardless of PRLS's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PRLS's net profit margin of 9.32% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, PEERLESS SYSTEMS CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.93 million or 374.55% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Peerless Systems Ratings Report

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At the close, Nevada Gold & Casinos ( UWN) was down $0.03 (2.9%) to $1.02 on average volume. Throughout the day, 23,658 shares of Nevada Gold & Casinos exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.01-$1.08 after having opened the day at $1.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.05.

Nevada Gold & Casinos, Inc., a gaming company, engages in financing, developing, owning, and operating gaming properties and projects primarily in Washington, South Dakota, and Colorado. The company operates in four segments: Washington Gold, South Dakota Gold, Corporate, and Assets. Nevada Gold & Casinos has a market cap of $16.1 million and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are down 23.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Nevada Gold & Casinos 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, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on UWN go as follows:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.46, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, UWN has a quick ratio of 1.59, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 37.29% is the gross profit margin for NEVADA GOLD & CASINOS INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of UWN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, UWN's net profit margin of -1.37% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, UWN has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 186.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.24 million to -$0.20 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Nevada Gold & Casinos Ratings Report

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Learning Tree International ( LTRE) was another company that pushed the Services sector lower today. Learning Tree International was down $0.14 (5.2%) to $2.54 on light volume. Throughout the day, 300 shares of Learning Tree International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $2.54-$2.56 after having opened the day at $2.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.68.

Learning Tree International, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, develops, markets, and delivers a library of instructor-led classroom courses to meet the professional development needs of information technology (IT) professionals and managers worldwide. Learning Tree International has a market cap of $33.8 million and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are down 14.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Learning Tree International as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LTRE go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Consumer Services industry. The net income has decreased by 14.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$4.02 million to -$4.60 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$4.36 million or 87.65% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, LTRE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 21.75% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Consumer Services industry and the overall market, LEARNING TREE INTL INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 42.87% is the gross profit margin for LEARNING TREE INTL INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of LTRE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LTRE's net profit margin of -18.40% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Learning Tree International Ratings Report

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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