3 Stocks Pushing The Diversified Services Industry 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 Diversified Services industry as a whole closed the day down 1.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.7%. Laggards within the Diversified Services industry included Learning Tree International ( LTRE), down 9.6%, Lime Energy ( LIME), down 3.6%, PDI ( PDII), down 4.1%, MGT Capital Investments ( MGT), down 2.4% and SmartPros ( SPRO), down 2.3%.

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

PDI ( PDII) is one of the companies that pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today. PDI was down $0.18 (4.1%) to $4.22 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 11,232 shares of PDI exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $4.18-$4.50 after having opened the day at $4.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.40.

PDI, Inc. provides outsourced commercial services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and healthcare companies in the United States. PDI has a market cap of $68.3 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 8.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates PDI a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates PDI as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PDII 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 Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 175.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2.13 million to -$1.61 million.
  • The gross profit margin for PDI INC is rather low; currently it is at 16.98%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -4.91% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$6.46 million or 628.88% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • PDI INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PDI INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.31 versus -$1.75 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 32.3% in earnings (-$0.41 versus -$0.31).
  • In its most recent trading session, PDII 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. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over the past year.

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

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At the close, Lime Energy ( LIME) was down $0.09 (3.6%) to $2.44 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 13,068 shares of Lime Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $2.41-$2.52 after having opened the day at $2.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.53.

Lime Energy Co. is engaged in designing and implementing energy efficiency programs for utilities in the United States. Lime Energy has a market cap of $9.6 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 12.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Lime Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LIME go as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$6.94 million or 339.08% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The gross profit margin for LIME ENERGY CO is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 31.90%. Regardless of LIME's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LIME's net profit margin of -9.51% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • LIME's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 48.62%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • 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 Electrical Equipment industry and the overall market, LIME ENERGY CO's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • LIME 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. Despite the fact that LIME's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.63, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Lime Energy 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.

Learning Tree International ( LTRE) was another company that pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today. Learning Tree International was down $0.25 (9.6%) to $2.35 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8,001 shares of Learning Tree International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $2.35-$2.61 after having opened the day at $2.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.60.

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 $35.4 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 17.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 22.57% 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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