3 Diversified Services Stocks Pushing The Industry Higher

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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 55.58 points (-0.3%) at 16,927 as of Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,583 issues advancing vs. 1,391 declining with 165 unchanged.

The Diversified Services industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.3%. Top gainers within the Diversified Services industry included Lime Energy ( LIME), up 2.7%, VirtualScopics ( VSCP), up 3.0%, SmartPros ( SPRO), up 2.5%, China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), up 1.9% and Learning Tree International ( LTRE), up 8.4%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH) is one of the companies that pushed the Diversified Services industry higher today. China HGS Real Estate was up $0.05 (1.9%) to $2.61 on light volume. Throughout the day, 9,107 shares of China HGS Real Estate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.54-$2.68 after having opened the day at $2.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.56.

China HGS Real Estate, Inc., through its subsidiary, Shaanxi Guangsha Investment and Development Group Co., Ltd, develops real estate properties in the People's Republic of China. It is involved in the construction and sale of residential apartments, parking lots, and commercial properties. China HGS Real Estate has a market cap of $115.1 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 57.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate China HGS Real Estate a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates China HGS Real Estate as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on HGSH go as follows:

  • HGSH's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 20.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 157.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • CHINA HGS REAL ESTATE INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, CHINA HGS REAL ESTATE INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.46 versus $0.11 in the prior year.
  • HGSH's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.29 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.13 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The gross profit margin for CHINA HGS REAL ESTATE INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.12%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 28.67% has significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$3.65 million or 2084.23% 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: China HGS Real Estate 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.

At the close, VirtualScopics ( VSCP) was up $0.12 (3.0%) to $4.19 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,261 shares of VirtualScopics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $4.08-$4.19 after having opened the day at $4.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.07.

VirtualScopics, Inc. provides imaging solutions for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. VirtualScopics has a market cap of $12.5 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 17.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates VirtualScopics a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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

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

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on VSCP go as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for VIRTUALSCOPICS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.24%. Regardless of VSCP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VSCP's net profit margin of -27.44% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • VSCP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 13.98% 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.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Life Sciences Tools & Services industry and the overall market, VIRTUALSCOPICS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • VSCP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 21.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • VIRTUALSCOPICS INC has improved earnings per share by 42.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. During the past fiscal year, VIRTUALSCOPICS INC continued to lose money by earning -$1.02 versus -$1.10 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: VirtualScopics 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.

Lime Energy ( LIME) was another company that pushed the Diversified Services industry higher today. Lime Energy was up $0.06 (2.7%) to $2.29 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 27,335 shares of Lime Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.23-$2.33 after having opened the day at $2.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.23.

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 $8.4 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 21.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Lime Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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 63.50%, 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.

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.

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