3 Stocks Pushing The Services Sector 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.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 154 points (0.9%) at 17,210 as of Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,794 issues advancing vs. 1,244 declining with 169 unchanged.

The Services sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.8%. Top gainers within the Services sector included Birks Group ( BGI), up 3.0%, VirtualScopics ( VSCP), up 6.2%, DLH Holdings ( DLHC), up 2.0%, Dover Motorsports ( DVD), up 2.2% and Nevada Gold & Casinos ( UWN), up 2.5%.

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

Nevada Gold & Casinos ( UWN) is one of the companies that pushed the Services sector higher today. Nevada Gold & Casinos was up $0.03 (2.5%) to $1.24 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,641 shares of Nevada Gold & Casinos exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 22,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.19-$1.25 after having opened the day at $1.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.21.

Nevada Gold & Casinos, Inc., a gaming company, is engaged in financing, developing, owning, and operating gaming properties and projects primarily in Washington and South Dakota. The company operates in three segments: Washington Gold, South Dakota Gold, and Corporate. Nevada Gold & Casinos has a market cap of $20.3 million and is part of the consumer durables industry. Shares are down 11.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Nevada Gold & Casinos 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 Nevada Gold & Casinos as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on UWN go as follows:

  • UWN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.42, 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 1.72, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 36.98% is the gross profit margin for NEVADA GOLD & CASINOS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, UWN's net profit margin of 2.22% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, NEVADA GOLD & CASINOS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Nevada Gold & Casinos 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, Dover Motorsports ( DVD) was up $0.05 (2.2%) to $2.33 on average volume. Throughout the day, 9,589 shares of Dover Motorsports exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.27-$2.33 after having opened the day at $2.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.28.

Dover Motorsports, Inc., through its subsidiaries, markets and promotes motorsports entertainment in the United States. The company promotes events under the auspices of the sanctioning body in motorsports, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Dover Motorsports has a market cap of $41.5 million and is part of the consumer durables industry. Shares are down 9.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Dover Motorsports a buy, 1 analyst rates 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 Dover Motorsports 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 a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and deteriorating net income.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on DVD go as follows:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.33, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.13, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 38.02% is the gross profit margin for DOVER MOTORSPORTS INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of DVD's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, DVD's net profit margin of 19.95% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, DVD 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.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, DOVER MOTORSPORTS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Dover Motorsports 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.

VirtualScopics ( VSCP) was another company that pushed the Services sector higher today. VirtualScopics was up $0.28 (6.2%) to $4.77 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8,808 shares of VirtualScopics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $4.49-$4.82 after having opened the day at $4.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.49.

VirtualScopics, Inc. provides imaging solutions for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. VirtualScopics has a market cap of $14.3 million and is part of the consumer durables industry. Shares are up 29.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates VirtualScopics a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates VirtualScopics as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on VSCP 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 Life Sciences Tools & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 646.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.13 million to -$0.73 million.
  • 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 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$1.16 million or 716.90% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • This stock has managed to decline in share value by 5.00% over the past twelve months. 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.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 21.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 28.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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.

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.

More from Markets

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Trump Takes Aim at Auto Imports; Markets End Mixed -- ICYMI

Trump Takes Aim at Auto Imports; Markets End Mixed -- ICYMI

Video: What Oprah's Content Partnership With Apple Means for the Rest of Tech

Video: What Oprah's Content Partnership With Apple Means for the Rest of Tech

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat

Flashback Friday: The Market Movers

Flashback Friday: The Market Movers