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The Diversified Services industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.1%. Laggards within the Diversified Services industry included SmartPros ( SPRO), down 2.3%, Internet Patents ( PTNT), down 3.7%, Wilhelmina International ( WHLM), down 4.8%, EnviroStar ( EVI), down 2.5% and Learning Tree International ( LTRE), down 9.9%.

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

DeVry Education Group ( DV) is one of the companies that pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today. DeVry Education Group was down $1.88 (5.3%) to $33.98 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,207,762 shares of DeVry Education Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 515,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $33.90-$35.95 after having opened the day at $35.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.86.

DeVry Education Group Inc. provides educational services worldwide. It operates in three segments: Medical and Healthcare; International and Professional Educational; and Business, Technology and Management. DeVry Education Group has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 24.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate DeVry Education Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates DeVry Education Group as a buy. 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, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on DV go as follows:

  • DV 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. To add to this, DV has a quick ratio of 1.82, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 Diversified Consumer Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DEVRY EDUCATION GROUP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • DEVRY EDUCATION GROUP INC's earnings per share declined by 13.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DEVRY EDUCATION GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.33 versus $1.90 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.61 versus $2.33).
  • DV, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 8.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.3%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: DeVry Education Group Ratings Report

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At the close, Learning Tree International ( LTRE) was down $0.19 (9.9%) to $1.72 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 34,646 shares of Learning Tree International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.71-$1.80 after having opened the day at $1.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.91.

Learning Tree International, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, develops, markets, and delivers a library of instructor-led classroom courses for professional development needs of information technology (IT) professionals and managers worldwide. Learning Tree International has a market cap of $25.0 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 9.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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.

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 significantly decreased by 257.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.73 million to -$1.15 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $0.02 million or 98.58% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 43.13%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 250.00% compared to the year-earlier 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 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.
  • 48.71% 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 -4.22% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

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

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Wilhelmina International ( WHLM) was another company that pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today. Wilhelmina International was down $0.26 (4.8%) to $5.20 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 9,935 shares of Wilhelmina International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $4.90-$5.40 after having opened the day at $5.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.46.

Wilhelmina International has a market cap of $32.0 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 9.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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