The Services sector as a whole closed the day down 1.8% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.7%. Laggards within the Services sector included Discovery Communications ( DISCB), down 3.0%, Liberty Interactive Corp Class B ( LVNTB), down 7.1%, Spar Group ( SGRP), down 2.4%, QKL Stores ( QKLS), down 5.0% and Dover Motorsports ( DVD), down 3.4%.

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

QKL Stores ( QKLS) is one of the companies that pushed the Services sector lower today. QKL Stores was down $0.08 (5.0%) to $1.52 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 10,483 shares of QKL Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.52-$1.59 after having opened the day at $1.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.60.

QKL Stores Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates a supermarket chain in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia. QKL Stores has a market cap of $2.5 million and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 17.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates QKL Stores as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on QKLS go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 4.53 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.36, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Food & Staples Retailing industry and the overall market, QKL STORES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for QKL STORES INC is rather low; currently it is at 16.06%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -8.04% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$7.74 million or 457.08% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • QKL STORES INC's earnings per share declined by 20.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, QKL STORES INC reported poor results of -$17.71 versus -$9.23 in the prior year.

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

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At the close, Spar Group ( SGRP) was down $0.03 (2.4%) to $1.21 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 12,180 shares of Spar Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.21-$1.24 after having opened the day at $1.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.24.

SPAR Group Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides merchandising and marketing services worldwide. Spar Group has a market cap of $28.2 million and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 11.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Spar Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 SGRP go as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income increased by 79.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.37 million to -$0.07 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • SPAR GROUP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable Earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. During the past fiscal year, SPAR GROUP INC's EPS of $0.15 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $0.15.
  • The gross profit margin for SPAR GROUP INC is rather low; currently it is at 23.62%. Regardless of SGRP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SGRP's net profit margin of -0.25% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1.44 million or 41.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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

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Discovery Communications ( DISCB) was another company that pushed the Services sector lower today. Discovery Communications was down $0.84 (3.0%) to $27.16 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 200 shares of Discovery Communications exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $27.16-$27.16 after having opened the day at $27.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.00.

Discovery Communications, Inc. operates as a media company. The company operates through U.S. Networks; International Networks; and Education and Other segments. Discovery Communications has a market cap of $193.3 million and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 24.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Discovery Communications a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Discovery Communications as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on DISCB go as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC is currently very high, coming in at 89.66%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 17.29% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $331.00 million or 42.67% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.92%.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.31, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Media industry. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.10 is sturdy.

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

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