People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.
With this data we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the case of the consumer services industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on consumer services stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at what stocks people are most interested in an industry, you can get ahead of the curve by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked.
The most-watched consumer services stock is ...Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Bridgepoint Education (NYS: BPI) is above the rest in terms of watch interest and for good reason. As CAPS player XMFConnor wrote last month:
[T]he for profit sector had fallen so much due to the scrutiny that any company in the sector, regardless of their exposure to potential regulations, was beaten down just like the rest of them. This created too much selling pressure on the players with the least risk, or the "least bad" in the industry ... such as [Bridgepoint].
Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.
Market Cap (millions)
CAPS Rating (out of 5)
Clean Energy Fuels (NAS: CLNE)
Coinstar (NAS: CSTR)
K12 (NYS: LRN)
Weight Watchers International (NYS: WTW)
Stonemor Partners LP (NAS: STON)
Corinthian Colleges (NAS: COCO)
Apollo Group (NAS: APOL)
H&R Block (NYS: HRB)
Hillenbrand (NYS: HI)
American Public Education (NAS: APEI)
Strayer Education (NAS: STRA)
ITT Educational Services (NYS: ESI)
DeVry (NYS: DV)
China Education Alliance
Source: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.
Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Apollo Group or are watching an up-and-comer like China Education Alliance, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.
At the time thisarticle was published Dan Dzombak'smusings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account:@DanDzombak.The Motley Fool o wns shares of American Public Education, Stonemor Partners, Hillenbrand, and Bridgepoint Education.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of K12 and Hillenbrand. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.