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 professional services industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on professional 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 professional services stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that 51job (NAS: JOBS) is above the rest in terms of watch interest and for good reason. As CAPS player langtima wrote in June: "Overall solid growth over past 9 years across revenue, equity, EPS. Dominant market share in a company where people will be continue to look to "trade up" employment."
Here are the rest of the 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 (in millions)
CAPS Rating (out of 5)
Odyssey Marine Exploration (NAS: OMEX)
Hill International (NYS: HIL)
IHS (NYS: IHS)
Acacia Research (NAS: ACTG)
Navigant Consulting (NYS: NCI)
Towers Watson (NYS: TW)
Barrett Business Services
SFN Group (NYS: SFN)
ManpowerGroup (NYS: MAN)
Robert Half International (NYS: RHI)
Nielsen Holdings (NAS: NLSN)
Resources Connection (NAS: RECN)
CDI (NYS: CDI)
Sources: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.
Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Towers Watson or are watching an up-and-comer like Barrett Business Services, 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.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of 51job. 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.
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