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Published on : Dec 24, 2014

The passing year was an eventful one for the business services sector. The first three quarters of 2014 were excellent for the business services sector, as year-over-year earnings growth rates of 9.7%, 10.0%, and 11.3% were posted in the first three quarters, respectively. The business services sector, one of the more labor-intensive sectors in the economy, was also influential in lowering the unemployment rate in the country; the rate and the number of unemployed people went down by 1.2% and 1.7 million, respectively, in 2014.

Here are the three stocks that made the most of the passing year and stand to benefit the most from the events in the sector in the recent past.

1. CTPartners Executive Search Inc.: This New York-based stock offers executive recruitment to their network of clients in a wide range of locations and industries. CTPartners had a 26.28% average earning surprise over the trailing four quarters. With an admirable year-to-date return of 169.64% and a market cap of US$109.78 million, CTP stands at the top rung.

2. Fidelity National Information Services, Inc.: This Jacksonville-based provider of payment and banking tech solutions services about 14,000 institutions in more than 100 countries. Fidelity had a 13.99% average earning surprise over the trailing four quarters. With a share price return of 12.07% and a market cap of US$17.07 billion, FIS claims the second spot.

3. Gartner Inc.: Last but not least, this Stamford-based company is a leader in the global IT research and advisory field. Gartner had a 12.04% average earning surprise over the trailing four quarters. With an admirable year-to-date return of 16.78% and a market cap of US$7.3 billion, Gartner Inc. concludes the list of the highest performing business services stocks of 2014.