Strayer Education (STRA) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Strayer Education (NASDAQ:STRA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Strayer Education’s first-quarter 2018 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and increased 29.5% year over year. Moreover, revenues improved 1.4% from the prior-year quarter’s figure, owing to higher winter term enrollment. Positive enrollment trend continued in the first quarter with new students and total enrollment up 6% each. Strayer’s convenient, accessible and flexible educational programs are designed to meet the educational needs of working adults. Strayer University is lowering the cost of its programs to enhance affordability. However, tuition cuts and an unfavorable mix of students toward lower undergraduate tuition have resulted in declining revenue per student over the past few quarters. Revenue per student declined approximately 5% in the first quarter of 2018. Importantly, Strayer and Capella decided to merge in an all-stock deal of equal transactions, expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Strayer Education from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 5th. First Analysis upgraded shares of Strayer Education from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $105.00 to $112.00 in a research report on Sunday, March 4th. Piper Jaffray Companies upgraded shares of Strayer Education from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, March 5th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Strayer Education from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Strayer Education from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $109.50.

STRA stock traded up $0.53 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $104.18. 437 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 97,521. The company has a market capitalization of $1.17 billion, a PE ratio of 33.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.58 and a beta of 0.84. Strayer Education has a 1-year low of $76.40 and a 1-year high of $113.01.

Strayer Education (NASDAQ:STRA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 2nd. The health services provider reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $116.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $116.16 million. Strayer Education had a net margin of 4.27% and a return on equity of 18.90%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.95 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Strayer Education will post 4.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Raymond Karl Mcdonnell sold 28,361 shares of Strayer Education stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.59, for a total value of $3,022,998.99. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 178,903 shares in the company, valued at $19,069,270.77. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CAO Thomas J. Aprahamian sold 2,964 shares of Strayer Education stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.11, for a total transaction of $270,050.04. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 13,980 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,273,717.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 97,417 shares of company stock valued at $9,872,310. 6.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Rhumbline Advisers increased its stake in Strayer Education by 2.4% in the first quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 24,928 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $2,519,000 after acquiring an additional 577 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Strayer Education by 26.6% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,011 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $304,000 after acquiring an additional 632 shares during the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Strayer Education by 17.6% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,248 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $429,000 after acquiring an additional 635 shares during the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its stake in Strayer Education by 4.7% in the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 14,194 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $1,432,000 after acquiring an additional 635 shares during the last quarter. Finally, US Bancorp DE increased its stake in Strayer Education by 40.2% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,248 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $201,000 after acquiring an additional 645 shares during the last quarter. 99.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Strayer Education Company Profile

Strayer Education, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of post-secondary education and other academic programs in the United States. The company operates Strayer University that provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business administration, accounting, information technology, education, health services administration, nursing, public administration, and criminal justice to working adult students through its 74 physical campuses primarily located in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions, as well as through online.

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