Strategic Education (NASDAQ:STRA) Raised to “Buy” at Sidoti

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Sidoti upgraded shares of Strategic Education (NASDAQ:STRA) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, Briefing.com Automated Import reports.

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Strategic Education from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, June 13th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on Strategic Education from $180.00 to $188.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, April 30th. Barrington Research restated a buy rating and issued a $185.00 target price on shares of Strategic Education in a report on Thursday, July 9th. Zacks Investment Research cut Strategic Education from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $158.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, June 18th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Strategic Education from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $179.50.

Shares of Strategic Education stock opened at $126.21 on Thursday. Strategic Education has a 52 week low of $108.90 and a 52 week high of $188.64. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $156.32 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $154.96. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.80 billion, a PE ratio of 16.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.63.

Strategic Education (NASDAQ:STRA) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 29th. The health services provider reported $2.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.69 by $0.37. The company had revenue of $255.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $246.54 million. Strategic Education had a return on equity of 11.43% and a net margin of 11.16%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Strategic Education will post 7.4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 4th will be issued a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 3rd. Strategic Education’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.98%.

In related news, Director Robert R. Grusky sold 1,362 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.05, for a total transaction of $224,798.10. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 7,322 shares in the company, valued at $1,208,496.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Vice Chairman J Kevin Gilligan sold 3,117 shares of Strategic Education stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $148.46, for a total transaction of $462,749.82. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 11,068 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,643,155.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 6,139 shares of company stock worth $957,117. Insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of STRA. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Strategic Education in the 4th quarter worth approximately $53,804,000. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Strategic Education by 694,279.2% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 166,651 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $21,883,000 after buying an additional 166,627 shares during the period. Granahan Investment Management Inc. MA lifted its position in shares of Strategic Education by 44.8% during the 1st quarter. Granahan Investment Management Inc. MA now owns 310,848 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $43,444,000 after buying an additional 96,223 shares during the last quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC grew its stake in shares of Strategic Education by 44.5% during the 1st quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 203,979 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $28,508,000 after acquiring an additional 62,795 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp increased its holdings in Strategic Education by 9.2% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 692,103 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $96,728,000 after acquiring an additional 58,067 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 95.56% of the company’s stock.

About Strategic Education

Strategic Education, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of post-secondary education and non-degree programs in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Strayer University, Capella University, and Non-Degree Programs. It operates Strayer University that provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business administration, accounting, information technology, education, health services administration, public administration, and criminal justice for working adult students through its 74 physical campuses located in the eastern United States, as well as through online; and an executive MBA online through its Jack Welch Management Institute.

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