Strayer Education (STRA) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Strayer Education (NASDAQ:STRA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has $123.00 target price on the health services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Strayer outperformed its industry so far this year. Also, earnings estimates for 2018 and 2019 moved up in the past 30 days. The company’s convenient, accessible and flexible educational programs are designed to meet the educational needs of working adults. Strayer University is lowering the cost of programs to enhance their affordability. Importantly, Strayer and Capella decided to merge in an all-stock deal of equal transactions, expected to close in the third quarter of 2018. Post completion, Strayer’s shareholders will own approximately 52% of the combined company. The merger is expected to ensure student success, positive employment outcomes and be accretive to Strayer’s earnings by 20-25% by 2019. 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.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on STRA. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Strayer Education from $107.00 to $118.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, May 3rd. BidaskClub raised shares of Strayer Education from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 18th. TheStreet cut shares of Strayer Education from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 13th. Piper Jaffray Companies raised shares of Strayer Education from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research note on Monday, March 5th. Finally, First Analysis raised shares of Strayer Education from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and raised their price target for the stock from $105.00 to $112.00 in a research note on Sunday, March 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $112.25.



Shares of Strayer Education opened at $108.89 on Wednesday, according to Marketbeat. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.82. Strayer Education has a 52 week low of $76.40 and a 52 week 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 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $116.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $116.16 million. Strayer Education had a net margin of 4.27% and a return on equity of 18.90%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.95 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Strayer Education will post 4.08 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 18th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 4th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 1st. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. Strayer Education’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.15%.

In other news, insider Brian W. Jones sold 3,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.74, for a total transaction of $373,464.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 28,510 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,957,627.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Raymond Karl Mcdonnell sold 13,100 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.55, for a total transaction of $1,422,005.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 178,903 shares in the company, valued at $19,419,920.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 63,374 shares of company stock worth $6,691,155 over the last ninety days. 6.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Poplar Forest Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Strayer Education during the 1st quarter worth about $213,000. US Bancorp DE lifted its holdings in shares of Strayer Education by 40.2% during the 4th quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,248 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $201,000 after acquiring an additional 645 shares during the period. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Strayer Education during the 1st quarter worth about $281,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Strayer Education by 26.6% during the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,011 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $304,000 after acquiring an additional 632 shares during the period. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP lifted its holdings in shares of Strayer Education by 2,526.5% during the 1st quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,073 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $310,000 after acquiring an additional 2,956 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.07% of the company’s stock.

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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