Comparing Strayer Education (STRA) & Aspen Group (ASPU)

Strayer Education (NASDAQ: STRA) and Aspen Group (NASDAQ:ASPU) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, risk, dividends, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Strayer Education and Aspen Group, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Strayer Education 0 0 3 0 3.00
Aspen Group 0 1 2 0 2.67



Strayer Education presently has a consensus target price of $108.67, suggesting a potential downside of 4.45%. Aspen Group has a consensus target price of $12.13, suggesting a potential upside of 60.60%. Given Aspen Group’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Aspen Group is more favorable than Strayer Education.

Dividends

Strayer Education pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Aspen Group does not pay a dividend. Strayer Education pays out 32.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

98.1% of Strayer Education shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 5.8% of Aspen Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.7% of Strayer Education shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 26.3% of Aspen Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Strayer Education and Aspen Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Strayer Education 4.27% 18.90% 12.39%
Aspen Group -21.59% -35.74% -18.98%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Strayer Education and Aspen Group’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Strayer Education $454.85 million 2.83 $20.61 million $3.11 36.57
Aspen Group $14.25 million 9.72 -$1.10 million ($0.10) -75.50

Strayer Education has higher revenue and earnings than Aspen Group. Aspen Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Strayer Education, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Strayer Education has a beta of 0.82, meaning that its stock price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aspen Group has a beta of 0.71, meaning that its stock price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Strayer Education beats Aspen Group on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Strayer Education

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. It also offers an executive MBA online through its Jack Welch Management Institute. In addition, the company operates New York Code and Design Academy that provides non-degree courses in Web and application software development primarily through its campus in New York City. Strayer Education, Inc. was founded in 1892 and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.

About Aspen Group

Aspen Group, Inc. provides online higher education services in the United States. The company offers certificate programs; and associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a range of areas, including nursing, business, education, technology, and professional studies. As of April 30, 2017, it had 4,681 degree-seeking students enrolled. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

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