Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI) and American Public Education (NASDAQ:APEI) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, risk, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership and dividends.

Risk and Volatility

Bridgepoint Education has a beta of 2.17, suggesting that its stock price is 117% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Public Education has a beta of 1.17, suggesting that its stock price is 17% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

91.3% of Bridgepoint Education shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.4% of American Public Education shares are owned by institutional investors. 41.5% of Bridgepoint Education shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.6% of American Public Education shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Bridgepoint Education and American Public Education’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Bridgepoint Education -1.39% 9.16% 5.13%
American Public Education 6.01% 9.07% 7.47%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Bridgepoint Education and American Public Education, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Bridgepoint Education 0 1 0 0 2.00
American Public Education 0 2 0 0 2.00

Bridgepoint Education currently has a consensus target price of $14.00, suggesting a potential upside of 43.44%. American Public Education has a consensus target price of $24.00, suggesting a potential upside of 8.11%. Given Bridgepoint Education’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Bridgepoint Education is more favorable than American Public Education.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Bridgepoint Education and American Public Education’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Bridgepoint Education $510.19 million 0.56 $33.22 million ($0.06) -162.64
American Public Education $304.86 million 1.18 $60.79 million $1.13 19.65

American Public Education has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Bridgepoint Education. Bridgepoint Education is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than American Public Education, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

About Bridgepoint Education

Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (Bridgepoint) is a provider of postsecondary education services. The Company’s academic institutions include Ashford University and University of the Rockies. Bridgepoint’s institutions conduct ongoing faculty and student assessment processes, and provide a range of student services. It offers Constellation, its learning platform, Waypoint Outcomes, its assessment software, and its mobile application technology. As of December 31, 2016, its institutions offered over 1,200 courses and over 80 degree programs. Ashford University offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs online. Ashford University comprises four colleges: the Forbes School of Business and Technology, the College of Education, the College of Health, Human Services and Science, and the College of Liberal Arts. University of the Rockies is a graduate institution that offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in the social and behavioral sciences.

About American Public Education

American Public Education, Inc. provides online and on-campus postsecondary education. The Company provides postsecondary education through its subsidiary institutions, American Public University System, Inc. (APUS) and Hondros College of Nursing (HCON). It operates through two segments: American Public Education Segment, which consists of the operational activities of APUS, other corporate activities, and minority investments, and Hondros College of Nursing Segment, which consists of the operational activities of HCON. APUS provides online postsecondary education to approximately 88,700 adult learners serving the needs of the military and public safety communities as of December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2016, HCON provided nursing education to approximately 1,300 students across five campuses in the State of Ohio, as well as online. It offers a Diploma in Practical Nursing and an Associate Degree in Nursing. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had approximately 90,000 students.

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