Shares of The Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ:ABCO) gapped down prior to trading on Wednesday following a weaker than expected earnings announcement. The stock had previously closed at $53.30, but opened at $52.05. The Advisory Board shares last traded at $50.90, with a volume of 2,013,701 shares.

The business services provider reported $0.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.32 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $200.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $196.16 million. The Advisory Board had a net margin of 12.78% and a return on equity of 14.48%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.46 earnings per share.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on ABCO. BidaskClub cut The Advisory Board from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $65.00 target price (up from $57.00) on shares of The Advisory Board in a research report on Sunday, July 9th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $53.00 target price (up from $48.00) on shares of The Advisory Board in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Zacks Investment Research cut The Advisory Board from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 10th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on The Advisory Board from $54.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, May 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.33.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in The Advisory Board during the first quarter valued at approximately $109,000. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. bought a new stake in The Advisory Board during the second quarter valued at approximately $137,000. Howard Hughes Medical Institute bought a new stake in The Advisory Board during the first quarter valued at approximately $158,000. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. bought a new stake in The Advisory Board during the first quarter valued at approximately $159,000. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new stake in The Advisory Board during the first quarter valued at approximately $166,000.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $54.47 and its 200-day moving average is $49.35. The company has a market capitalization of $2.07 billion, a PE ratio of 20.62 and a beta of 1.33.

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About The Advisory Board

The Advisory Board Company is a provider of software and solutions to the healthcare and higher education industries. The Company offers subscription-based membership programs, software and data-enabled services. All of its programs are rooted in best practices and extends across four areas, including Best practices research, Technology, Data-enabled services and Consulting services.

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