Strayer Education (NASDAQ:STRA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Strayer Education’s convenient, accessible and flexible educational programs are designed to meet the educational needs of working adults. Strayer University is reducing the cost of its programs in order to enhance their affordability. Moreover, the acquisition of New York Code and Design Academy is encouraging, given the high demand for web and applications software development professionals.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% to 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 also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Strayer Education from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $118.00 price target (up from $99.00) on shares of Strayer Education in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $87.00 price target on shares of Strayer Education in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Strayer Education has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $103.50.

Shares of Strayer Education (NASDAQ STRA) traded up $3.17 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $98.61. 182,600 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 75,625. Strayer Education has a fifty-two week low of $71.31 and a fifty-two week high of $100.72. The company has a market capitalization of $1,021.31, a P/E ratio of 30.20 and a beta of 0.90.

Strayer Education (NASDAQ:STRA) last announced its earnings results on Monday, October 30th. The health services provider reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39 by ($0.05). Strayer Education had a return on equity of 17.27% and a net margin of 8.52%. The firm had revenue of $108.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $107.54 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.25 EPS. Strayer Education’s quarterly revenue was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Strayer Education will post 3.39 EPS for the current year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Strayer Education by 15.1% during the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,680 shares of the health services provider’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 221 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its holdings in Strayer Education by 79.8% during the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 2,068 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $192,000 after purchasing an additional 918 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp purchased a new position in Strayer Education during the second quarter worth about $202,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Strayer Education during the second quarter worth about $211,000. Finally, M&T Bank Corp purchased a new position in Strayer Education during the second quarter worth about $212,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.75% of the company’s stock.

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About Strayer Education

Strayer Education, Inc is an education services holding company. The Company provides post-secondary education and other academic programs, through its subsidiaries, Strayer University (the University) and New York Code and Design Academy (NYCDA). As of December 31, 2016, the University offered undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business administration, accounting, information technology, education, health services administration, nursing, public administration and criminal justice at 74 physical campuses located in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions of the United States, and online.

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