Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Strayer Education (NASDAQ:STRA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday morning. The firm currently has $100.00 price objective on the health services provider’s stock.

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.”

STRA has been the topic of several other research reports. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a hold rating and issued a $91.00 price target on shares of Strayer Education in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. ValuEngine downgraded Strayer Education from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. BidaskClub downgraded Strayer Education from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued an outperform rating and issued a $118.00 price objective (up from $99.00) on shares of Strayer Education in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $102.25.

Shares of Strayer Education (NASDAQ:STRA) traded up $0.08 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $91.44. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 59,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 65,640. The company has a market capitalization of $1,020.26, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.13 and a beta of 0.90. Strayer Education has a 1-year low of $71.31 and a 1-year high of $100.72.

Strayer Education (NASDAQ:STRA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 30th. The health services provider reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.39 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $108.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $107.54 million. Strayer Education had a return on equity of 17.27% and a net margin of 8.52%. The firm’s revenue was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.25 EPS. equities analysts predict that Strayer Education will post 3.35 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 18th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 4th were paid a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 1st. Strayer Education’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.57%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Strayer Education by 4.4% in the second quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 19,186 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $1,789,000 after purchasing an additional 812 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Strayer Education by 3.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,143,120 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $106,562,000 after purchasing an additional 35,328 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Strayer Education by 4.3% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 256,274 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $23,892,000 after purchasing an additional 10,450 shares during the last quarter. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Strayer Education by 13.3% in the third quarter. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC now owns 261,205 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $22,795,000 after purchasing an additional 30,755 shares during the last quarter. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of Strayer Education by 22.1% in the second quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 17,954 shares of the health services provider’s stock worth $1,674,000 after purchasing an additional 3,249 shares during the last quarter. 93.73% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Strayer Education Company Profile

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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