Career Education Corp. (NASDAQ:CECO) was the recipient of a significant decrease in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 848,108 shares, a decrease of 26.1% from the February 15th total of 1,148,041 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 596,003 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.4 days. Approximately 1.2% of the shares of the company are short sold.

CECO has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Barrington Research initiated coverage on Career Education in a research report on Sunday, December 9th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $13.49 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Career Education from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 3rd. BidaskClub upgraded Career Education from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, February 25th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Career Education from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $19.13.

Shares of CECO stock opened at $16.54 on Friday. Career Education has a 52-week low of $11.01 and a 52-week high of $19.07. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 1.68.

Career Education (NASDAQ:CECO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.05. Career Education had a return on equity of 19.78% and a net margin of 9.49%. The company had revenue of $145.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $144.63 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.19 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that Career Education will post 1.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP John Robert Kline sold 4,700 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.20, for a total value of $71,440.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Jeffrey David Ayers sold 10,903 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $13.00, for a total value of $141,739.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 26,521 shares of company stock worth $352,820. Company insiders own 5.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CECO. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in Career Education by 300.4% during the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 27,408 shares of the company’s stock valued at $398,000 after purchasing an additional 20,562 shares in the last quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC raised its position in Career Education by 13.6% during the third quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC now owns 52,101 shares of the company’s stock valued at $778,000 after purchasing an additional 6,233 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in Career Education by 5.9% during the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 120,710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,802,000 after purchasing an additional 6,760 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Career Education by 7.0% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 764,614 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,417,000 after purchasing an additional 50,198 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Career Education by 7.9% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,104,062 shares of the company’s stock valued at $150,854,000 after purchasing an additional 742,938 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.97% of the company’s stock.

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About Career Education

Career Education Corporation operates colleges, institutions, and universities that provide education to student population in various career-oriented disciplines through online, campus based, and blended learning programs in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Colorado Technical University (CTU), American InterContinental University (AIU), and All Other Campuses.

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