Reviewing American Public Education (NASDAQ:APEI) and Its Rivals

American Public Education (NASDAQ: APEI) is one of 19 publicly-traded companies in the “General Education Services” industry, but how does it contrast to its competitors? We will compare American Public Education to similar companies based on the strength of its earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for American Public Education and its competitors, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Public Education 0 1 0 0 2.00
American Public Education Competitors 94 523 480 10 2.37

American Public Education currently has a consensus price target of $19.00, indicating a potential downside of 0.78%. As a group, “General Education Services” companies have a potential upside of 5.80%. Given American Public Education’s competitors stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe American Public Education has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.

Volatility and Risk

American Public Education has a beta of 1.12, suggesting that its share price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Public Education’s competitors have a beta of 1.15, suggesting that their average share price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

92.0% of American Public Education shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 70.7% of shares of all “General Education Services” companies are held by institutional investors. 3.6% of American Public Education shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 14.0% of shares of all “General Education Services” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Public Education 5.18% 7.87% 6.55%
American Public Education Competitors 0.91% 0.51% 2.22%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares American Public Education and its competitors revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
American Public Education $300.31 million $56.56 million 20.16
American Public Education Competitors $687.02 million $110.76 million 5.17

American Public Education’s competitors have higher revenue and earnings than American Public Education. American Public Education is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Summary

American Public Education competitors beat American Public Education on 8 of the 13 factors compared.

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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