Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Capella Education Co. (NASDAQ:CPLA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $65.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Capella Education reported impressive results in the first two quarters of 2016 with revenues, enrollment levels and earnings per share showing significant improvement. Total enrollment growth in the first two quarters of the year was driven by higher enrollment in FlexPath programs, improved early-cohort persistence and higher percentage of returning learners. Moreover, the company’s focus non-degree programs are encouraging and should top line in the long term. Capella expects the Hackbright Academy and DevMountain acquiistions to contribute to revenues in near term. However, revenues were hurt in the past two quarters by an unfavorable degree mix shift and change in accounting for revenue recognition. Moreover, an unfavorable shift in the student mix from PhD to the masters’ degree program is hurting revenue per student.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a buy rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Capella Education in a report on Monday, September 19th. Barrington Research upped their price target on shares of Capella Education from $60.00 to $66.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Capella Education currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $59.80.
Shares of Capella Education (NASDAQ:CPLA) traded down 0.35% on Tuesday, hitting $57.46. 11,115 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $59.32 and a 200 day moving average price of $54.86. Capella Education has a 12 month low of $39.06 and a 12 month high of $63.01. The company has a market cap of $664.41 million, a PE ratio of 17.82 and a beta of 1.10.
Capella Education (NASDAQ:CPLA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.05. Capella Education had a net margin of 9.12% and a return on equity of 20.80%. The firm had revenue of $106.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $105.93 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.83 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Capella Education will post $3.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 26th will be given a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 24th. Capella Education’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.30%.
In other news, Director Darrell R. Tukua sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.23, for a total value of $306,150.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO J Kevin Gilligan sold 16,892 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.23, for a total transaction of $1,000,513.16. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 69,705 shares in the company, valued at $4,128,627.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CPLA. Makaira Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Capella Education during the first quarter worth $36,666,000. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Capella Education during the fourth quarter worth $7,941,000. Royce & Associates LP increased its stake in Capella Education by 9.1% in the second quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 1,022,471 shares of the company’s stock worth $53,823,000 after buying an additional 85,500 shares in the last quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. increased its stake in Capella Education by 124.2% in the second quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 137,688 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,179,000 after buying an additional 76,269 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Numeric Investors LLC acquired a new stake in Capella Education during the second quarter worth $2,885,000. 90.37% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Capella Education
Capella Education Company is an online postsecondary education services company. The Company’s academic programs are delivered through its subsidiary, Capella University (the University), which is an online academic institution offering online postsecondary education services primarily to working adults.
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