American Public Education (NASDAQ: APEI) and Nord Anglia Education (NYSE:NORD) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitability, earnings, risk, valuation, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares American Public Education and Nord Anglia Education’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Public Education $300.31 million 1.02 $56.56 million $0.95 19.89
Nord Anglia Education $907.80 million 3.76 $173.60 million $0.57 57.53

Nord Anglia Education has higher revenue and earnings than American Public Education. American Public Education is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Nord Anglia Education, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares American Public Education and Nord Anglia Education’s 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%
Nord Anglia Education 6.71% 22.11% 3.06%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for American Public Education and Nord Anglia Education, 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
Nord Anglia Education 1 5 2 0 2.13

American Public Education currently has a consensus target price of $19.00, indicating a potential upside of 0.53%. Nord Anglia Education has a consensus target price of $30.50, indicating a potential downside of 6.98%. Given American Public Education’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe American Public Education is more favorable than Nord Anglia Education.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.5% of American Public Education shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 34.8% of Nord Anglia Education shares are held by institutional investors. 3.6% of American Public Education shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.7% of Nord Anglia Education shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

American Public Education has a beta of 1.17, indicating that its share price is 17% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nord Anglia Education has a beta of 0.96, indicating that its share price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Nord Anglia Education beats American Public Education on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

American Public Education Company Profile

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.

Nord Anglia Education Company Profile

Nord Anglia Education, Inc. is an operator of international schools. As of August 31, 2016, the Company taught over 37,000 students, from kindergarten through the end of secondary school (K-12), at its 43 schools in China, Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and North America. The Company’s segments include China, Europe, Middle East (ME), Southeast Asia (SEA), North America and Other. The China segment includes its activities in the People’s Republic of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Europe segment includes the Company’s activities in Switzerland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Spain and Poland. The ME segment includes the Company’s activities in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The SEA segment includes the Company’s activities in Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam. The North America segment includes the Company’s activities in the United States and Mexico. The Other segment includes the Learning Services division.

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