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

Profitability

This table compares American Public Education and Apollo Education Group’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%
Apollo Education Group 0.66% 1.53% 0.65%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for American Public Education and Apollo Education Group, 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
Apollo Education Group 0 0 1 0 3.00

American Public Education currently has a consensus price target of $19.00, suggesting a potential upside of 2.98%. Given American Public Education’s higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe American Public Education is more favorable than Apollo Education Group.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares American Public Education and Apollo Education Group’s top-line 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 1.00 $56.56 million $0.95 19.42
Apollo Education Group N/A N/A N/A ($0.19) -52.61

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

Volatility and Risk

American Public Education has a beta of 1.17, indicating that its share price is 17% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Apollo Education Group has a beta of 0.85, indicating that its share price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.0% of American Public Education shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.3% of Apollo Education Group shares are held by institutional investors. 3.6% of American Public Education shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.8% of Apollo Education Group shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

American Public Education beats Apollo Education Group on 8 of the 11 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.

Apollo Education Group Company Profile

Apollo Education Group, Inc. is a United States-based education provider. The Company offers undergraduate, graduate, certificate and non-degree educational programs and services, online and on-campus, to working adults in the United States and abroad. Its segments include University of Phoenix, Apollo Global and Other. The University of Phoenix segment offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through its colleges and schools in a range of program areas, as well as various non-degree programs. Primarily, the University of Phoenix’s students attend classes online. It also offers educational programs and services at ground locations throughout the United States. The Apollo Global segment includes its institutions based outside the United States and its corporate operations. The Other segment includes College for Financial Planning Institutes Corporation; Western International University, Inc.; TIY Academy, LLC; Apollo Professional Development, and Apollo corporate activities.

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