American Public Education, Inc.
) is set to report fourth quarter and full year 2012 results on
Feb 28. Last quarter it posted a 20% positive surprise. Let's see
how things are shaping up for this announcement. The stock
carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Growth Factors This Past Quarter
American Public's third quarter 2012 earnings beat both the
Zacks Consensus Estimate and prior-year quarter's adjusted
earnings per share by 20%. Earnings were also significantly above
the guidance range. Cost savings, owing to the company's
strategic initiatives, made up for the modest revenue growth,
leading to the earnings beat.
Revenue and total and new enrollment growth were almost in
line with management's expectations. American Public has been
consistently delivering positive growth in revenues, earnings and
enrollments, despite a challenging industry environment.
This is impressive, as most other education companies like
Apollo Group, Inc.
Capella Education Company
) have been witnessing consistent enrollment declines.
The fourth quarter Zacks Consensus Earnings Estimate stands at
67 cents, at the higher end of management guidance range of 64
cents and 67 cents a share. American Public's fourth quarter
financial guidance is more muted compared to solid results in the
first three quarters of the year.
The company is expecting revenue growth in the range of
approximately 9% to 13% for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Management now expects fourth quarter 2012 enrollments to
increase between 8% and 12% over the prior-year period.
New student enrollments are expected to decline between 3% and
7%. Management noted that if registrations from students who
abused funds were excluded from the prior-year quarter figure,
fourth-quarter 2012 new enrollment growth would have been up 8%
For the full year, management expects earnings in the range of
Other Stocks to Consider
Our model states that a stock needs to have both a positive
Earnings ESP (Read:
Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method
) and a Zacks Rank of #1, #2 or #3 to beat earnings estimates.
You could consider some other education stocks like:
), with an Earnings ESP of +2.50% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)
Apollo Group, with an Earnings ESP of +11.11% and a Zacks Rank
We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and #5
(Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement,
especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions
AMER PUB EDUCAT (APEI): Free Stock Analysis
APOLLO GROUP (APOL): Free Stock Analysis
CAPELLA EDUCATN (CPLA): Free Stock Analysis
DEVRY INC (DV): Free Stock Analysis Report
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