Head to Head Review: American Public Education (APEI) and Laureate International Universities (NASDAQ:LAUR)

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American Public Education (NASDAQ: APEI) and Laureate International Universities (NASDAQ:LAUR) 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, earnings, risk, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

94.1% of American Public Education shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 29.9% of Laureate International Universities shares are held by institutional investors. 3.2% of American Public Education shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.6% of Laureate International Universities shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares American Public Education and Laureate International Universities’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Public Education $299.25 million 2.41 $21.12 million $1.29 34.03
Laureate International Universities $4.38 billion 0.68 $91.46 million ($1.20) -13.15

Laureate International Universities has higher revenue and earnings than American Public Education. Laureate International Universities 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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for American Public Education and Laureate International Universities, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Public Education 0 2 1 0 2.33
Laureate International Universities 0 1 9 0 2.90

American Public Education currently has a consensus price target of $39.33, indicating a potential downside of 10.40%. Laureate International Universities has a consensus price target of $18.35, indicating a potential upside of 16.29%. Given Laureate International Universities’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Laureate International Universities is more favorable than American Public Education.

Risk and Volatility

American Public Education has a beta of 0.67, meaning that its stock price is 33% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Laureate International Universities has a beta of 0.97, meaning that its stock price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares American Public Education and Laureate International Universities’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Public Education 7.10% 7.90% 6.71%
Laureate International Universities 8.69% 8.41% 1.79%

Summary

Laureate International Universities beats American Public Education on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About American Public Education

American Public Education, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides online and campus-based postsecondary education. The company operates through two segments, American Public Education and Hondros College of Nursing. It offers 108 degree programs and 109 certificate programs in various fields of study, including business administration, health science, technology, criminal justice, education, and liberal arts, as well as national security, military studies, intelligence, and homeland security. The company also provides diploma in practical nursing and an associate degree in nursing; and an online registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in nursing completion program. American Public Education, Inc. was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Charles Town, West Virginia.

About Laureate International Universities

Laureate Education, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides higher education programs and services to students through universities and higher education institutions. It operates through six segments: Brazil, Mexico, Andean & Iberian, Central America & U.S. Campuses, EMEAA, and Online & Partnerships. The company offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs primarily in the areas of business and management, medicine and health sciences, and engineering and information technology through campus-based, online, and hybrid programs. It also operates online institutions that offer professionally-oriented degree programs primarily for the working adults with undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The company was formerly known as Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. and changed its name to Laureate Education, Inc. in May 2004. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. Laureate Education, Inc. is a subsidiary of Wengen Alberta, Limited Partnership.

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