Grand Canyon Education (LOPE) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ:LOPE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Grand Canyon Education, Inc. is a regionally accredited provider of online postsecondary education services focused on offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in its core disciplines of education, business, and healthcare. In addition to its online programs, it offers programs at its traditional campus in Phoenix, Arizona and onsite at the facilities of employers. “

LOPE has been the topic of a number of other reports. Barrington Research reissued a buy rating and issued a $135.00 price target on shares of Grand Canyon Education in a report on Friday, October 5th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Grand Canyon Education from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, November 16th. Finally, Robert W. Baird upped their price target on Grand Canyon Education from $125.00 to $141.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, November 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Grand Canyon Education presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $131.40.

LOPE traded down $1.25 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $93.66. 343,700 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 457,063. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a current ratio of 4.65 and a quick ratio of 4.65. The company has a market capitalization of $4.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.65, a P/E/G ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 1.09. Grand Canyon Education has a 1 year low of $85.14 and a 1 year high of $130.10.

Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ:LOPE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 8th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $155.45 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $153.31 million. Grand Canyon Education had a net margin of 23.60% and a return on equity of 21.66%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 34.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.81 EPS. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Grand Canyon Education will post 4.88 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CEO Brian E. Mueller sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.00, for a total value of $3,810,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 308,739 shares in the company, valued at $39,209,853. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph N. Mildenhall sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.71, for a total transaction of $221,420.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 77,402 shares in the company, valued at $8,569,175.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 96,000 shares of company stock worth $11,452,970. Company insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of LOPE. First Hawaiian Bank boosted its stake in Grand Canyon Education by 8.5% in the fourth quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 7,060 shares of the company’s stock worth $679,000 after buying an additional 554 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in Grand Canyon Education by 1.2% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 25,133 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,835,000 after buying an additional 288 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new stake in Grand Canyon Education in the third quarter worth approximately $469,000. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group boosted its stake in Grand Canyon Education by 11,600.2% in the third quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 59,671 shares of the company’s stock worth $529,000 after buying an additional 59,161 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its stake in Grand Canyon Education by 33.5% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 39,577 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,464,000 after buying an additional 9,923 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 94.90% of the company’s stock.

About Grand Canyon Education

Grand Canyon Education, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides education services in the United States and Canada. The company operates Grand Canyon University that offers approximately 225 graduate and undergraduate degree programs and certificates across 9 colleges online and on ground through campus in Phoenix, Arizona; leased facilities; and facilities owned by third party employers.

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