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Apollo Group (APOL) Moving On Heavy Volume In The Pre-Market Hours

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Apollo Group (APOL) as a pre-market mover with heavy volume candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Apollo Group as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • APOL has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $49.6 million.
  • APOL traded 206,573 shares today in the pre-market hours as of 8:00 AM, representing 10.1% of its average daily volume.

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More details on APOL:

Apollo Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides online and on-campus educational programs and services at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels. APOL has a PE ratio of 7.3. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Apollo Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Apollo Group has been 2.1 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Group has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. The stock has a beta of 1.22 and a short float of 21.2% with 10.13 days to cover. Shares are down 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Apollo Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • APOL's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.08 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.45, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for APOLLO GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 58.45%. Regardless of APOL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, APOL's net profit margin of 8.44% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, APOL has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • APOLLO GROUP INC's earnings per share declined by 36.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, APOLLO GROUP INC reported lower earnings of $3.19 versus $4.02 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 10.7% in earnings ($2.85 versus $3.19).

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