NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of American Public Education (Nasdaq: APEI) were gapping down Friday morning with an open price 12.9% lower than Thursday's closing price. The stock closed at $31.87 Thursday and opened today's trading at $27.75. The average volume for American Public has been 199,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Public has a market cap of $552.5 million and is part of the services sector and diversified services industry. Shares are down 26.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. American Public Education, Inc., together with its subsidiary, American Public University System, Inc., provides online postsecondary education focusing on the needs of the military and public service communities. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.9, equal to the average diversified services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. TheStreet Ratings rates American Public as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and disappointing return on equity. You can view the full American Public Ratings Report. Get more investment ideas from our investment research center.