Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model. NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- American Public Education (Nasdaq: APEI) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.
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- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 14.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- APEI has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. To add to this, APEI has a quick ratio of 2.38, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 26.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 37.21% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, APEI should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- AMERICAN PUBLIC EDUCATION has improved earnings per share by 26.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, AMERICAN PUBLIC EDUCATION increased its bottom line by earning $2.34 versus $2.23 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.64 versus $2.34).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Consumer Services industry. The net income increased by 25.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $9.08 million to $11.38 million.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff