Apollo Education Group (APOL) Stock Price Target Lowered by Analysts

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apollo Education Group (APOL) stock price target was lowered by analysts at Deutsche Bank Markets Research to $20 from $22 with a "hold" rating. 

On Tuesday, shares are plunging 14.12% to $13.35.

This action comes after the company reported weak third quarter 2015 earnings yesterday. Apollo reported revenue of $681.5 million, or 44 cents diluted earnings per share, or 53 cents per share excluding special items. In the previous year, the company reported revenue of $793.6 million in the same quarter. 

For the latest quarter, reported income was $48.1 million, or 44 cents per share, compared to $68.1 million, or 61 cents per share in the same quarter the previous year.

Apollo missed analysts' estimates who expected the company to report earnings of 47 cents per share on revenue of $698.7 million, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The company has seen its enrollment numbers pressured, due to stricter regulation that reduced for-profit colleges' share of U.S. financial aid for students that such school depend on for most of the revenue, The Wall Street Journal reports.

However, going forward, management believes enrollment is sustainable, according to the analyst note. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP INC (APOL) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 47.72%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 306.66% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
  • APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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 EDUCATION GROUP INC reported lower earnings of $1.92 versus $2.20 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 43.8% in earnings ($1.08 versus $1.92).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Consumer Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 330.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $14.61 million to -$33.61 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Diversified Consumer Services industry and the overall market, APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP INC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $36.81 million or 43.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP INC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -77.06%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: APOL Ratings Report

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