NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apollo Education Group (APOL stock is gaining 7.74% to $7.10 in pre-market trading on Monday after the company said its board of directors will explore strategic alternatives to improve its operations, including potentially selling the business.

"The board is currently in discussions that could potentially lead to a change of control of the company," the private education provider said in a statement.

The company believes a change "will support and accelerate Apollo's strategic initiatives" that include the University of Phoenix's transformation plan.

Additionally, Phoenix-based Apollo Education reported disappointing financial results for the fiscal 2016 first quarter this morning.

The company reported earnings of 29 cents per share on $586.02 million in revenue for quarter ended November 30, while analysts had estimated earnings of 31 cents per share on $610.42 million in revenue for the latest quarter.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. This is driven by several 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 disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: APOL

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