Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Grand Canyon Education (LOPE) to “Buy”

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ:LOPE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has $105.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Grand Canyon Education, Inc. is a regionally accredited provider of online postsecondary education services focused on offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in its core disciplines of education, business, and healthcare. In addition to its online programs, it offers programs at its traditional campus in Phoenix, Arizona and onsite at the facilities of employers. “

LOPE has been the topic of several other reports. Barrington Research reiterated a buy rating and issued a $135.00 price target on shares of Grand Canyon Education in a research report on Friday, October 5th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Grand Canyon Education from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, November 16th. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased their price target on shares of Grand Canyon Education from $125.00 to $141.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, November 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $131.40.

Shares of LOPE stock traded down $1.25 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $93.66. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 343,716 shares, compared to its average volume of 457,063. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.52 billion, a PE ratio of 23.65, a P/E/G ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 1.09. Grand Canyon Education has a twelve month low of $85.14 and a twelve month high of $130.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a current ratio of 4.65 and a quick ratio of 4.65.

Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ:LOPE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The company reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $155.45 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $153.31 million. Grand Canyon Education had a net margin of 23.60% and a return on equity of 21.66%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 34.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Grand Canyon Education will post 4.88 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Dilek Marsh sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.00, for a total transaction of $504,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 82,752 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,426,752. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO William Stan Meyer sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.00, for a total transaction of $1,905,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 112,261 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,257,147. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 96,000 shares of company stock worth $11,452,970 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LOPE. Capital World Investors purchased a new position in shares of Grand Canyon Education during the third quarter valued at approximately $70,247,000. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Grand Canyon Education during the second quarter valued at approximately $51,907,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 70.6% during the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 836,261 shares of the company’s stock valued at $94,330,000 after buying an additional 346,017 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 66.3% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 779,083 shares of the company’s stock valued at $87,880,000 after buying an additional 310,475 shares during the period. Finally, Millennium Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 150.2% during the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 471,913 shares of the company’s stock valued at $52,670,000 after buying an additional 283,325 shares during the period. 94.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Grand Canyon Education Company Profile

Grand Canyon Education, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides education services in the United States and Canada. The company operates Grand Canyon University that offers approximately 225 graduate and undergraduate degree programs and certificates across 9 colleges online and on ground through campus in Phoenix, Arizona; leased facilities; and facilities owned by third party employers.

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