Grand Canyon Education Inc (NASDAQ:LOPE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

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. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on LOPE. Barrington Research raised their price objective on shares of Grand Canyon Education from $68.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $73.00 target price (up from $69.00) on shares of Grand Canyon Education in a research note on Monday, March 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $76.75.

Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ:LOPE) traded up 0.13% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $76.52. The stock had a trading volume of 188,297 shares. Grand Canyon Education has a 12-month low of $37.94 and a 12-month high of $81.16. The firm has a market cap of $3.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.59 and a beta of 1.38. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $74.24 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.28.

Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ:LOPE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The company reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.11. Grand Canyon Education had a net margin of 16.42% and a return on equity of 21.10%. The business had revenue of $248.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.64 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.92 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Grand Canyon Education will post $3.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Grand Canyon Education news, General Counsel Brian M. Roberts sold 9,754 shares of Grand Canyon Education stock in a transaction on Friday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.07, for a total value of $615,184.78. Following the transaction, the general counsel now owns 47,930 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,022,945.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Daniel E. Bachus sold 14,000 shares of Grand Canyon Education stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.21, for a total transaction of $1,094,940.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 120,605 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,432,517.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 211,299 shares of company stock valued at $15,124,208 over the last ninety days. 5.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its position in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 5.0% in the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 2,697 shares of the company’s stock worth $193,000 after buying an additional 129 shares during the period. Fifth Third Bancorp raised its position in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 10.8% in the first quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 2,262 shares of the company’s stock worth $162,000 after buying an additional 220 shares during the period. Bell State Bank & Trust raised its position in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 3.6% in the third quarter. Bell State Bank & Trust now owns 7,115 shares of the company’s stock worth $287,000 after buying an additional 245 shares during the period. Bell Bank raised its position in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 3.6% in the first quarter. Bell Bank now owns 7,630 shares of the company’s stock worth $546,000 after buying an additional 265 shares during the period. Finally, Valley National Advisers Inc. raised its position in shares of Grand Canyon Education by 23.8% in the first quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 2,562 shares of the company’s stock worth $183,000 after buying an additional 492 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 96.48% of the company’s stock.

Grand Canyon Education Company Profile

Grand Canyon Education, Inc is engaged in the provision of postsecondary education. The Company is a regionally accredited university. The Company offers the degrees, including Doctor of Education, Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Philosophy, Education Specialist, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and a range of programs for its degrees.

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