Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

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 research reports. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $73.00 price target (up previously from $69.00) on shares of Grand Canyon Education in a research note on Monday, March 20th. Barrington Research boosted their price target 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 15th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Grand Canyon Education from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Grand Canyon Education from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Grand Canyon Education has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $77.75.

Grand Canyon Education (LOPE) traded up 1.95% on Thursday, reaching $78.37. The company had a trading volume of 170,853 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $78.80 and its 200-day moving average price is $68.24. Grand Canyon Education has a 12-month low of $38.81 and a 12-month high of $83.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.69 billion, a PE ratio of 23.14 and a beta of 1.49.

Grand Canyon Education (NASDAQ:LOPE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The company reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $248.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $244.64 million. Grand Canyon Education had a net margin of 17.97% and a return on equity of 21.53%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.92 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Grand Canyon Education will post $3.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, CEO Brian E. Mueller sold 30,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.66, for a total value of $2,119,800.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 312,794 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,102,024.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Daniel E. Bachus sold 14,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.40, for a total transaction of $1,111,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 119,105 shares in the company, valued at $9,456,937. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 201,545 shares of company stock worth $15,364,083. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Fifth Third Bancorp increased its stake in 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. Valley National Advisers Inc. increased its stake in 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. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. increased its stake in 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. Affinity Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Grand Canyon Education during the first quarter worth $203,000. Finally, Hengehold Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Grand Canyon Education during the first quarter worth $204,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.59% 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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