Strayer Education (NASDAQ: STRA) and Apollo Education Group (NASDAQ:APOL) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, profitabiliy, valuation, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Strayer Education and Apollo Education Group’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Strayer Education $444.83 million 2.17 $76.79 million $3.01 30.12
Apollo Education Group N/A N/A N/A ($0.19) -52.61

Strayer Education has higher revenue and earnings than Apollo Education Group. Apollo Education Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Strayer Education, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

92.4% of Strayer Education shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.3% of Apollo Education Group shares are held by institutional investors. 6.7% of Strayer Education shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.8% of Apollo Education Group shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Strayer Education and Apollo Education Group, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Strayer Education 0 2 1 0 2.33
Apollo Education Group 0 0 1 0 3.00

Strayer Education presently has a consensus target price of $82.67, suggesting a potential downside of 8.83%. Given Strayer Education’s higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Strayer Education is more favorable than Apollo Education Group.


Strayer Education pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Apollo Education Group does not pay a dividend. Strayer Education pays out 33.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.


This table compares Strayer Education and Apollo Education Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Strayer Education 7.41% 17.27% 10.68%
Apollo Education Group 0.66% 1.53% 0.65%

Risk & Volatility

Strayer Education has a beta of 0.92, suggesting that its share price is 8% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Apollo Education Group has a beta of 0.85, suggesting that its share price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500.


Strayer Education beats Apollo Education Group on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Strayer Education Company Profile

Strayer Education, Inc. is an education services holding company. The Company provides post-secondary education and other academic programs, through its subsidiaries, Strayer University (the University) and New York Code and Design Academy (NYCDA). As of December 31, 2016, the University offered undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business administration, accounting, information technology, education, health services administration, nursing, public administration and criminal justice at 74 physical campuses located in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions of the United States, and online. The University also offers an executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) online through its Jack Welch Management Institute. Its subsidiary, NYCDA, provides non-degree courses in Web and application software development, primarily at its campus in New York City. Each undergraduate degree program includes courses in oral and written communication skills, as well as mathematics.

Apollo Education Group Company Profile

Apollo Education Group, Inc. is a United States-based education provider. The Company offers undergraduate, graduate, certificate and non-degree educational programs and services, online and on-campus, to working adults in the United States and abroad. Its segments include University of Phoenix, Apollo Global and Other. The University of Phoenix segment offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through its colleges and schools in a range of program areas, as well as various non-degree programs. Primarily, the University of Phoenix’s students attend classes online. It also offers educational programs and services at ground locations throughout the United States. The Apollo Global segment includes its institutions based outside the United States and its corporate operations. The Other segment includes College for Financial Planning Institutes Corporation; Western International University, Inc.; TIY Academy, LLC; Apollo Professional Development, and Apollo corporate activities.

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