Laureate Education (NASDAQ:LAUR) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Laureate Education (NASDAQ:LAUR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has a $17.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 8.87% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Laureate Education, Inc. is a degree-granting higher education institutions. The company offers high-quality undergraduate, graduate and specialized programs. Laureate Education, Inc. is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. “

A number of other research analysts have also commented on LAUR. Stifel Nicolaus set a $22.00 price target on shares of Laureate Education and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 30th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on shares of Laureate Education from $18.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 9th. Citigroup reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 price objective (up from $19.00) on shares of Laureate Education in a report on Wednesday, August 28th. Barrington Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 price objective on shares of Laureate Education in a report on Thursday, September 12th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Laureate Education from $22.00 to $25.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Laureate Education currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $21.33.

LAUR opened at $15.62 on Thursday. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $17.14 and a 200-day moving average price of $16.32. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.44 billion, a P/E ratio of -520.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 0.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.93. Laureate Education has a one year low of $13.58 and a one year high of $18.57.

Laureate Education (NASDAQ:LAUR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 8th. The company reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.57 by ($0.11). The firm had revenue of $1 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $998.46 million. Laureate Education had a net margin of 28.57% and a negative return on equity of 0.85%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.00 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Laureate Education will post 0.65 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CEO Paula R. Singer sold 3,348 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.19, for a total transaction of $60,900.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 26,578 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $483,453.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Sterling Capital Partners Iii sold 997,654 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.72, for a total transaction of $16,680,774.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 16,007,699 shares of company stock valued at $267,652,310 over the last three months. 2.97% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of LAUR. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its position in shares of Laureate Education by 15.0% during the first quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 94,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,412,000 after buying an additional 12,300 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Laureate Education by 19.4% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 13,450,964 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,362,000 after buying an additional 2,184,985 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Laureate Education by 130.3% during the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 65,635 shares of the company’s stock valued at $983,000 after buying an additional 37,135 shares during the period. Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in shares of Laureate Education during the second quarter valued at about $233,000. Finally, New York State Teachers Retirement System purchased a new position in shares of Laureate Education during the second quarter valued at about $130,000. 50.03% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Laureate Education

Laureate Education, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides higher education programs and services to students through a network of universities and higher education institutions. It operates through five segments: Brazil, Mexico, Andean, Rest of World, and Online & Partnerships. The company offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs primarily in the areas of business and management, medicine and health sciences, and engineering and information technology through campus-based, online, and hybrid programs.

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