Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ: CECO) and Apollo Education Group (NASDAQ:APOL) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk and valuation.

Risk & Volatility

Career Education Corporation has a beta of 2.71, meaning that its stock price is 171% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Apollo Education Group has a beta of 0.85, meaning that its stock price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Career Education Corporation -3.82% 3.73% 2.35%
Apollo Education Group 0.66% 1.53% 0.65%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

75.4% of Career Education Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.3% of Apollo Education Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.9% of Career Education Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.8% of Apollo Education Group shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Career Education Corporation and Apollo Education Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Career Education Corporation 0 1 1 0 2.50
Apollo Education Group 0 0 1 0 3.00

Career Education Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $13.00, suggesting a potential upside of 23.34%. Given Career Education Corporation’s higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Career Education Corporation is more favorable than Apollo Education Group.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Career Education Corporation and Apollo Education Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Career Education Corporation $631.21 million 1.15 $42.44 million ($0.36) -29.28
Apollo Education Group N/A N/A N/A ($0.19) -52.61

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


Career Education Corporation beats Apollo Education Group on 7 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Career Education Corporation

Career Education Corporation, through its colleges, institutions and universities, offers education to students in a range of career-oriented disciplines through online, on-ground and hybrid learning programs. The Company’s American InterContinental University (AIU) and Colorado Technical University (CTU) provide degree programs through the master’s or doctoral level as well as associate and bachelor’s levels. The Company operates through four segments: CTU, AIU, Culinary Arts and Transitional Group. Its University group consists of AIU and CTU, which serve students online with career-focused degree programs. Its Career Colleges Group consists of Culinary Arts and Transitional Group segments. The Culinary Arts segment includes Le Cordon Bleu institutions in North America (LCB), which offer hands-on educational programs in the career-oriented disciplines of culinary arts and patisserie and baking in the commercial-grade kitchens of Le Cordon Bleu.

About Apollo Education Group

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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