National American University Holdngs (NASDAQ:NAUH) and Strategic Education (NASDAQ:STRA) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, risk, dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares National American University Holdngs and Strategic Education’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
National American University Holdngs -30.34% -134.09% -45.35%
Strategic Education -2.47% 9.17% 7.55%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for National American University Holdngs and Strategic Education, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
National American University Holdngs 0 0 0 0 N/A
Strategic Education 0 0 3 0 3.00

Strategic Education has a consensus price target of $172.33, suggesting a potential upside of 26.71%. Given Strategic Education’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Strategic Education is more favorable than National American University Holdngs.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares National American University Holdngs and Strategic Education’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
National American University Holdngs $77.18 million 0.02 -$12.16 million N/A N/A
Strategic Education $634.18 million 4.71 -$15.67 million $4.75 28.63

National American University Holdngs has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Strategic Education.

Volatility and Risk

National American University Holdngs has a beta of 0.98, meaning that its stock price is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Strategic Education has a beta of 1, meaning that its stock price has a similar volatility profile to the S&P 500.

Dividends

Strategic Education pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. National American University Holdngs does not pay a dividend. Strategic Education pays out 42.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

13.2% of National American University Holdngs shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.2% of Strategic Education shares are owned by institutional investors. 56.6% of National American University Holdngs shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.6% of Strategic Education shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Strategic Education beats National American University Holdngs on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

National American University Holdngs Company Profile

National American University Holdings, Inc. owns and operates National American University (NAU) that provides professional and technical postsecondary education primarily for working adults and other non-traditional students in the United States. It operates in two segments, NAU and Other. The company offers diploma, associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degree programs in business-related disciplines, such as accounting, management, business administration, and information technology; healthcare-related disciplines, including occupational therapy, medical assisting, nursing, surgical technology, and healthcare information and management; legal-related disciplines comprising paralegal, criminal justice, and professional legal studies; and higher education. It also provides courseware development, technical support, and online class hosting services to various colleges, technical schools, and training institutions in the United States and Canada. As of July 31, 2018, the company operated through 33 educational sites in Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas; and distance learning service centers and administration offices in Rapid City, South Dakota, as well as through the Internet. In addition, it engages in the real estate business, which rents apartment units; and develops and sells condominium units in the Fairway Hills Planned Residential Development area of Rapid City, South Dakota. The company was founded in 1941 and is headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Strategic Education Company Profile

Strategic Education, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides a range of post-secondary education and other academic programs in the United States. The company operates Strayer University and Capella University that provide undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business administration, accounting, information technology, education, health services administration, nursing, public administration, and criminal justice to working adult students through its 74 physical campuses primarily located in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions, as well as through online. It also offers an executive MBA online through its Jack Welch Management Institute. In addition, the company operates New York Code and Design Academy that provides non-degree courses in Web and application software development primarily through its campus in New York City. Strategic Education, Inc. was founded in 1892 and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.

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