Career Education Corp. (NASDAQ:CECO) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors purchased 3,373 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,982% compared to the average volume of 162 call options.

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. TheStreet downgraded shares of Career Education from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, August 8th. Sidoti dropped their price objective on shares of Career Education from $26.00 to $23.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Career Education from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $18.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 3rd. ValuEngine raised shares of Career Education from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 31st. Finally, Barrington Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective on shares of Career Education in a report on Thursday, October 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $22.33.

In other news, SVP Jeffrey David Ayers sold 48,886 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.38, for a total value of $751,866.68. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 227,793 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,503,456.34. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP David C. Czeszewski sold 15,278 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.31, for a total transaction of $325,574.18. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 128,409 shares in the company, valued at $2,736,395.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 302,808 shares of company stock worth $5,367,442 in the last 90 days. 5.58% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its holdings in Career Education by 6.8% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,374,762 shares of the company’s stock worth $83,427,000 after buying an additional 279,486 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Career Education by 0.6% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,296,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $81,925,000 after buying an additional 27,493 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in Career Education by 13.9% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,134,862 shares of the company’s stock worth $51,788,000 after buying an additional 382,842 shares in the last quarter. SG Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Career Education by 7.2% during the second quarter. SG Capital Management LLC now owns 1,552,509 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,606,000 after buying an additional 104,649 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Career Education during the second quarter worth $25,452,000. 84.52% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ CECO opened at $16.06 on Friday. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $15.34 and its 200 day moving average price is $18.46. Career Education has a 1 year low of $11.01 and a 1 year high of $22.50. The company has a market capitalization of $1.05 billion, a PE ratio of 15.30, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.80 and a beta of 1.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a quick ratio of 2.49 and a current ratio of 2.50.

Career Education (NASDAQ:CECO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.08. Career Education had a net margin of 8.78% and a return on equity of 25.42%. The firm had revenue of $155.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $146.70 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.25 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Career Education will post 1.25 EPS for the current year.

Career Education Company Profile

Career Education Corporation operates colleges, institutions, and universities that provide education to student population in various career-oriented disciplines through online, campus based, and blended learning programs in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Colorado Technical University (CTU), American InterContinental University (AIU), and All Other Campuses.

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