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American Public (APEI) to Study Spirulina Uses in Outer Space

American Public Education, Inc.’s APEI online postsecondary education provider — American Public University System ("APUS") — unveiled that its Spirulina Algae Group has received a NASA research grant to study the use of spirulina.

The research will mainly focus on the use of Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica (scientifically known as Arthrospira platensis) in improving plant health, nutritional value and production rates for many plants in similar conditions to Mars and the Moon. The study will identify sustainable solutions to help support astronauts on prolonged missions using algae-based systems.

The grant received by the Spirulina Algae Group, which is part of the APUS’ Supernova Search Group, is funded by NASA's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.


Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

Image Source: Zacks Investment Research


Shares of American Public have gained 10.2% in the past three months compared with the Zacks Schools industry’s 14.6% growth.

Solid Initiatives & Enrollment Bode Well

APEI has undertaken several initiatives to improve enrollment trends, enhance student persistence and reduce cost pressure.

American Public has been registering impressive enrollment growth at APUS and HCN. Net course registrations at APUS increased 5.7% year over year in second-quarter 2023, including an 8% increase in active-duty military and nearly 10% in the veteran’s channel. For the third quarter, APUS’ total net course registrations are expected to be between 90,500 and 92,500, reflecting growth of 6-8% year over year.

The company intends to increase students’ persistence rates by improving the quality of the student mix, releasing new tools for students and taking other initiatives that increase students’ engagement and classroom interactivity. It also aims to strengthen its digital marketing campaigns to leverage relationships with the military, public service and other high-value student populations.

In August 2023, it undertook certain measures to optimize the cost structure of both Rasmussen and the entire APEI enterprise, aiming to better align with the current revenue profile.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

American Public currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks from the Consumer Discretionary sector are Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL, Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. LYV and Strategic Education, Inc. STRA, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Royal Caribbean has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 28.5%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RCL’s 2023 sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates growth of 54.5% and 180.3%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.

Live Nation has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 34.6%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for LYV’s 2023 sales and EPS suggests rises of 21% and 57.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.

Strategic Education has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 12.1%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for STRA’s 2023 sales and EPS implies improvements of 4.9% and 27.9%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.

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