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American Public Education's Hondros to Offer MLT Program

Zacks Equity Research

Hondros College of Nursing (“HCN”), a subsidiary of American Public Education, Inc. APEI, is going to conduct a new Medical Laboratory Technician or MLT program in Columbus/Westerville, OH.

The program will be launched in April 2019 at its Columbus/Westerville campus.

According to the study done by Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for medical laboratory technologists and technicians is likely to increase 13% by 2026, faster than any other occupation. The rising demand for such technicians at a rapid pace is mainly due to increasing population above the age of 65. In fact, per the U.S. Census data, the said population group is expected to grow more than double by 2060 to 98.2 million. Thus, the need for medical diagnostics, which includes lab tests for cancer or Type 2 diabetes, will also increase.

Medical Laboratory Technicians are crucial members of the healthcare team like nurses and other medical professionals. They analyze body fluids and samples, as well as perform essential tests to diagnose and treat patients effectively.

Initiatives to Boost Performance

American Public Education has undertaken various initiatives to improve enrollment trends and student persistence. In fact, it has improved offerings by redesigning its courses to increase interactivity in classrooms. Also, it has revised application and assessment processes to enroll students with greater college readiness. The HCN segment has also changed in its curriculum, which is likely to boost student enrollment.

In the first nine months of 2018, revenues in the HCN segment grew 15.5%. The growth was primarily backed by 15.6% improvement in total student enrollment. Also, operating margins in the segment increased 180 basis points to 19.3% during the past three quarters owing to solid cost management.

Meanwhile, shares of American Public Education have gained 14.1% against its industry’s fall of 20.5% in the past year. It has also outperformed the S&P500 in the said period. The company’s price performance is backed by an impressive earnings performance, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimates in each of the trailing five quarters.

Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year is pegged at $1.59, reflecting 23.3% year-over-year growth.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, American Public Education carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks from the Zacks Schools industry include Laureate Education, Inc. LAUR, Career Education Corporation CECO and K12 Inc LRN. While Laureate Education sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Career Education and K12 both carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Laureate Education, Career Education and K12’s earnings for the current year are expected to increase 220.8%, 190.3%, and 11.8%, respectively.

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