Strayer Education Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $STRA

Benjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk.  This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 10 Stocks for Using A Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy – February 2017.  By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.  What follows is a stock analysis showing a specific look at how Strayer Education Inc (STRA) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Strayer Education, Inc. is an education services holding company. The Company provides post-secondary education services. The Company offers a range of academic programs through its subsidiaries, Strayer University, Inc. (the University) and New York Code and Design Academy (NYCDA). The University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business administration, accounting, information technology, education, health services administration, public administration and criminal justice at approximately 80 physical campuses located in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions of the United States, and online. The University also offers an executive Master of Business Administration online through its Jack Welch Management Institute. NYCDA provides non-degree courses in Web and application software development, primarily at its campus in New York City. In addition to its degree, diploma and certificate programs, the Company offers classes to non-degree and non-program students.

STRA Chart

STRA data by YCharts

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Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of STRA – February 2017

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $877,177,696 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 2.68 Pass
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Fail
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end -54.55% Fail
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 22.46 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 4.46 Fail
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 2.68 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 0.00 Pass
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Fail
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Fail

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $3.45
MG Growth Estimate -4.25%
MG Value $4.63
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade F
MG Value based on 3% Growth $50.05
MG Value based on 0% Growth $29.34
Market Implied Growth Rate 6.98%
Current Price $77.54
% of Intrinsic Value 1674.44%

Strayer Education Inc does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the small size, insufficient earnings growth over the last ten years, the poor dividend history, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the lack of earnings growth over the last five years, and the lack of dividends. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after seeing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) decline from $5.63 in 2013 to an estimated $3.45 for 2017. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 6.98% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Strayer Education Inc revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $36.67. The company does not pay a dividend. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 22.46, which was above the industry average of 21.9. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $4.63.

Strayer Education Inc scores quite poorly in the ModernGraham grading system, with an overall grade of F.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) $4.63
Graham Number $36.67
PEmg 22.46
Current Ratio 2.68
PB Ratio 4.46
Current Dividend $0.00
Dividend Yield 0.00%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 0


Useful Links:

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 12/1/2016
Total Current Assets $160,543,000
Total Current Liabilities $59,839,000
Long-Term Debt $0
Total Assets $298,696,000
Intangible Assets $20,744,000
Total Liabilities $110,322,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 10,845,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $3.50
Dec2016 $3.21
Dec2015 $3.73
Dec2014 $4.35
Dec2013 $1.55
Dec2012 $5.76
Dec2011 $8.88
Dec2010 $9.70
Dec2009 $7.60
Dec2008 $5.67
Dec2007 $4.47
Dec2006 $3.61
Dec2005 $3.26
Dec2004 $2.74
Dec2003 $2.27
Dec2002 $1.78
Dec2001 $1.55
Dec2000 $1.41
Dec1999 $1.23
Dec1998 $1.12
Dec1997 $0.93

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $3.45
Dec2016 $3.53
Dec2015 $4.07
Dec2014 $4.85
Dec2013 $5.63
Dec2012 $7.62
Dec2011 $8.12
Dec2010 $7.23
Dec2009 $5.64
Dec2008 $4.42
Dec2007 $3.62
Dec2006 $3.04
Dec2005 $2.61
Dec2004 $2.18
Dec2003 $1.81
Dec2002 $1.53
Dec2001 $1.35

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

None. This is the first time ModernGraham has covered the company.

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The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.

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