Why Strayer Education, Inc (STRA) Stock Dropped Today

By Markets Fool.com

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

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What:Strayer Education stock was down as much as 12% at one point Friday, and sitting at an 8% decrease around 2:30 p.m. The stock is down more than 15% this year, after rising as much as 135% at one point in 2014, based on strong earnings growth in the year.

So what:The company released its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2014 Friday morning, and it looks like the results were mixed based on analyst expectations. Earnings per share of $1.21 for the quarter were about 6% below estimates, while revenue came in just above the consensus.

However, revenues fell 6% in the quarter, and 11% for the full year, even as enrollment declined only 1%. Furthermore, the share count increased 2% over the year, diluting returns for existing shareholders.

Now what:There are a lot of headwinds that private for-profit colleges like Strayer are facing right now. The improving economy and falling numbers of jobless is likely to reduce the number of people who may need college or specific job training, and there's also likely some investor fear based on President Barack Obama's proposal to make public junior college free for many Americans.

These may be largely speculative fears at this point, but they could continue to impact Strayer and its industry in coming years.

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The article Why Strayer Education, Inc (STRA) Stock Dropped Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Jason Hall has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.