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Capella Education (CPLA) Q1 Earnings: What to Expect?

Capella Education Company CPLA is set to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 26, before the market opens.

Last quarter, the company posted a positive surprise of 1.05%. Moreover, the company surpassed estimates in two out of the past four quarters, resulting in an average positive surprise of 0.27%.  Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.  

Factors to Consider

During the fourth-quarter 2015 conference, Capella management had stated that it expects new enrollment and revenue to remain soft in the first quarter of 2016. While the company expects new enrollment and total enrollment to be positive in 2016, impressive growth rates are not expected before 2017.

Moreover, the company mentioned a shift in the student mix from the PhD to the masters’ degree program, which is hurting revenue per student, and is expected to be reflected in the results of the to-be-reported quarter. This is also expected to dampen operating margins in the said quarter.  

As more students are now opting for the FlexPath direct assessment programs, the company expects increased enrollment of bachelors and master programs under FlexPath, which should drive top-line results in the to-be-reported quarter.    

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Capella is likely to beat earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) for this to happen. But that is not the case here, as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Capella’s Earnings ESP is 0.00% as both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 81 cents.

Zacks Rank: Though the company’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of ESP, Capella’s ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction difficult.

Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or #5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies in the broader consumer discretionary sector that can be considered as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. AMC with an Earnings ESP of +5.56% and a Zacks Rank #3

Masonite International Corporation DOOR with an Earnings ESP of +9.52% and a Zacks Rank #3

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. PNK with an Earnings ESP of +23.21% and a Zacks Rank #3

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PINNACLE ENTRTN (PNK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MASONITE INT CP (DOOR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CAPELLA EDUCATN (CPLA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AMC ENTERTAINMT (AMC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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