Capella Education (Nasdaq: CPLA) beat estimates by $0.15 last quarter, and investors are hoping it can beat them again. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, July 26. Capella is an online postsecondary-education services company that offers a variety of doctoral, master's, and bachelor's programs in areas such as health and human services, business management and technology, and education.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on Capella Education, with 13 of 17 rating it a hold. Analysts don't like Capella Education Company as much as competitor American Public Education overall. Seven out of 15 rate American Public Education a buy, compared with four of 17 for Capella Education. While analysts still rate the stock a hold, they are a little more optimistic about it compared with three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $106.7 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 1.4% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.90 per share. Estimates range from $0.84 to $0.95.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock, with 98.8% granting it an "outperform" rating. The community at large backs the All-Stars, with 93.7% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Although Fools have embraced Capella Education, the message boards have been quiet lately, with only 63 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of Capella Education, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Capella Education's profit has risen year over year by an average of 26.8%. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters. 

Quarter Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2
Gross Margin 61.8% 63.4% 59% 60.7%
Operating Margin 20.2% 24.7% 20% 21.4%
Net Margin 13.1% 15.7% 12.8% 13.9%
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