|10:19 EDT||CECO, COCO, LOPE, BPI, APEI, LINC, ESI, EDMC, APOL, DV, NAUH, STRA||Apollo Group rallies after Deutsche Bank upgrade|
For-profit education company Apollo Group (APOL) is climbing after Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Ginocchio upgraded the stock to Hold from Sell in a note to investors earlier today. The valuation of University of Phoenix students reflected by the stock has reached "pretty distressed levels," wrote the analyst. Even if the company's enrollment trends deteriorate farther, the stock is unlikely to fall much below current levels, the analyst believes. The company's Learning Management System - which uses advanced computer learning features to adapt teaching methods to individual students - is worth $2-$6 per share, Ginocchio contends. This system and the company's cash justify a share price of $10-$16 without factoring in the University of Phoenix, the analyst wrote. Finally, the changes that Apollo must make to retain accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission should not significantly lower the company's enrollment trends or increase its costs, added Ginocchio, who retained a $17 price target on the shares. In mid-morning trading, Apollo Group jumped 85c, or 5% to $17. Other for-profit education companies also advanced, with ITT Educational (ESI) gaining 3% to $12.75, Grand Canyon (LOPE) rising 1.7% to $23.45, and Strayer (STRA) climbing 1.2% to $47.50.