For-profit schools serve 2.8 million students and are challenging community colleges for students who want to develop specific workforce skills. These schools, in addition to their computer technology programs and entry-level business certifications, now provide programs in growth industries such as health care and education.
Professional training becomes even more attractive during economic downturns, making publicly traded education companies appealing to investors.
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APOLLO GROUP (APOL)
Through its subsidiaries, Apollo Group provides educational programs for high school and college students. Its most well known subsidiary, the University of Phoenix (UPX), offers associates, bachelors and graduate degrees in 38 different states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and the Netherlands.
Other subsidiaries of APOL include the Institute for Professional Development (IPD), Western International University (WIU), The College for Financial Planning Institutes Corporation (CFP), and Insight Schools (INSIGHT).
While the S&P 500 has experienced a significant drop during the past year (-8.9%), Apollo stock has risen over 11%. A covered call investing position is currently available for Apollo for September stock options expiration with a potential return of 3.4% – in only 23 days.
CAREER EDUCATION CORPORATION (CECO)
CECO operates schools and universities, providing education to over 89,500 students in the United States, Italy, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom, in addition to its three online academic programs.
CECO specializes in career-oriented programs, including bachelor and associate degrees in information technologies, visual communication, design technologies, business studies and culinary arts.
Sitting at about 1/2 of its 52-week high CECO represents a potentially good opportunity to invest with a covered calls position. A covered call investing position for CECO is currently available for October stock options expiration with a potential return of 4.4%.
DEVRY INC. (DV)
Devry operates higher education institutions through its subsidiaries: Devry University, Chamberlain College of Nursing, Becker CPA Review and Ross University.
Devry University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in 86 locations throughout the United States, Canada, and online. Ross University provides medical and veterinary medical programs in the Caribbean. The Becker CPA review prepares students for the CPA exam in over 300 locations in more than 27 countries.
Devry stock has gone up over 60% in the past year, far surpassing its competition. A covered call investing position is available for Devry for September stock options expiration with a potential return of 2.7% and 4.6% downside protection. As long as Devry’s stock price does not decline more than 4.6% at stock options expiration, the Devry covered calls position will remain profitable.
CORINTHIAN COLLEGES INC. (COCO)
Corinthian Colleges INC. operates post secondary institutions in the United States and Canada, offering associates, bachelors, and masters degrees in health care, electronics, and business fields.
COCO, through its subsidiary, Florida Metropolitan University, offers masters degrees in criminal justice and business administration. Founded in 1995, Corinthian Colleges operate 93 colleges in 24 states.
COCO stock has gone up 20% over the past year, and appears to be trending higher. A covered call investing position is available for Corinthian Colleges for October stock options expiration with a potential return of 4.5%.
ITT EDUCATIONAL SERVICES INC. (ESI)
ITT Educational Services provides technology continuing education and degree programs, including associate, bachelors and masters degrees at 100 institutes in 34 states. Founded in 1946, ITT Educational Services serves over 54,000 students.
Down more than 17% over the past year, ITT Educational Services appears undervalued and a potentially good covered calls stock investing play. A covered calls position for ITT Educational Services for September stock options expiration is available with a potential return of 3.9%.
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