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American Public Education, Inc. recently announced a minority investment of $4 million in Fidelis Education. Fidelis Education works toward career transition from military-to-civilian. The recent investment is a contribution to Fidelis Education for a software development, which will help interaction among students, faculty and staff outside classroom.

The software is expected to improve student satisfaction. The software platform is also expected to help military service members and working adults pursue online programs and make successful career transitions.

The company has been investing in information technology infrastructure to support a larger and more diverse student population. In fact, these initiatives have contributed toward top-line growth in the past few quarters.  

Total company’s top-line grew 11% year on year in the first quarter of 2013, which was within the company’s expected range of approximately 9% to 13% growth. However, new student enrollments declined 7% in the first quarter of 2013, in line with the high end of management guided range of 5% to 7% decline.

Management believes that the prior-year quarters may have included enrollment of students who abused student aid. The company’s fraud prevention initiatives have reduced enrollment of students who abuse funds, which explains the decline in new student starts for the quarter.  

American Public carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks that are currently better positioned and therefore worth considering include WebMD Health Corp. carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and  Shutterstock, Inc. and Perion Network Ltd carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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